Hooniverse Asks- The Next Nissan Maxima's Styling: Brah! Or Blah?

Click to engorge.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima will make its official debut at the New York Auto Show, but the company can’t keep a secret to save its life and dropped a hint about the new range-topper in their maximally maudlin Super Bowl spot. Since then they’ve given us a couple more official shots, but have kept everything else about the car firmly under wraps until the Big Apple unveiling – or, as is their bent, a little before.
Nissan once touted the Maxima as the Four-Door Sports Car (FDSC) even though it was never all that sporty. It was a car however, and it has long sported four doors, so I guess they were half-way truthful in that assertion. The current car, with its 290-bhp V6 and automatic transmission has strayed even farther from that contention, but perhaps the new edition will be a return to sort of sporty form.
At present, our only evidence is whether they have pulled that trick off visually, and what we’re seeking today is your critical eye. Nissan’s styling of late has been bit on the – how shall I say this – gawdawful side, what with Altimas with droopy taillights, Sentras that look like dwarf editions of the Altimas, and Muranos that… well, I don’t even want to go there. Do you think that the next Maxima shares that unfortunate trend? Or, is this the most energetic, sporty, and shapely sedan to debut in a long time? Based solely on its styling, what’s your take on this, the next Maxima, do you give it a Brah! or a Blah?
Image: AutoRealIdade

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  1. Lokki Avatar

    Overwrought. Clearly Nissan doesn't have a lot of new models in the pipeline so the designers kept doodling on this one to stay busy.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      It's just too much. They could have chosen soft, bulbous lines or sharp, edgy corners. Both themes on one car don't work together…and what on earth happened to the front lights?
      What really irritates me a bit is the whole front design layout. Lights that bleed into a massive grille, fake or real, pop up everywhere: Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, I even notice the same theme on older cars in traffic. Just waiting for the counter trend of round lights. Maybe the Renegade starts off something there.
      And then there's the question: "Who do they aim at?". It lacks the sturdy conservativism of a Camry or a Buick. It is no beautiful drawing like an Alfa or a modern day Volvo. The simple proportionality of an Audi is totally lost on it. It tries to hide its classic sedan shape, but it's not a crossover either. If I try to place a head in the driver's seat, the massive, bulbous hood restrains forward visibility, the high shoulder line does the same to the sides, and I'm not sure how well the roofline uncovers what's diagonally behind the car. If anything, it reminds me of the aimless Hyundai-inspired styling of current Mercedes Benz. A "got to have it all"-insecurity coming to its expression in car design.

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    The proportions seem way off to me. The shoulder line is very high, visually. It looks like the 2016 AMC Eagle sedan.

    1. Jeff Avatar

      "2016 AMC Eagle Sedan." Is the Nissan Maxima an AWD?. You've got me excited, PotbellyJoe.

  3. Devin Avatar

    The details are too big, it kind of makes it look like a cartoon.

  4. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

    I got a car just the other day
    Bought it from a lot in the usual way
    But it had swoopy curves and an alien face–
    Buyer's remorse as I drove away
    And I was bored in half a mile, and then I knew
    This new Maxima is poo, yeah,
    It's ugly, it's a slug, it's poo.
    And the car's in the driveway for the world to see
    Neighbors' pointing at it making fun of me
    When you gonna sell it, Dad?
    I don't know when, but we'll buy a Hyundai then
    A turbo blue Sonata, son, then.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar


    2. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

      That was magical.

  5. C Kiffen Avatar
    C Kiffen

    To me it looks like a 6 year old Mazda CX-7 with a fastback rear-end.

  6. LEROOOY Avatar

    The beltline is above an adult rear-seat passenger's chin! If you're putting kids in this, they're never going to see the outside world. Maybe that sells.
    Beltlines rise constantly to satiate our stupid demands for aggressive exterior styling, but what about the interior? How do you fill such a giant amount of space with nothing but an armrest and a window switch?

    1. frankthecat Avatar

      Pretty sure the beltline isn't rising for styling reasons. It's for side impact intrusion protection standards reasons. Same reason every car is getting a massive, bulbous hood and grill. Pedestrian impact safety standards.

      1. Rover_1 Avatar

        'side impact intrusion protection standards reasons' is what we are told by manufacturers. But I think that it's a lie.
        It's just a fashion. But you're right about pedestrian impact standards.Bulbous hoods are an unfortunate side effect.

  7. MrDPR Avatar

    What is it with these gawdawful excuses for grills of late? Toyota channels the Predator <img src=http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2015-02/4/11/imagebuzz/webdr07/anigif_optimized-27899-1423068816-17.gif> while Nissan & Mazda decide the grinning village idiot look is the way to go.

  8. mr smee Avatar
    mr smee

    It's not bad. It looks like it wants to be all-wheel-drive. Far better than the rest of their lineup, which look very badly proportioned with oversize detailing. Now if they could just build that 510 inspired thing they showed last year

  9. neight428 Avatar

    It's difficult for me to be very impressed by any mid sized (or larger) FWD sedan, regardless of how it is styled. I suppose there could be the odd exception (first gen Acura TSX comes to mind), but seeing that formula trips the reflexive thought in my head that they are aiming for the part of the market that doesn't really care about performance or driving dynamics.
    I'd like to see one in black. That might mute the effect of some of the stylsts' doodlings that made it off the page.

  10. dukeisduke Avatar

    "Click to engorge"? I LOL'd.

  11. Dangle Avatar

    Looks like a bigger Mazda Mazda6 with a really fucked up grill…

  12. dukeisduke Avatar

    The black stripe on the C-pillar reminds me of the Fiat Panda/500L, and the flame surfacing on the sides is from the Mazda6. This is your stylists on meth.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      It's like someone took a Mazda 6 and inflated it, then thwacked it with a sledge in a few key places and called it good.

  13. giannibu Avatar

    It looks huge, like a whale. Think of how it would look if it was white! Wonder if it is pushing 4,000 lbs? It's dismaying how huge and heavy cars are continuing to get (excepting the new Miata)…

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Everywhere I've visited, the styling is getting roasted. I wonder who's responsible for this monstrosity?

      1. Preludacris Avatar

        I think we commenters roast just about everything new but I agree, this definitely isn't getting a warm welcome. I think the Juke got a similar response but at least it wasn't a nameplate from a formerly mainstream offering.
        Would I sound crazy if I posited that Nissan could be intentionally abandoning volume with this car, and putting it in showrooms to bring in Altima buyers? It makes sense to me since I can never remember which is which or how to tell them apart.

  14. joey Avatar

    i like the new wheels and lights but i think the hood is a bit wacky. i think it looks altogether good but i think the front looks a bit like a woman with a mustache

  15. Kiefmo Avatar

    Is it packing a complex, high rise intake manifold or something? Perhaps a bundle-of-snakes atop of another bundle-of-snakes, like a double-dipping SHO V6?
    Then why the hell is the front end so big? Nissan changes its engines approximately once every Plutonian year, so I doubt it's packing anything other than the corporate VQ35.
    The Maxima has come a long, long way from the 4DSC days, and it's worse for it.

    1. giannibu Avatar

      Wonder if the European pedestrian crash standards have something to do with it?

      1. Manic_King Avatar

        They haven't sold Maxima in Europe since 2002 or so and sales was minute before that (big. Jap. car problem, everyone buys German car before expensive Asian saloon car here). Mobile.de has 45 Maximas for sale, mostly from nineties. So, if they try to sell this atrocity here, no-one will buy it, no need to follow EU standards.

  16. Preludacris Avatar

    I will reserve judgement until I see it in person, but the only current Nissans I like the look of are:
    • Micra: it's basically a tall 1995 Civic hatchback
    • GTR: has the performance to back up its looks
    • Xterra: hasn't changed in ten years (except minor facelifts) and still looks handsome.
    <img src="http://www.nissanusa.com/content/dam/nissan/vehicles/2015/xterra/colors-photos/360/exterior/k23/01.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Yes, it is still for sale in the U.S. and Canada, looking very much like it did in 2005!

    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      I so wish Nissan sold the Micra in the U.S. I feel it's the best looking family car they have produced in several years.

      1. 1977chevytruck Avatar

        [youtube npriO8XGI7g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npriO8XGI7g youtube]
        [youtube npriO8XGI7g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npriO8XGI7g youtube]
        Sheldon Cooper agrees.

        1. 1977chevytruck Avatar

          [youtube jsWZ9G_OcxE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsWZ9G_OcxE youtube]
          Whoops, posted the same video twice. Here's the second one.

  17. Alcology Avatar


  18. njhoon Avatar

    I am not a fan of nissans new look. But the odd thing is I saw a new Murano yesterday and it looked pretty good. So maybe I'll wait until I see one in person, then throw up.

  19. smokyburnout Avatar

    Saw someone describe it as looking like a new Murano that's been sat on. Yeah.

  20. Land Ark Avatar
    Land Ark

    I owned a 1990 Maxima SE. It was perfectly proportioned and had great timeless clean lines and one of the best cars I've owned. I'd buy a new one of those today. I would not buy one of these.

  21. stigshift Avatar

    It's the prettiest BMW X6 ever…

  22. Elliott Avatar

    On a related note, is it just me or have designers FORGOT how to design wheels (or "rim"s) in anything other than a variation on "sunburst" spokes?? Also, they keep increasing the size as well as diminishing the sideall ratio! Just STOP IT! PLEASE!!

  23. Elliott Avatar

    Uh, that should have beem "sidewall ratio"! 🙂

  24. DTM Avatar

    Both this and the new Murano are really impressive to me: fresh, innovative, cohesive . I'm being super serious.

  25. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    It's a bloated balleen whale of a deal. I hope they have to price this lower than a clearance Aztek, to get them out of the dealer's lot. Renault's design team has a lot to answer for.

  26. Rover_1 Avatar

    Real people do head design teams and take the blame or credit.
    Designed by a design team led by ex General Motors Shiro Nakamura
    And from Automobile Magazine
    "Nakamura is the man who put Japanese car design on the map after decades of copycat designs. Headhunted from under-the-radar Isuzu in 1999, he oversaw an onslaught of radical concepts and high-selling production cars as part of Carlos Ghosn's Nissan Revival Plan. Included in the list are, from Nissan, the Cube, the 350Z, the Murano, the Juke, and, in Europe, various Micras and the Qashqai, as well as the FX45 and the Essence concept for Infiniti. Key to his success is not only his ability and work ethic — he allegedly often works twelve hours per day from a chauffeur-driven GT-R — but also his skill and willingness to communicate his designs' relevance internally and externally and his global experience (he studied at Art Center in the United States and has worked in Europe and Japan). Bonus fun fact: Nakamura was a jazz bass player before embarking on his career in the car industry."

  27. Krautwursten Avatar

    Visually a far more irritating thing than the lines is that nowadays all cars appear to be 25% windows and 75% beltline. Any more than that and they'll start looking like the blobs in The Fifth Element.
    <img src="http://fs1.directupload.net/images/150208/kwqurgix.jpg&quot; width=500>

  28. Wildcat_445 Avatar

    May not be my favorite design, but I've seen worse…
    Well, okay, maybe not. Heehee…