What many seek from a large car is a quiet, yet powerful and comfortable ride—that holds up for short commutes—as well as extended road trips. Facing off in the full-size sedan category is the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon. Both come in five trim levels, have top safety scores, are loaded with amenities, and share a V6 engine as standard. New for the Maxima in 2017 is the inclusion of Apple CarPlay as a standard feature in all trim levels. Toyota has made Safety Sense, which once was only available on their premium trim, standard an all configurations. Read on to see how each model fares across four categories in Head to Head: 2017 Nissan Maxima vs. 2017 Toyota Avalon.
2017 Nissan Maxima vs. 2017 Toyota Avalon Interior Comparison
The 2017 Nissan Maxima is remarkable for many reasons, and not to be overlooked is a high-end interior that is stylishly well-designed. Features that come standard include cloth upholstery, a leather steering wheel with tilt-and-telescopic maneuverability, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, power front seats and rear seats with a 60/40 split capacity. Nissan “Zero Gravity” seats are firm and comfortable with adequate legroom. The trunk offers 14.3 cubic feet of space. A nice-to-have feature includes a vertical slot in which to prop phones upright that enables a clear view of messages as they appear. Not all car manufacturers get the touchscreen right, but in the case of the Maxima, they nailed it. It is intuitive, well-thought out, and a cinch to use. Adding to ease of use, Apple CarPlay basic apps can be commandeered through voice controls. The top-of-the-line Platinum trim is drenched in diamond-quilted leather (pictured above), a power rear sunshade, and a 360-degree parking camera, among others.
The 2017 Toyota Avalon provides more than enough room for five adults to ride in comfort. Not only for the ample leg and head room, but for the heated and ventilated seats trimmed in leather, for both daily commutes and longer excursions. Wood-grain interior trim flanks an intuitive layout that makes use of accessible touchpad controls. The leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters, driver’s seat memory settings, and dual-zone automatic climate control further give the impression you’re in a luxury full-sized sedan. There’s plenty of space to stow small items with bins located throughout the cabin. The Toyota Avalon features split-folding rear seats, and its 16 cubic feet of trunk space make it one of the roomiest trunks available in the large car class.
2017 Nissan Maxima vs. 2017 Toyota Avalon Exterior Comparison
The 2017 Nissan Maxima remains pretty much in tact since its redesign last year. This Nissan is one of the most easy-on-the-eyes large sedans with knock-out good looks. This refreshing style stands out, with a svelte, bold, sculpted, sporty design punctuated with an oversized chrome grille. Features that come standard include keyless ignition and entry, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, fog lights, and automatic headlights. The Platinum trim with the Medallion Edition package includes a premium rear spoiler, exterior ground lighting and LED headlights.
The 2017 Toyota Avalon stayed true to form, leaving much unchanged since its 2013 redesign. This Toyota is alluring, attractive but not flashy, and measures 195 inches end-to-end. The Toyota also possesses an oversized chrome front grille, adding more texture and dimension to the car’s appearance. Further dressing up and enhancing efficiency are the following standard features:
17-inch alloy wheels, Quadrabeam halogen headlights with an ‘on/off’ feature, Daytime Running Lights, smoked LED taillights, noise reduction windows, and dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes.
2017 Nissan Maxima vs 2017 Toyota Avalon Performance Comparison
The five trim levels of the 2017 Nissan Maxima are S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. A 3.5-liter V6 engine comes standard and puts out 300 hp with 261 lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with front-wheel drive. While driving, road grip is strong and the ride can be described as sporty, with the powerful V6 engine accelerating from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, formidable for a full-sized sedan.
Also with five trim levels, the 2017 Toyota Avalon configurations are XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring and Limited. The 3.5-liter V6 engine emits 268-hp with 248 lb-ft of torque. This is mated with a six-speed Electronically Controlled automatic transmission with intelligence and sequential shift mode, a well-tuned suspension, and front-wheel-drive is standard. The Toyota Avalon accelerates quickly, shooting from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, an impressive feat for a large sedan. Steering is always light and precise. The ride is quiet, controlled, firm, and powerful.
2017 Nissan Maxima vs 2017 Toyota Avalon Feature Comparison
The 2017 Nissan Maxima standard technology features include: Navigation, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, BlueTooth Connectivity, two USB ports, HD and satellite radio, with a six-CD changer and eight speakers. It’s also worth mentioning the base Maxima has typical standard features like antilock brakes, and traction and stability control. The top-of-the-line Platinum model has the full suite of safety features included in Nissan Connect (collision notification, remote starting, stolen vehicle locator), as well as a driver drowsiness monitor.
This year Toyota made its full suite of safety features, Safety Sense, standard on all trims. It includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure warning, steering assist, and 10 airbags, among others.
A robust media package is included standard with the 2017 Toyota Avalon. This includes Entune™ Audio Plus with Connected Navigation App and Bluetooth Capacity, a CD & MP3 player, a 7-in touchscreen, eight speakers, a USB port, satellite and HD radio, and a backup camera, along with three 12V power outlets.
2017 Nissan Maxima vs 2017 Toyota Avalon Overall Comparison
Of all the head-to-heads, this may have been the most difficult in terms of selecting a winner. It’s fair to say, both Toyota and Nissan are synonymous with practicality and other non-luxury-associations, yet they both deliver many premium features, minus the high-end price tag. They both come with a powerful engine, refined interior, a well-thought-out control system that is easy-to-use, a load of standard technology and safety features, top safety scores, and lithe handling for a large car. For us, we ask the following questions to find our winner: Which would you rather take on a cross-country road trip with four of your closest friends? Toyota. Which car keys would you rather hand the valet at a fine dining establishment for a special occasion? The Nissan. Enough said. Now it’s your turn. Put each car to the test when you visit your local Toyota and Nissan AutoNation dealerships today.