2021 Nissan Maxima 1

2021 Nissan Maxima: A Detailed Walk Around Nissan’s Big Sedan

The 2021 Nissan Maxima is now available at Nissan dealerships across the United States. Despite what some may say about sedans, not every consumer is sold on a truck or an SUV. Although there may well be an SUV on every street in America, the Maxima has soldiered on, garnering positive accolades from J.D. Power and achieving a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for five straight years. 

Here are the important details if you are thinking about parking a 2021 Nissan Maxima in your driveway. 

What Does The 2021 Nissan Maxima Cost? 

There are three trim levels for the 2021 Maxima: SV, SR, and Platinum. The SV starts at $36,990, while the SR begins $42,150. The Platinum, at the top of the range, starts at $42,220. A special 40th Anniversary Edition package is available for the Platinum for an additional $2,125.

Regardless of which Maxima you pick, tack on another $995 for destination and handling. 

2021 Nissan 40th Anniversary Edition Maxima.
2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition. Photo: Nissan North America.

2021 Nissan Maxima: Engine & Powertrain

Under the hood of the new Maxima is a 3.5-liter VQ-Series V6 with 300 horsepower and 261 lb-ft. of torque. Paired to the engine is Nissan’s Xtronic transmission with a wide gear ratio to help with acceleration and fuel economy. Nissan’s largest sedan is front-wheel drive only.

The new Maxima comes with a Drive Mode Selector too, which includes a Sport mode for fun. In Sport mode, the Maxima’s engine is more responsive, and the Xtronic transmission will hold gears for longer.

Essential Foundations

An independent subframe-mounted strut with coil spring supports the 2021 Nissan Maxima at the front. The rear suspension comprises of an independent multi-link double-wishbone design with ZF Sachs dampers. The new Maxima also employs larger stabilizer bars, both front (26 mm) and rear (26.5 mm).

In addition to the robust mechanical components, every Maxima includes Nissan’s Integrated Dynamic-Control Module (IDM) system, which should help soften the ride. One such feature of the IDM system, Intelligent Ride Control, uses the brakes (what Nissan dubs as “targeted brake applications”) to mitigate the effects of a rough or bumpy road.

2021 Nissan Maxima on the open road.
2021 Nissan Maxima on the open road. Photo: Nissan North America.

Interior Treatments: Tech & Comfort

On the inside, the 2021 Maxima treats the driver and front passenger to Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats. The patented design includes three layers of foam, additional bolstering, and an option for premium Ascot leather. Heated seats are standard on the SR and Platinum while the rear seats feature a 60/40 split fold-down design.

The general theme of the interior is something Nissan calls a “Gliding Wing” layout, one they devised so all the controls would be within easy reach. Nissan wants the Maxima to be seen as a driver-centric vehicle, and borrowed elements from the GT-R to accomplish the task. One of the best examples is how the center stack tilts (by seven degrees) towards the driver, something that is a characteristic of the GT-R.

Every new Maxima comes with NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM. This allows drivers to access their Maxima via a smartphone or smartwatch (what will they think of next?!). Such features include the remote start, remote door lock and unlock, and valet alert among others. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability is standard on every 2021 Maxima, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot.

2021 Nissan Maxima interior layout.
2021 Nissan Maxima interior layout. Nissan uses what they call a “floating” center console, which helps put all of the essential vehicle functions within easy reach. Photo: Nissan North America.

Safety & Security

The 2021 Nissan Maxima is standard with the automaker’s Safety Shield 360 package. The suite of advanced safety features includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking.

SR and Platinum trim levels receive a standard 360-degree surround-view camera. Additionally, the 2021 Nissan Maxima offers the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with an easy-fill alert.


The 2021 Nissan Maxima is available now. You can pick from seven different exterior colors: Super Black, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Deep Blue Pearl, Pearl White TriCoat, Carnelian Red Tintcoat, and Sunset Drift. Also available is the 40th Anniversary Edition’s exclusive two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl with a black roof.

If you like Nissan cars, but don’t need something as big as the Maxima, the 2021 Altima has a modest starting MSRP and an option for all-wheel drive. 

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, is a past president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: Nissan North America.