Nissan (10 of 12)For decades, Nissan has had a strong tie between driving and having fun, with engineering enthusiasm that borders on the ultra-geeky – and I like that. So, naturally, that would extend to the all new 2015 Nissan Maxima.

The design was inspired by a visit to the Naval Air Station Pensacola where design and development teams spent some quality time with the Blue Angels, taking queues from the intense exterior styling and ergonomic layout of the cockpit.

The wraparound windshield and floating roof is a tribute to the canopy of the fighter jets used by America’s military. At the same time, they’ve spent a lot of time on the interior, too, giving it the same feel of cockpit-ness and comfort to drivers and passengers alike.

Credit: Nissan
Credit: Nissan

Sitting in it, felt less like a confusing button-filled cockpit and more like a techies dream.

There’s a combined 15-inches of screen in the dash of the Maxima, a 7-inch screen in the dash cluster and another 8-inch screen for navigation and more. The Alcantara leather allows one to snuggly sink into the NASA-inspired ‘Zero Gravity’ seats of the Maxima.

While increasing luxury of the Maxima, they’ve also trimmed weight by 82lbs and added power, so you’ll get there with a bit of oomph.

Credit: Nissan
Credit: Nissan

The new engine was redesigned and has taken some technology from the Nissan GTR, such as the sodium filled exhaust valves which diverts heat away from the combustion chamber and a stiffer oil pan for reduction in vibration and noise, resulted in increasing the output of horsepower per liter.

All the new engine improvements have given the 2016 Maxima an increase of 86 horsepower per Liter and a new fuel efficiency rating of a combined 25 mpg.

Part of that comes from the engine’s XTronic tuning for increased acceleration and efficiency. D-step programming, which is also included on the Nissan Rogue, adapts the shift control based on throttle and g-sensor for performance driving.

The D-step threw me off a little bit, in the Maxima and the Nissan Rogue, because it’s not the normal sounding change in gears that I’m used to. It’s less of a change and more lateral slide with more power. Not a bad thing, just … different.

Created by driving enthusiasts for driving enthusiasts, the dramatically styled 2016 Nissan Maxima looks like nothing else on the road today - and drives like nothing in the segment. The all-new Nissan flagship not only resets Maxima's iconic "4-Door Sports Car" positioning, it sets a new standard for style, performance and technology in the large sedan segment.
Quilted leather seats.

While there are going to be five grades of Maxima, the levels will have the same technology and tuning (except for the SR Model). Instead, the differences will include luxury items, such as leather to quilted leather (Platinum), a panoramic moonroof (SL), a telescopic steering column (Platinum) or heated front seats and mirrors (SV).

The new 2016 Nissan Maxima starts at $32,410 for the base ‘S’ model, and heads up to $30,860 for the Platinum model.