Future Cars: Nissan’s New 2016 Maxima from Concept to Reality

When Nissan revealed its stunning Sports Sedan Concept back at the 2014 Detroit Show, I was genuinely intrigued with where the Japanese brand was heading in terms of corporate design language.

The 2015 Murano CUV was one of Nissan’s first models to showcase a change in styling direction, and news of the next Maxima adopting this new corporate aesthetic sounded tantalizingly promising. Finally, a carmaker with the plums to stand out from a sea of beige FWD large sedans.

With that in mind it was decided to remove the horrible tape, cladding and camouflage of those spy-shot caught test mules and digitally reveal the Maxima of 2015.

Brash New Design:

Comparing old with new, one will immediately notice its sleek, avant-garde styling. While the outgoing ‘max’ was never really a bad looker, its Volvo-like grille and awkward headlights could have been better resolved.

For 2016, the look is much more dramatic at the front end; with redesigned boomerang headlights, ‘V-shaped’ grille and air intakes. Much of the show-car’s character lines starting from the fenders leading into the doors have made production, as has the floating roof.

On The Inside:

Whilst many of the Sports Sedan Concept’s elements have made production, the overall proportions are less coupe-like in exchange for better interior packaging.

Cue better rear head and legroom with an overall ambience of improved perceived quality, materials and switchgear. Along with a raft of technical goodies to be best in class, one can only hope the fresh exterior theme is mimicked on the inside.

What Could Drive It:

Powertrain options should follow on from the MY2014’s; so cue a 3.5-liter V6, mated to an Xtronic CVT for optimum fuel economy…and not much else. Sadly, power will still be fed to the front wheels, however expect Nissan to tweak suspension geometry for an more engaging driving experience.

There also has been rumor of the Pathfinder’s hybrid system making an appearance. This setup would combine an supercharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder petrol with an electric motor for an output of 250 horsepower plus.

Market Positioning:

Nissan potentially has a major advantage compared to the opposition; the larger sedan market is not the healthiest, with opponents merely making do with staid redesigns and little boundary-pushing. The 2016MY Maxima could carve out an niche, with stunning sports-car inspired styling that breaks from tradition.

Competitors such as Toyota’s Avalon, Hyundai Azera, Ford Taurus and Buick LaCrosse aren’t exactly the most inspirational sedans out there. Sure, they’re roomy, however they’re more for those whom prioritize golf clubs and cigars than carving up mountain roads. This is Nissan’s opportunity to pounce and lure people back to the sedan segment.

A full reveal is expected early next year, before it goes on sale in the third or fourth quarter of 2015.

Tell us your thoughts in the discussion area below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

Photo Gallery

  • emjayay

    Here I go again: Plus for innovation. But really, way too much going on for no reason. I think Chris Bangle did open up higher end car design with his awful BMWs, which seems like a good thing despite their awfulness which BMW tried to mitigate whenever they were facelifted.

    But really not, because designers – particularly those working for Japanese companies – have gone for all kinds of over-sculptured designs without necessarily real design progress. This Maxima has a whole bunch of stylistic ideas all over it, assembled into a sort of coherent whole. But really, what’s the point? It’s some normal car wearing a whole bunch of mod clothes. And Nissan has been generally falling in reliability ratings. And the newest minivan out there, the Nissan Quest, totally failed in the offside crash test.

    On the other hand, I am a fan of the Versa hatchback, either the old Clio based one when a French guy was in charge, or even the new one. Cheap, practical, coherent designs ruled more by practicality than mass market image.

    But ultimately a car company (or any capitalistic enterprise) is about maximizing profit. It they sell, that’s what it’s about.

    • nissan quest is not the newest minivan, it is a rebadge nissan elgrand which was build in 2009, they both share the same platform and body and based off the forum concept in 2008, the only difference is the face lift.

      when you talk about reliability you need to take a deeper look, because the quest is very reliable, the nissan versa is reliable, the frontier is reliable, the maxima is reliable,and the 370 z, nissan vehicles that have hiccups the pathfinder CVt (which is now sorted out), nissan altima 3.5 V6 CVt (which is sorted out), the Altima 2.4 was based on perception as people did not hear the transmission shifting and the Armanda have some issue, nissan headache is their infotainment system INTOUCH, yes , that nissan biggest issue, nothing to really do much with powertrain, gone are the days which reflect only powertrain, everything now is consider in reliability, so when you see a ratings it does not necessarily means the powertrain.

    • vantageman1

      people knocked bangle but his designs not only sold very well but they also inspired other automakers to emuate. So no mattter what you or other people like you think design sells cars bottom line.

  • john1168

    I don’t like this new rendering. The old (blue) one was waaaayyy better. I’m sure it’ll be a great fwd car. However, I’m hoping my next car will be awd or rwd.

  • RCW89

    this looks ugly

  • Shobin Drogan

    i think the headlights shuold resemble more like the altima, to make the rest of the car work

  • dumblikeyou2

    Toyota Mirai, you’ve met your match.

    • Six_Tymes


  • Nik

    I hope no, its looks like KIA!

  • Bo Hanan

    The segment needed a shock. Here it is. The design is bold and polarizing in an unapologetic way.
    They will sell everyone of them- once people get over the shock. Think Maxima, two generations ago.

  • MarketAndChurch

    The front end looks squashed, as does most of the rest of the car. I think the design would have had a chance had it been slightly angled more sideways to take weight(visually speaking) off the front end, and balance that weight out over the length of the car. And if this is going to be a tall car, like the Chevy Malibu and Chrysler 300, then maybe angle the camera from above to capture a longer hood. As it stands, that could be a Sentra, perhaps even more so, then a Maxima.

  • BlackPegasus

    Not sure what to make of this. It is the production version right? I’d need to see more before forming an opinion.

    • Zandit75

      No, this is someone’s render based on what he believes will be the production model from the concepts that have come recently.

    • Rich Money

      notice how the headlights are not aligned and the perspective one the grille/bumper (far section is wider than near section) is wrong.

      this is a photo-chop.

  • jh

    looks like someone desperatly is looking for some new lines….

  • Duke Woolworth

    Way too much going on here for no reason.

  • Miroku

    fat and ugly…

  • MG


  • JK

    …and will be powered by ancient the Nissan VQ motor.

  • ChrisInIL

    I’ve decided I’m going to do only one word car reviews on Carscoops. This is my first.


  • An Existing Person

    The segment needed a change. Here is that change. The design is a bit risky, considering how picky people are becoming these days. But overall, it’s a bold design, that I’m sure will sell great.

  • Kelton

    I’m in love with this new look, and that burnt orange color does it a lot of justice. I’m a HUGE fan of the Maxima, but would be most happy if not only the concept shown on the auto show was produced, but to also be a AWD or RWD sedan…👍👍👍

    • Eric E

      They will never produce an AWD Nissan sedan. Well, that’s a lie–they already did, it’s called Infiniti.

  • cooper

    Will it still have that crappy cvt like the old maxima ?

    • anonymous

      Yes but with a bit more horses

  • The Truth In Engineering

    I hope Nissan doesn’t go with this design because it is too much going on here … are we talking about a front-wheel drive sedan or a compact crossover trying to be the Nissan Rogue with a muscular body. It sorta looks like a Grand Turismo sedan built for Nurburgring, Germany to take on Nissan’s GTR around the tracks for bragging rights. This entire artisan time was a waste of hard work and an effort to make something exquisite to look and read about. Nice try, though.

  • babyboi69


  • Jonathan

    Good grief, this digital recreation of the new Maxima looks horrible. What the hell happened to the menacing front end? The Sports Sedan Concept looks ferocious and something that I’d drive; this digital recreation looks like something that belongs on a conservative family sedan. No, wait…looks like it belongs on a Toyota Camry. Jeez.

  • carguy

    the car ruined the concept car, its ugly specially the front lights.

  • Kiyoshi Manabe

    Her rear quarter piller has some reminiscent of the Citroen XM.
    As a whole, the 2016 Nissan Maxima has strong personality among fierce American medium-large segment!!

  • High Altitudes

    MASSIVE FAIL! There will be tons of these sitting unwanted on the lots. I’ve had 4 Maximas since 1993 (94, 97, 03, 12) and the ’12 will probably be my last if this new model is what I have to move to. I’m really starting to like the Infiniti Q60 coupe and that may be my next car (would like to stay in the family) if it turns out closer to it’s concept than this abomination.

  • JB

    We love the NIssan Maxima “family” and currently own 2: Maxima 2000 and Maxima 2010. The power of the 2010 is notably better than 2000, but when Nissan added all the features into 2010, it lost it’s sporty feel & appeal. The 2000 designer took the perspective of the driver and made everything convenient: the trunk opener on the door, created 1 control to adjust the outside mirrors & provided different molds for the cup holders. The 2000 Bose speakers sounded like surround sound, where 2010’s back speakers are barely there – we actually thought they were defective from the factory! With almost 230,000 miles on our 2000, it’s still the car of choice to drive!
    So if the Maxima designers are reading this, the true Maxima fans buy the car because it has the performance and feel of a sports car, rather than appearing as a sports car but drives like a family sedan. Our Maxima made errands or long drives fun.
    Lastly, the price point is important. The Maxima was always about $5K more than we wanted to pay – but still within reach at about $28K-$30. If it changes to a $38K-$40K vehicle, we may have no choice but to abandon our fist love.

  • Judging from those sides and the front its reminds me of the GTR!

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