2016 Nissan Maxima is the latest evolution of the 4-door sports car

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NEW YORK — It’s something of a curious concept, that of a four-door sedan with sporting pretensions, but Nissan has been making it work for the better part of 40 years now with the Maxima. It’s doing it again with this, the 2016 model.

As with most new generations of cars, the new Maxima is bigger than the old. 2.2 inches longer, to be exact, but it does sit a full 1.3 inches lower, dropping the center of gravity. There’s less gravity to worry about, too, thanks to a weight loss of 82 pounds. That, plus a boost in power (up to 300 from the 3.5-liter V-6), means this should certainly be the quickest Maxima yet. At 30 MPG, it’s pretty frugal, too.

It’s also pretty good looking. The Maxima has been the subject of many dramatic redesigns over the years, radically changing face from one generation to the next, and the 2016 model is yet another major reboot. But, a good one, with flowing lines across both fenders, a dramatic front fascia and a swept-back profile that exhibits far more sporting character than the outgoing model.

It’s new on the inside, too, with more luxe materials than before and a new layout that places all important controls close to hand for the driver, including an 8-inch touchscreen. There’s a Bose active noise-cancellation system to keep things quiet in there, but Nissan says that when you hit the Sport button it’ll actually turn around and give you more noise. Hurray for technology. 

A wealth of new driver aids have been applied, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure, pedestrian avoidance and even a system that will tell you if you’re getting a little too sleepy. The car won’t brew a cup of coffee for you, but it will tell you when you might want to go pick one up.

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