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Nissan upgrades Maxima

Maxima attack: Nissan’s large sedan gets an upgrade but remains under threat from the next-generation US Altima that may appear soon in production guise.

No price change for under-threat Nissan Maxima despite extra equipment for 2012

15 Nov 2011

NISSAN Australia has introduced an integrated Bluetooth hands-free system with steering wheel controls across its Maxima large sedan as part of a lightly revised 2012 model year line-up.

Prices remain unchanged, with the entry-level 250ST-L priced from $33,990 plus on-road costs, the more sporty 350ST-S from $37,990 and the range-topping 350Ti from $46,990.

The flagship 350Ti model – which previously came with the Bluetooth function – gets two new safety features in the form of adaptive headlights and a side camera that shows the front-left side of the vehicle.

Nissan’s Side View Camera is located on the passenger side mirror and allows the driver to view what is a common vehicle blind-spot through the car’s satellite-navigation monitor.

The company believes the forward-facing camera – which can be turned on and off via a button on the centre console as required – enhances safety by assisting the driver with parking and visibility of small objects.

Nissan’s new Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) automatically turns on low beam according to vehicle speed and adjusts the lighting pattern based on steering input to enhance night time visibility by compensating for the curve of the road.

12 center imageAn innovation of the Nissan adaptive lighting system is that the left-hand low beam light also illuminates the chosen direction of travel when the driver stops at a crossroad, based on the position of the direction indicator.

The Maxima 350Ti also gains an “intelligent” rear sunshade that can be raised at the flick of a switch to protect rear seat passengers from the sun, yet retracts automatically when reverse gear is selected to aid driver visibility.

The entry-level Maxima is powered by a 2.5-litre V6 engine developing 134kW of power and 228Nm of torque while the ‘350’ models get a 3.5-litre V6 producing 185kW and 326Nm.

Both drive through a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The seventh-generation Maxima was introduced in Australia in April 2009 and has been a niche but consistent performer for the brand, regularly selling about 150 units a month.

Sales are down 1.4 per cent for the first 10 months of this year (to 1471), despite a 16.7 per cent increase in October over the same month last year.

The Maxima has been a mainstay for the company in Australia for two decades, but its future in this country is under a cloud as local buyers turn their backs on large cars in general.

Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Dan Thompson earlier this year revealed the company is looking to introduce the slightly smaller fourth-generation Altima, a genuine medium-size car that is expected to debut soon in the United States.

Although the Altima has been a predominantly US-market model, the latest generation is destined for global markets, including Europe, and could also provide Nissan Australia with its first hybrid model, which would compete directly with the locally built Toyota Camry Hybrid.

MY12 Nissan Maximapricing (plus on-road costs):
250 ST-L&nbsp $33,990
350 ST-S $37,990
350 Ti $46,990

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