Nine hours away, Nashville beckoned. The wacky and wonderful Lane Motor Museum hosted a group of journalists for its annual classic car rally, and this year, I managed to weasel my way onto the list. An automotive old-soul at heart, I was not about to let 560 miles stand between me and the keys to a 1976 Lamborghini Urraco. Thankfully, I found a ready-and-willing road-trip companion in our Four Seasons 2016 Nissan Maxima SR.
While the Macchine Italiane rally at the Lane was a proverbial pot of gold, I planned the actual drive down as a no-nonsense trip. No tourist traps, no scenic drives; this was all business. This meant driving the Maxima as far as I could go without breaks, stops, fuel-ups, and food.
The full-sized Maxima packs a full-sized trunk, not that it was necessary. This was a three-day trip, so I packed light. My carry-on roller was swallowed by the depths of the 14.3 cubic-foot trunk, with plenty of space left for my backpack and camera bag.
Four hours later, I was no worse for the wear. The Maxima’s supportive seats have the right balance of sport and comfort, and despite the SR’s more aggressive suspension, the ride was supple over expansion joints and undulations.
During this trip, the Maxima burned through fuel at a rate of about 25 mpg. Thanks to the sizeable 18-gallon fuel tank, which provided a total range of around 450 miles, the nine-hour journey necessitated only one fuel stop.
Steering, however, was at odds with the size of the vehicle. At speed, it’s lightning-quick to a fault. Switching lanes, merging into construction zones, and swerving to avoid road debris are handled with unnerving alacrity, to the point of near-skittishness. Maneuver in a parking lot, though, and the electric-boosted steering becomes heavy and resistant.
The weather in Nashville warms up by late spring and the Maxima would be spending the day sitting in the Tennessee sun, so we were thankful that our sedan is equipped with cooled seats, which are actuated through a set of dials mounted on the center console and stay at the chosen setting when the car is shut off (on some cars, they reset to off), enabling the remote start to switch on the cooled seats. My plan to use this functionality was foiled by cool and temperate morning weather on the way to the museum, I didn’t switch the seat coolers on, so when I returned from the rally and hit the remote start, they stayed off and the leather seats remained toasty.
Minor quirks aside, the Maxima was a faithful and comfortable road trip buddy. After 1,100 miles on the open road, our self-proclaimed “Four-Door Sports Car” delivered me fresh, limber, and ready for another trip down south. I’ll see you next year, Nashville, hopefully once again behind the wheel of Nissan’s flagship.
- Body style 4-door sedan
- Accommodation 5-passenger
- Construction Steel unibody
- Base price (with dest.) $38,495
- As tested $38,750
EPA Fuel Economy
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.6 turns
Turning circle 38.1 ft
Suspension, Strut type, coils
Suspension, Multilink, coils
Brakes F/R Vented discs/vented discs
Wheels 19-inch aluminum
Tire size 205/45R-17 88Y, 235/40R-18 95Y
Headroom 39.4/36.7 in
Legroom 45.0/34.7/ in
L x W x H
Weight 3,564 lb
Weight dist. F/R
Est. fuel range
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
- 3.5-liter, 24-valve, DOHC V-6 engine
- Continuously variable transmission
- Automatic climate control
- 8-inch NissanConnect screen with Navigation
- SiriusXM satellite radio w/one-year trial subscription
- Auxiliary audio jack
- Two USB connection ports
- Heated and cooled front seats
- 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Heated steering wheel
- Paddle shifters
- 19-inch machined aluminum wheels
- LED headlights and daytime running lights
- Remote start
- Keyless entry and ignition
- Rearview camera
- Forward collision warning
- Blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Adaptive cruise control
- 11-speaker Bose sound system
options for this vehicle:
- Sport floor mats, trunk mat, and trunk net- $255