The new range-topping 3.0 SE+ auto is now pitched at ú25,900 and the 2.0-litre derivatives are ú20,700 for the 2.0 V6 SE manual, ú21,700 for 2.0 V6 SE auto and ú25,900 for the 2.0 V6 SE+.
From a CAP Motor Research point of view, Maxima QX sits firmly in the UK's executive class. In the States, and to a lesser extent in Europe, the Nissan is a class-hopper, with the 2.0-litre in executive and the 3.0-litre competing with E-class, BMW 5-series, Audi A6, Alfa Romeo 166, Lexus GS as well as a handful of made-in-America brands. We've compromised and picked rivals from both classes for the car which will sell about 650 units in the UK in a full year. The previous generation made little impact here and if that was down to bland styling and lack of image, then there's still work to be done, despite the new panels, extra body length, 10mm more width, new front grille, larger cabin, larger windows and a longer wheelbase.
The technical improvements sound impressive: Nissan's engineers looked at the German marques (and probably Lexus) as the benchmark for noise, vibration and harshness, for general refinement and space, and Europeanised as many areas as they could - including driver's headroom (10mm more), legroom (35mm more front and rear), shoulder clearance (10mm more) and golf bag space (an 18% increase to 520 litres).
Dynamically, Maxima QX is a better car than QX, because the body is 30% stiffer, cornering is improved thanks to repositioning of the lateral link in the multi-link beam rear suspension.