Tested: 2016 Nissan Maxima SR

2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition
2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition

Maxima 4DSC The Original Family Fun-Haver

I have many fond memories of the Maxima from my high school days. It was the mid-to-late ’90s when my best friend often arrived in my driveway or out front of school to pick me up in his mom’s third-generation 1992 GXE model. He also owned a Mazda RX-7 10th Anniversary Edition (may it R.I.P.) during our school days, and I could go on and on with stories about his second-gen Nissan Pulsar NX. It was when we were cruising around in the Maxima though that we felt like rock stars rollin’ ’round in total luxury.

It had lots of cool features, including a sonar system to help navigate tight confines, and windows and a moonroof that could be opened without the key. I used to liken it to riding on a big, puffy couch with wheels – one that could haul ass when needed thanks to its 190-horsepower three-litre V6 engine. It had a four-speed automatic with comfort and sport modes, and Nissan even stuck a 4DSC sticker in the window, thus denoting is as the “four-door sports car.” And, in our minds, it was just that.

Like it did on the third-gen Maxima, Nissan is once again playing the 4DSC card for all trims, essentially trumping up the performance potential of its beloved four-door sports car.

2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition
2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition

The sportiest member of the clan is the SR seen here. This 4DSC gets a number of exclusive touches, including a stiffer sport-tuned Macpherson front and multi-link rear suspension with a hollow front stabilizer bar and beefier solid rear sway bar, as well as a front performance body damper with front strut tower and trunk reinforcement. It’s a sporty setup that handles corners confidently, but Nissan hasn’t tuned out all of the torque steer.

To me, the exterior doesn’t look muscular, which is the intent, but rather portly or stocky, much like a natural middleweight boxer that’s packed on some extra poundage to fight in a higher weight class. Despite looking like an overstuffed in-law that’s eaten too much turkey and stuffing during a holiday family feast, it does have some redeeming qualities. The 19-inch diamond-cut aluminum-alloy wheels, LED headlights, daytime runners and taillights (look closely and you’ll find the 4DSC moniker hidden here) are good examples. Even the front and rear sonar system is standard on the SR. The chrome-tipped dual exhaust system is a nice touch but, again, power heated side mirrors with LED turn signals are more luxe than sport.

2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition
2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition

Okay, let’s be honest, this is no Nismo product, and the thought or tracking this car (even for a handful of laps) makes me cringe. It’s not that it couldn’t hack it (with the right upgrades, any car can be made track ready), it’s just not its strength. So, what is this car’s strength? Being sporty with a large helping of comfort and convenience features, of course.

Continue reading my review of the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR on the IGNITION MAGAZINE website!

2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition
2016 Nissan Maxima SR | Shaun Keenan for Ignition