The Nissan Maxima is a full-size car manufactured by Nissan, marketed as the "four-door sports car". The Maxima debuted in July 1976 as an upscale version of the Bluebird and was spun into its own line in 1981, having been made continuously since then. Most pre-2004 Maximas were built in Oppama, Japan, until the current North American Maximas started being assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.The Maxima models are also known as Nissan Cefiro or Nissan Laurel in various markets.
Standard safety equipment for every 2011 Nissan Maxima includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active head restraints. A rearview camera is optional on SV models. In Edmunds brake testing, Maximas with both the Premium and Sport packages came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet -- a bit longer than average for this price range.
In government crash tests, the Maxima scored a perfect five out of five stars sweep for frontal- and side-impact protection for all occupants. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Maxima its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection, but got the second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.
The 2011 Maxima's interior is as upscale as you'll find in the Nissan lineup. The cabin is understated and surrounds passengers with high-quality materials worthy of the sedan's luxury-car price tag. When combined with the Premium or Sport packages, the cabin is on even footing with its pricier Infiniti G37 cousin. We're especially fond of the Maxima's optional iPod interface, which is one of the best.
Within the ample, adult-size cabin, the front seats blend support and soft cushioning. The executive-style rear bucket seats are comfortable and stylish. The standard 60/40-split rear seats can fold down for bulkier items, but the optional bucket rear seats offer just a center pass-through for longer objects.