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The 2021 Nissan Maxima feels sophisticated while also sporting a modern, fresh design. It would be a great car to choose if anyone likes the idea of driving something that's more athletic than the average sedan.
Nissan has done a good job in making the Maxima attractive. The car is powerful and packed with high-tech features, and it has many edgy stylistic details. That being said, it does have a price tag that reflects its quality, but there are going to be many consumers who think that the cost of a new Maxima would certainly be justified.
When choosing which sedan to get, dimensions can be important. Most people want sedans that have enough space to comfortably accommodate five people on occasion, and having a decent-sized trunk can make a car much more practical. With this Nissan model, there is 34.2 inches of leg room in the back. Up front, there's plenty of space, with up to 45 inches of leg room. The trunk has a volume of just over 14 cubic feet.
Compare the 2021 Nissan Maxima SV vs SR Trim Levels. What is the difference?
These first two trims, like all the other Maxima trims, use 3.5-liter V6 engines. This type of engine does an excellent job, coming with 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Anyone who loves how exciting it can be to hit the gas pedal and feel the engine really hum will be very satisfied with this amount of capability. Mileage is estimated to be 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 20 miles per gallon in the city.
Nissan has paired the V6 with a front-wheel drivetrain. The transmission that the car uses is called Xtronic CVT. CVT stands for continuously variable transmission, and it comes with a drive mode selector so that people can better optimize performance in various situations. The first difference between the SV and the SR trims is that the SR has paddle shifters. These can be fun to use when drivers want to mimic how it feels to be in control of a car with a manual transmission.
Another enhancement in the SR trim is a sport-tuned suspension. This suspension system can more adeptly handle the rigors experienced when accelerating and taking turns at higher speeds. The system includes stiffer springs and a front stabilizer bar that's larger than the standard one.
In many ways, the SR trim feels more edgy and performance-oriented than the base model, the SV. This theme continues when looking at the exterior features of the car.
First, the SR sits on 19-inch wheels instead of 18-inch wheels. It has LED fog lights to improve visibility, black exterior accents, a black V-Motion grille in the front, and black exhaust finishers. The SR's panoramic moonroof can be opened with the touch of a button, and it really lets in a lot of natural light since it comes with two large panels.
The side mirrors on the SV are heated and have turn signal indicators built into them. On the SR, there are those same features, in addition to a reverse tilt-down function. With this function, people can more easily see parking guidelines, the curb, or other obstacles that may need to be accounted for when backing up. The driver's side mirror on the SR also has an auto-dimming ability to cut down on glare at night.
When moving to the inside of the cabin, one can see many similarities between the SV and the SR. Both feel upscale with a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. It's actually quite impressive that the SV has all of these features, considering that it's the entry-level model.
In the SR, there are even more things to appreciate. The driver's seat and exterior mirrors have a memory function so they can be quickly positioned. The front seats can be heated and cooled, and the driver's seat has a thigh support extension to provide more comfort. Making things cozier in the colder months is a heated steering wheel.
The SR does have leather seats, but it uses a premium Ascot leather, and this leather has Alcantara quilted inserts. Alcantara is a synethic material is almost like suede. That same type of leather and insert is found on the steering wheel. Aluminum pedals and a charcoal headliner further enhance the sporty vibe of the SR.
Technology has become such an integral part of everyday life, so it makes sense that Nissan has incorporated many high-tech elements into the Maxima. An eight-inch center touchscreen and a seven-inch driver information display are both standard. Wi-Fi capability, smartphone compatibility, and SiriusXM are standard as well.
This next part is going to impress a lot of consumers - the 2021 Nissan Maxima comes standard with navigation. Regardless of what trim is selected, a driver can utilize integrated navigation to stay on track, get turn-by-turn directions to new locations, and stay updated on travel conditions with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link.
The SR has been upgraded with a Bose premium audio system. It has 11 speakers and uses special technology to enhance the quality of the sound. A complementary feature is Active Noise Cancellation, which works to keep out engine and exterior noise from the cabin. One minor difference between the two trims is that the SR has four total USB ports whereas the SV has two USB ports. This matters in situations where all the passengers would like their various devices to be charged.
There are a few more convenient amenities built into the SR. It has a HomeLink transceiver, eliminating the need for a separate garage door opener. Plus, it has ambient LED lighting that can be adjusted according to the driver's preferences. Both the SV and SR have a dual-zone climate system, remote engine start, and windows that can be lowered by using a Nissan Intelligent Key.
There aren't too many ways in which the SV is distinct from the SR in terms of safety features. How they differ can be important, though. Among other systems, the SV has forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. These are all advanced driver-assist systems that are becoming more commonplace in the industry, and they can warn drivers about potential problems and help drivers avoid accidents.
The SR has the addition of a sonar system to help people avoid obstacles while parking. It also has an all-around monitor to give drivers a greater perspective of where they are in relation to nearby objects. The SR only has a rearview monitor. One more thing that the SR has is Intelligent Lane Intervention. With this program, the car can "see" lane markings and can gently correct steering to keep the car centered in a lane.
Compare the 2021 Nissan Maxima SR vs Platinum Trim. What is the difference?
In general, the Platinum seems more like a high-end luxury model than the SR does. While it might not have the athletic detailing that the SR does, it has more premium features. Nissan hasn't incorporated paddle shifters or the sport-tuned suspension into the Platinum, but it has equipped the Platinum with chrome quad-tipped exhaust finishers.
The main differences between the SR and Platinum are found inside the cabin. The steering wheel on the Platinum is power-adjustable, and the memory system has been expanded. The Platinum can remember someone's favorite positions of the side mirrors, steering wheel, and driver's seat. It can be quite the luxury experience to push one button and have everything move into place. There is even a power sunshade on the rear window, and the wipers on the Platinum can automatically turn on when the vehicle senses rain.
It was mentioned that the SR has Ascot leather seats with Alcantara inserts. On the Platinum, those Alcantara inserts are replaced with diamond-quilted leather. Yes, this means the Platinum has premium leather seats with premium leather inserts. Available on the Platinum are heated rear seats if people want their passengers to get the royal treatment. The trim inside the cabin is a satin Bird's-eye maple wood, and this adds to the elegance of the car. In contrast, the SR has a satin dark chrome interior trim.
The SR's safety package is outstanding, and Nissan kept it the same on the Platinum. The is not a bad thing by any means; rather, it shows just how well-equipped the SR is in terms of driver-assist technology.
Compare the 2021 Nissan Maxima Platinum vs 40th Anniversary Edition. What is the difference?
To commemorate the long history of the Maxima, Nissan has made a 40th Anniversary Edition. It feels similar to the Platinum in some ways, but it does come with a more aggressive aesthetic. It's the one to pick if a particular customer prefers buying something unique and memorable.
When looking at the 40th Anniversary Edition from the outside, some observant people may notice that it has different wheels than the Platinum has. There are 40th Anniversary Edition gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels instead of machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels. Many of the exterior elements seen in the SR are brought back in the Platinum. For instance, it has a Black V-Motion grille, black badging, and black quad-tipped exhaust finishers.
This special trim comes with a two-tone paint scheme. Nissan has matched a Ruby Slate Gray Pearl with Super Black. This dark-on-dark color scheme is cool and sleek.
The 40th Anniversary Edition is the only trim to have heated rear seats. Making it more unique are red semi-aniline leather seats with embossing. Its steering wheel has contrast stitching to add yet another bold element. While the aluminum sport pedals weren't put into this special edition Maxima, it does have white gauge faces that are similar to what one may find on a sports car.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Nissan Maxima would be a treat for anyone to drive. Nissan has done its customers a favor by making a V6 engine standard on this car. Every trim is powerful and full of potential.
Since it's not a secret that budget is going to be a constraining factor for the majority of consumers, the 40th Anniversary Edition isn't the most recommended trim. It costs more than $45,270, and the average customer looking into getting a Nissan likely won't be prepared to spend that much money.
Even the Platinum is a bit pricey. Sure, it comes with full leather seats and a power-adjustable steering column, but those things won't be missed too much if people choose to stick with the SR.
The SR has a more reasonable starting cost, and it includes some nice bonuses. It's the only trim to have paddle shifters and the higher-quality suspension. This makes it a true pleasure to drive. Its leather seats with Alcantara inserts feel like premium components, and the SR's 11-speaker audio system and a 360-degree camera system adds to its attractiveness.
• Compare the 2020 Nissan Maxima Trim Levels