The bell tolls for the Nissan Maxima, the nameplate ending life in its current ICE incarnation sometime in the middle of its 42nd year after being born as the Datsun Maxima in 1981. This last model-year walk to the grave brings no flowers nor celebrations, though; the 2023 Maxima gets decorated with the new Nissan logo that debuted on the Ariya electric crossover in 2020, and the top-shelf Maxima Platinum trim semi-aniline leather seating surfaces and illuminated kick plates.
Prices are up $300 on the entry-level SV and sport-focused SR trims. The Platinum's fancier leather makes that car $1,100 more expensive. New MSRPs after the $1,095 destination charge are:
Maxima SV: $39,235
Maxima SR: $44,395
Maxima Platinum: $45,345
The sheetmetal hides an unchanged powertrain, the 3.5-liter V6 putting out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque through a continuously variable transmission to the front wheels only. Deciding who got tired of the Maxima first — Nissan, or customers — could be a chicken and egg quandary. What's clear now is that both are. Nissan's left its once-mighty four-door, billed with the tagline "Born to thrill," lagging in the modern age with an eight-inch infotainment screen, no Android Auto, and no all-wheel drive. Only 3,753 units have found homes through the first half of this year, after dealers sold just over 16,300 Maximas in 2021.
Once the automaker has its electric mojo fully charged as part of the Ambition 2030 plan, there's a chance the Maxima name could make a comeback with a big battery instead of the VQ V6. We'll know more about where the plan is headed when the Ariya electric crossover and its "impressively futuristic" interior begin reaching customer hands in noteworthy numbers.
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