Celebrating 40 Years of the Nissan Maxima
It’s been four decades since the first Nissan Maxima rolled off the assembly line. Dubbed the “four-door sports car” by Nissan, this model holds the honor of being Nissan’s longest-running nameplate in America. Here’s a look back at the history of the automaker’s flagship sedan.
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Eight generations of history
Nissan’s flagship sedan first bore the Maxima nameplate in the 1981 model year. However, you can trace the model’s heritage back further, to the Datsun 810 Bluebird, which hailed from the 1970s. The 810 was essentially a larger version of the popular Datsun 510. After leaving behind the 810 name, the Maxima gained some sporty features, including the engine of the beloved Datsun 240Z and a five-speed manual transmission. While that doesn’t sound like many gears by today’s standards, most vehicles back in those days offered a four-speed transmission.
When the second-generation Maxima rolled up in 1985, it gained a V6 mill, front-wheel drive, and an available station wagon configuration. The third generation, which debuted in 1989, cemented the model’s sporty reputation with its 160-horsepower engine. The fourth-gen Maxima arrived in 1995, and it offered 30 additional horsepower, a bigger body, and a fresh new engine. Those improvements earned it a spot on the Car and Driver’s 10 Best list, and the title of Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year.
The millennium brought the fifth generation of the Maxima, which upped the ante by adding a 255-horsepower engine. But the model didn’t gain its emphasis on upscale amenities until 2004 when the sixth-gen model debuted. The seventh-generation was a landmark in the model’s design, giving the Maxima a bolder look to go along with its new 290-horsepower engine.
The current-gen Maxima hit dealer lots in 2016, with updated styling and class-leading standard safety technology. New for the 2021 model year, you’ll be able to opt for an exclusive 40th Anniversary Edition package to dress up your Maxima.
Don’t Miss Out: Drive home in your very own Nissan Maxima
The latest Maxima model is slated to arrive at dealerships during the fall of 2020. Aside from that, details are currently scarce on the 2021 Nissan Maxima. When more information drops, you can catch it right here at The News Wheel.
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.