Toyota says the Avalon will allow you to “Stand Out in Any Crowd,” while the Nissan thinks of its Maxima as a “Four Door Sports Car.” These two rivals in the full-sized sedan segment share many characteristics, yet retain their signature hallmarks, which we’ll break down for you in this installment of Head to Head: 2018 Nissan Maxima vs 2018 Toyota Avalon.
2018 Nissan Maxima vs 2018 Toyota Avalon Performance Comparison
Verdict: The two sedans are both available with a conventional engine, and in that spec, the fuel economy is identical. But for the eco-conscious crowd, Toyota may have the slight edge, as the Avalon also has a hybrid engine available.
The 2018 Nissan Maxima comes in five trim levels, and all S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum configurations come with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that generates 300-horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT), is the only gearbox option, and this vehicle is noted for its quick acceleration and velvety-smooth ride. It delivers 21 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.*
The 2018 Toyota Avalon is also available in five trim levels. The XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited are equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 which generates 268 horsepower and 248-lb-ft of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission—with paddle shifters—puts the power to the ground.
As we noted, the Toyota Avalon also comes in hybrid configurations. The Hybrid XLE Plus, Hybrid XLE Premium, and Hybrid Limited, have have a hybrid 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine paired with a high-torque electric motor and a nickel-metal-hydride battery. Combined, they generate 200 horsepower. The traditional engine gets 21 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway,* while the hybrid unsurprisingly does better, at 40 city and 39 on the highway.*
2018 Nissan Maxima vs 2018 Toyota Avalon Price and Lifestyle Comparison
Verdict: There’s no denying the two sedans are competitively priced, as they’re within a few hundred dollars of each other. And factoring in the availability of safety, convenience, and technology features, it’s still basically a toss-up.
The cabin of the Nissan Maxima is loaded with soft-touch materials with interwoven metallic and wood-esque trim. At the helm, a flat-bottomed steering wheel hints and the chassis’ precise handling and cornering. There are also power front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control for keeping passengers in both the front and back comfortable. Safety features that come standard with all Maxima trim levels include six airbags, a rearview camera, and automatic emergency braking. An eight-inch infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and navigation also comes standard. In the trunk, there’s a respectable 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
The 2018 Nissan Maxima starts at $33,020.** Visit your local AutoNation Nissan dealership to set up a test-drive!
The fourth-generation Toyota Avalon luxury sedan is slated to get a redesign mid-2018, but it currently features a bold design that includes a deep-mouthed, slatted grille, smoked LED taillights, and dual chrome exhaust.
The Avalon delivers a buttery-smooth ride, a roomy, five-passenger cabin, dual zone climate control, and leather seating with wood grain trim. Navigation is standard on all Avalon trim levels, as is the Entune infotainment system, along with the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite, which includes ten air bags, lane departure alert, and dynamic cruise control.
Unlike the Maxima, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, but there is 16 cubic-feet of cargo space in the trunk, meaning you can squeeze in a few more items than you can in the Maxima.
The 2018 Toyota Avalon MSRP starts at $33,500** Visit your local AutoNation Toyota dealership to set up a test-drive!
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.