The News Wheel
No Comments

History of the Nissan Maxima

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Red 2021 Nissan Maxima driving on highway with mountains and trees in the distance
2021 Nissan Maxima
Photo: Nissan

The Nissan Maxima was created for the family driver who wanted an exhilarating behind-the-wheel experience. With that in mind, Nissan marketed the Maxima as the “four-door sports car. The Maxima continues to deliver on that claim after over four decades of production and has taken over as Nissan’s flagship sedan.

Nissan News: Safety Shield 360 is now standard on 10 Nissan models

Early history and updates

The Maxima nameplate was introduced in 1980 as a 1981 model under the Datsun brand. It was a variant of the Japanese Bluebird (910) model with a larger front end to accommodate its bigger engine. For over 20 years, the Maxima was built exclusively in Oppama, Japan. It wasn’t until 2004 that the model was assembled at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant. The first-generation Maxima ran until 1984 and was available as a four-door sedan or a five-door station wagon. It came with two engine options and the choice of a four-speed automatic transmission and a unique five-speed manual.

Over the course of the Maxima’s second to seventh generations, Nissan made several updates to the model to improve driving experience. This includes the addition of paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, upgraded powertrains, and advanced safety systems like a RearView Monitor. By the end of the model’s seventh generation in 2014, it was equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission. Horsepower had jumped from 118 hp to 290 hp in 34 years.

A mid-1980s Nissan Maxima being driven in New York
A lot has changed since this version of the Maxima was for sale
Photo: Mr.choppers via CC

Super Sedan: Get the full details on the 2021 Nissan Maxima

Recent generation

The Nissan Maxima entered its eighth generation in 2016. Rumors have been circulating on forums regarding the popular sedan possibly heading into its ninth generation closer to 2023 after the debut of Nissan’s all-electric Ariya. The 2021 Maxima, celebrating the model’s 40th anniversary, is equipped with a 300-hp V6 engine and has even more advanced tech inside like smartphone connectivity, driver-assist systems, and an available Bose 11-speaker audio system.