Nissan Maxima is all-new for the 2010 model year, and this seventh-generation model marks the return of the four-door sports car.
The 2010 Maxima was deliberately built, tuned and aimed at drivers who prefer sporty handling and a firmer ride as opposed to the softer, more luxurious ride associated with many cars in this class.
The Maxima four-door sedan has been part of the Nissan lineup dating back to 1981. Maxima was kicked up a notch when the Altima took over the role as the mainstream sedan and it became the Nissan flagship. This new Maxima now competes directly againts sporty upmarket sedans. Among them: Acura TL, Infiniti G35, Chrysler 300, Cadillac CTS, and Toyota Avalon, as well as deluxe versions of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
The all-new 2010 Nissan Maxima shares shares its D-platform chassis and underpinnings with the other cars and SUVs mounted on the Nissan front-drive platform, including the Murano and Altima. The new Maxima is close in physical measurements to the Altima.
This seventh-generation Maxima is deliberately shorter by a couple of inches in wheelbase and four inches shorter overall, but is slightly lower and wider than the outgoing (pre-2010) model. The track measurement, the width between the tires, is an inch and a half wider, so that the chassis is better able to handle the corners on its big, fat 18-inch tires.
Nissan has modified the platform and body of the Maxima extensively, with one additional stiffness package for the S and SV models, and additional rear reinforcements for the Sport and Premium package versions that uses a large steel panel behind the rear seat to connect the floor,
walls and package shelf into a single, much stiffer unit that Nissan says is up to 17 percent stiffer than the base model is, in turn, 15 percent stiffer than the outgoing 2008 model. Sport versions add a tower brace across the front suspension towers for greater stiffness and steering precision.