Monday, July 18, 2016

Nissan's Fad-Filled Maxima

According to this source, Nissan's Maxima brand has been around since 1981 and is now in its eighth version that was introduced for the 2016 model year.

Styling for the new Maxima was previewed by a 2014 concept car that I wrote about here regarding its visually disconnected roof that I and design critic Robert Cumberford approved of at the time.  Now that the design has reached production I'm beginning to worry that the "floating roof" (as Cumberford referred to it) might be yet another styling cliché on its way, because Nissan is using the same motif on its 2016 Murano (I posted on it here), and some think like it can be seen on the 2016 Lexus RX.

As for the Maxima's overall styling, it's yet another fussy, over-decorated example of current styling fashion.  In recent years, Maximas have been face-lifted Nissan Altimas.  Sometimes the alterations are improvements, other times not.  For 2016, my vote is for the "not" side.


Front three-quarter view of a 2016 Nissan Maxima.

And here is a 2016 Nissan Altima for comparison.  The cars share a front-end theme, though details differ.  Note that they also share front fenders as far back as the the front door cut line, a nice way to save a few yen on tooling costs.  Thereafter, the side sculpting differs.  The Maxima features more elaborate sculpting on and aft of the rear door.

Now for some views featuring side and rear design.  This photo emphasizes sleekness.  That said, I find the nib-shape belt line shape in the zone above the rear wheels too massive.  It seems to be an attempt at a new Nissan brand identifier as it is also found on the 2016 Nissan Murano crossover SUV.

The rear is less fussy than the front and sides, though the notch on the outer side of the tail light assembly adds to the unnecessary busyness found elsewhere.

The black divider between the roof and sides seems smaller that it needs to be, though it does fit into the scheme introduced by the "nib" feature mentioned above.  I would try eliminating or considerably shrinking the nib and reworking the trunk lid while incorporating a larger (but not too large!) black separation feature.

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