Nissan Maxima Updated for 2007
Announced Alongside All New 2007 Altima
Introduced at the 2006 New York auto show barely ahead of early summer 2006 sales was an update for the Nissan Maxima. The information on the update for the Maxima could be lost amid the much bigger news of the all new Nissan Altima premium mid-size car also introduced at New York. VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents were among the first to get a look at the updated car in New York.
With the new Altima shrinking in size a bit (on sale a couple of months after the Maxima), Nissan dealers may have an easier time separating the two products. Of course, the 2007 Altima launches with more horsepower (265HP plus) from an all-new version of Nissan’s VQ 3.5L V6, while Maxima continues with the current 255HP version.
Exterior Tweaks for Fresh Look
Gone is the difficult-to-clean toothy grille in favor of simple horizontal bars. With the changes to Nissan’s lineup for 2007MY, the toothy grille pattern is excised from the lineup. It never looked that great, and rumors are that owners didn’t like how difficult it was to clean. The updated face includes a new hood, new bumper with integrated foglights, and new headlights. Rear taillights carryover, but the rear bumper is new, as are the rear spoiler and side sills. The rear bumper update includes integrating optional sonar-based rear-parking assist. Minor exterior changes are new wheels and redesigned dual tailpipe finishers. Below are photos of old and new Maximas.
Nissan’s Quest to Improve Interiors
More significant are the changes to the interior, which are meant to improve look, quality, and feel. Nissan has done well with exterior styling and powertrain development, but has found themselves needing to update interiors after launch. This Maxima interior update arrives about the same time as an update to the Quest interior and after the company had to significantly enhance the 2005MY Altima’s interior. Going forward, this is an area where Nissan needs to improve from launch of new products rather than fixing poor material quality along the way.
Maxima’s new-for-2007MY interior includes a redesigned center stack with easier-to-use controls and new gauges that offer improved readability. The number of buttons for controlling audio, HVAC, and navigation has been reduced. Interior trim is updated, with brushed aluminum on the 3.5 SE and a new fake wood on the 3.5 SL. Both models get new chrome accents around the transmission shift lever plate and door panels. When leather seats are ordered, simulated leather is used on the door panels and cowl finisher instead of fabric. Seats offer larger shoulder bolsters and the sliding center armrest is redesigned.
Added convenience features, along with the optional cornering headlights and rear-parking assist, include standard Intelligent Key, auxiliary input jack, and optional six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability.
Nissan continues to offer front seat side-impact and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags as standard equipment for Maxima buyers, along with front-seat active head restraints. Traction control and ABS with brake assistance are standard, with Vehicle Dynamic Control on the options list.
Six-Speed Manual Dropped
The powertrain changes a bit for 2007, with Nissan’s move toward more extensive use of continuously variable transmissions. With the 2007MY, Maxima drops the six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions in favor of a CVT. The horsepower rating on the 3.5L V6 has been changed from 265HP to 255HP, a result of the changes to the SAE formula.