In February 1977 the first Maxima was
released in North America as the Datsun 810.
People fell in love with the powerful
125hp 2.4L engine.
1984 was the last year of the first generation Maxima. In the fall of 1984, the first front-wheel Maxima was unveiled. With its powerful 157hp 3.0L engine, the second generation Maxima was starting to look more and more like the 4-door sports car we know today.
The second generation Maxima got an update in late 1986 to both the interior and exterior. This 1987 model year Maxima was the first to offer automatic shoulder belts, and one year later in 1988 would introduce the groundbreaking Sonar Suspension System, which automatically adjusted the shocks according to road conditions.
The Maxima was redesigned for the 1989 model year. Thanks to the larger dimensions of this new Maxima, it became the second Japanese sedan sold in Canada to qualify as “mid-size”. This third generation 1989 Maxima was marketed as a 4-door sports car for the first time. People loved this rare combination of performance and practicality.
The third generation Maxima got an engine and transmission refresh starting with the 1992 model year special edition. The Maxima SE offered a new, more powerful engine and an optional 5-speed automatic transmission that featured innovative ‘sport’ and ‘comfort’ modes.
The 1995 model year introduced the fourth generation Maxima. A brand new VQ 190hp 3.0L engine earned this new Maxima its first spot on Ward’s 10 best engines list. Not surprisingly, the VQ engine has now been recognized consecutively for every year since it’s introduction.
The fourth generation Maxima was refreshed in 1997 with new wheels, headlights, front and rear fascia, tail-lights, fog-lights and badge designs. Owners of this new Maxima were loud and proud, with 100% of them telling the CAA Autopinion Guide that, given the opportunity, they would purchase their Maxima again.
The 2000 model year Maxima was designed at Nissan’s California design studio in 1999. This fifth generation Maxima introduced sportier, more aggressive styling and an exhilarating 222hp 3.0L engine. With a 0-60 time of 7 seconds, this fifth generation Maxima was turning heads, quickly.
The fifth generation Maxima was refreshed for the 2002 model year with a larger grille opening, high-intensity discharge headlights, and a six-speed manual transmission. Combined with the new 255hp 3.5L engine, this refreshed Maxima further emphasized the fact it was a true 4-door sports car.
The sixth generation Maxima debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 2003. This new 2004 model year Maxima was only sold in Canada, the US and Mexico. The 265hp 3.5L V6 had some serious power for a 4-door sedan and a serious fan base to go with it.
The seventh generation Maxima debuted with the 2009 model year. Equipped with a revised 290hp engine and boasting an impressive 0-60 performance of 5.8 seconds, this Maxima delivered intense open-road performance without compromising comfort or control.
The New York International Auto Show will be the first place to showcase the eighth generation 2016 Maxima this April. The Maxima has come a long way since 1977, but has never lost its spirit as the seriously powerful 4-door sports car people across North America know and love.