After undergoing a drastic design-over, the Nissan Maxima continues to bring as much to the table in terms of power as it does in presence. With a 300-horsepower V6 and the front wheel-arch snarl to match, the 2020 Maxima could very well be up-and-coming as an affordable sport sedan. Sure, it’s no 370Z or NISMO model. But could it be the next best thing to grace the sedan world?

To help you decide if the 2020 Maxima has a place in your life, we’ve put together all the information you need. After reading this, you’ll either put the Maxima on your short list or dismiss it entirely. There are still plenty of sedans to consider, even with the SUV market continuing to heat up. Don’t rule out the 2020 Maxima just yet.

Performance Specifications

Configured in front-wheel drive only, all 2020 Maxima models sport a 3.5-liter V6 engine beneath the hood. A continuously-variable transmission directs the 300 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque to the road through the front wheels. If you’re looking for a sedan with a bit of extra kick, the Maxima provides nicely compared to cars with smaller, less powerful engines.

Available Color Schemes

Nissan offers the following colors on the 2020 Maxima.

  • Super Black
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair
  • Pearl White Tricoat
  • Gun Metallic
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Carnelian Red Metallic
  • Deep Blue Pearl

Trims and Pricing

There are five trims available to choose from. Here’s a list of standard features you can expect to see on each model.


All 2020 Maxima models will seat five passengers. Standard equipment includes powered front seats, Nissan Connect via an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Cloth seats are standard here, along with dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, and voice recognition. This base S model starts at $34,450.


For a few more goodies from the Nissan factory, choose the SV model. Front seats get heat, and you’ll enjoy leather seating all around. Full GPS Navigation and HD Radio complete the technological upgrades. Heated outer mirrors are definitely a must in the winter time.


Coming in just over $38,000, the SL model adds power to the passenger seat, heat to the steering wheel, and a panoramic, dual-pane sunroof to the interior. Bose takes over the sound system, with 11 total speakers to enjoy whatever tunes you prefer.


Referred to by some as “the lineup’s sport model,” the SR trim includes such features as paddle shifters, sport-tuned suspension, and aluminum sport pedals. Interior upgrades like ventilated front seats are a true asset when the summer heat comes around. Who wouldn’t want “premium Ascot leather and Alcantara upholstery”?


Memory settings are only available on the Platinum trim. Other premium goodies include upgraded leather seating, a power steering wheel that tilts and telescopes, and a power rear-window sunshade. This model starts at $41,840. For about $1,000 more, you can also get a Platinum Reserve model. It adds darked out aluminum alloy wheels, heated rear seats, and upgraded leather.

Safety Features

The 2020 Maxima scores big when it comes to keeping driver and passengers safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scored it five out of five stars overall. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Maxima a 2020 Top Safety Pick+ rating, with top-rated “Good” marks in all categories. The experts agree the 2020 Maxima is a very safe vehicle.

Nissan backs up these ratings with Safety Shield 360, an all-inclusive safety system package that comes standard. Driver assist features include technology such as “a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and automatic rear braking.” Pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and driver attention monitoring come installed on the 2020 Maxima from the factory.

You can also upgrade the safety tech to include “adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera system, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.” Suffice it to say the 2020 Nissan Maxima will keep you and your passengers safe.

Fuel Efficiency Ratings

Since there’s only one powertrain and no available all-wheel drive, the 2020 Maxima rates in at 20 city and 30 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG). Most rivals are able to make better numbers when it comes to the pump. However, those rivals typically sport a smaller four-cylinder engine. So it’s no shock that the Maxima burns a bit more fuel with a V6.


Let’s get it out there before we go any further. The 2020 Maxima contends with heavy-hitters from Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Ford. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord rely on a legacy of reliability, affordability, durability, and resale value. Ford might be scaling back their sedan production, but the Focus and Fusion stand firm as capable, family-friendly four-doors. Volkswagen corners the market on a capable vehicle with a price tag any budget can appreciate. So where does the Maxima fit in?

Spend some time with the experts who’ve driven the 2020 Maxima and you’ll begin to understand how the model differentiates itself. For instance, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) pointed out the 2020 Maxima doesn’t include an all-wheel drive option . Customers living anywhere near the mountains might think twice because of this. Although Nissan touts the sportiness of the new Maxima, U.S. News reviewers branded the handling as “fairly snooze-worthy.” KBB experts agreed, blaming the CVT and FWD arrangement for limiting the sedan’s performance. Interestingly enough, however, the folks at Edmunds recommend the SR trim level, which privileges sportiness in all aspects.

A Few Drawbacks

Mixed reviews continue when it comes to other facets of the 2020 Maxima. There’s no denying the superb safety rating, but even that’s not enough to move the Maxima very far up the sedan totem pole. Edmunds’ found the technology controls “easy to use.” “Numerous high-end features” satisfied the KBB crew too. But everyone agreed the 2020 Maxima loses out to the competition when it comes to rear seat leg room and cargo space. “There are rivals that are roomier, carry more cargo, and offer similar performance for much less money,” said Edmunds. In the sedan segment, it’s all about checking multiple boxes.

In a world where car-buying decisions are based on the whole package (and not just a group of features) the 2020 Maxima faces stiff competition. Considered a jack of all trades and master of few, the Maxima doesn’t quite beat out the heavy-hitters. But it certainly holds its own. For some, the 2020 Maxima just isn’t quite the car they’re looking for. That’s not to say it won’t please plenty of folks out there looking for a safe, reliable, and sporty vehicle to get them around in their busy lives. The Maxima is certainly all those things.

The Last Word

If it’s a sedan you’re looking for, the 2020 Nissan Maxima offers a number of desirable features. Take a cruise in the Maxima and discover where it fits in your life. We recommend stopping by your local Nissan dealership to check out the 2020 Maxima in all its glory, along with the other Nissan models as well. You may even find yourself the proud new owner of one sporty family-size sedan.


Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.