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Nissan Maxima has good looks in spades (pictures)

The redesigned Nissan Maxima is a stunner. The new sheet metal is sleek and sophisticated, while the materials and fit and finish on the inside are both spot-on. Unfortunately the inclusion of a continuously variable transmission pushes the Maxima out of the four-door sport sedan category.

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Emme Hall
2016 Nissan Maxima
1 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The 2016 Maxima lost over 80 pounds from its frame, making for a more svelte gluteus maximus indeed.

2016 Nissan Maxima
2 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Nissan's signature V-motion grille and boomerang headlights make the Maxima instantly recognizable.

2016 Nissan Maxima
3 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The new Maxima sits 1 inch lower than the outgoing model, giving the car a sportier look.

2016 Nissan Maxima
4 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

LED daytime running lights are standard across all trim lines, but you'll have to upgrade to the SR or Platinum trims to get LED headlamps.

2016 Nissan Maxima
5 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Power heated side mirrors with LED turn signal integration is standard on the upper trim lines.

2016 Nissan Maxima
6 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

A swooping body crease along the side of the Maxima emphasizes the slightly flaring fenders.

2016 Nissan Maxima
7 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Signature LED boomerang taillights and chrome tipped dual exhaust bring a sporty edge to the rear of the Maxima.

2016 Nissan Maxima
8 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Our SR trim test model comes with 19-inch diamond-cut aluminum alloy wheels, wrapped in all-season rubber.

2016 Nissan Maxima
9 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Blacked-out pillars give the illusion of a floating roof.

2016 Nissan Maxima
10 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Overall the four-door Maxima cuts a stunning appearance.

2016 Nissan Maxima
11 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The 2016 Maxima is power by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, knocking out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque.

2016 Nissan Maxima
12 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

An 8-inch color touchscreen is standard across all trim lines.

2016 Nissan Maxima
13 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

All Maximas come with satellite radio. Presets are easy to program and the 11 speakers in our SR test model did a fine job of pumping out the volume.

2016 Nissan Maxima
14 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

While the navigation system is easy to use, the graphics could use an update.

2016 Nissan Maxima
15 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The spot on driver-focused cockpit is one of the best features of the Nissan Maxima.

2016 Nissan Maxima
16 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Nissan's zero-gravity seats make for comfortable road trips.

2016 Nissan Maxima
17 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Contrast stitching draws attention to the diamond quilted Alcantara inserts in the seats.

2016 Nissan Maxima
18 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The center console is tipped toward the driver, clearly dividing the cabin into driving space and riding space.

2016 Nissan Maxima
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A flat-bottomed steering wheel speaks to the sporty quality of the Maxima, but the tuning of the system seems to be a bit off.

2016 Nissan Maxima
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The infotainment system can be operated from the touchscreen or the control knob on the center console.

2016 Nissan Maxima
21 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The biggest disappointment in the new Maxima is the inclusion of a continuously variable transmission instead of a six-speed manual, or even the seven-speed automatic that's in Nissan's 370Z coupe.

2016 Nissan Maxima
22 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

A 7-inch driver's display fits nicely in the middle of the gauge cluster.

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