Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Nissan Maxima VS 2016 Toyota Avalon Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Nissan Maxima

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2016 Toyota Avalon

Safety Comparison

The Maxima Platinum has a standard Around View ® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Avalon only offers a rear monitor.

The Maxima Platinum’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Avalon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the Avalon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Toyota Avalon:




5 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

212 lbs.

354 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

214/398 lbs.

492/592 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

132 lbs.

188 lbs.

Neck Compression

56 lbs.

108 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

554/51 lbs.

467/455 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Toyota Avalon:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

188 G’s

226 G’s

Hip Force

286 lbs.

384 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

591 lbs.

612 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 32 more horsepower (300 vs. 268) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 248) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Toyota Avalon V6:



Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

97.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Avalon (18 vs. 17 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon:



Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

11.1 inches

The Maxima’s brakes have 9% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Avalon (444 vs. 408.6 square inches), so the Maxima has more braking power available.

The Maxima’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Avalon are solid, not vented.

The Maxima stops much shorter than the Avalon:



70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the Avalon (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Avalon (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon XLE’s standard 55 series tires. The Maxima 3.5 SR’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Avalon Touring/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Avalon XLE. The Maxima 3.5 SR’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Avalon Touring/Limited.

The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Avalon doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Avalon, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Maxima 3.5 SR handles at .87 G’s, while the Avalon XLE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Maxima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Avalon Limited (27 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Maxima’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Avalon’s (38.1 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Maxima has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Avalon uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Avalon doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Maxima has .9 inches more front headroom and 2.9 inches more front legroom than the Avalon.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Maxima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Avalon doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Maxima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Avalon does not have an oil pressure gauge.

If the front windows are left down on the Maxima the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Avalon can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Maxima’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Avalon XLE/Touring’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

When the Maxima Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Avalon’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Maxima SL/SR/Platinum’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Avalon doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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