We've wondered what Nissan had in mind for its flagship sedan, the Maxima – a nameplate that dates to the early 1980s – ever since we test-drove a unit with a 6-speed stick shift about 15 years ago. That's the car Nissan arranged to distribute among automotive writers. A full-sized flagship sedan with a stick shift. Really? We didn't hate the car, in part because the shifter was quite responsive and forgiving, but we didn't understand its purpose.
It's all becoming more clear now that Nissan has re-introduced the Maxima for 2016 after a one-year hiatus. To “get” Nissan's point, you don't have to read up on horsepower ratings and other performance data. All you have to do is gaze admiringly upon this stylish sedan, which looks fast just standing still.