Nissan Maxima: Judging for 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors

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A beauty of form meets the wonders of function inside the Nissan Maxima, one of our Wards 10 Best Interiors winners. 

Nissan designers drew inspiration from fighter jets when they did the Maxima. But they knew enough not to overwhelm the flagship sedan’s cockpit with a bunch of gadgetry that would look busy and risk putting a driver into sensory overload.

Instead, they made the interior a lovely place to be. It makes a great first impression and a lasting one.

There is superb craftsmanship and an exquisite selection of materials such as the ‘Liquid Chrome’ metallic trim and Alcantara diamond-quilted seating surfaces. Even the two-tone, flat-bottom steering wheel is a work of art.

Nissan took some chances with the Maxima interior, but the rewards are evident. It is warm and inviting while striking and edgy at the same time. And it goes up against more expensive luxury vehicles.

In some respects, less is more in the Maxima. Nissan reduced the number of switches and buttons from 25 in the previous model to 10. That cuts down on clutter, but doesn’t sacrifice connectivity and infotainment capability.

That’s all there but in an integrated, clever, easy-to-use way.

For example, a floating console sits higher than the previous model, putting important controls within easy reach. A new display commander control on the console allows for fingertip ergonomics.  A smaller information screen directly in front of the driver cuts down on driver distraction.   

“Nissan has it sorted out with this layout,” WardsAuto editor Bob Gritzinger aptly puts it.

Various interior colors are available, but we really liked the black-and-camel scheme. It is just right for a car with a sports-premium personality.

And Nissan’s Zero Gravity front seats feature a new 3-layer foam design for extra comfort. It’s enough to make you sit back, relax and enjoy this drive.

- Steve Finlay

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