The Toyota Avalon has served as Toyota’s flagship full-size luxury sedan since 1995. The Nissan Maxima dates as far back as 1982 when it was known as the Datsun Maxima.
Both vehicles come with a reputation of reliability and a 3.5-liter V6 engine, but the similarities stop there. In this head-to-head, we will look at key differences in the categories of safety, performance, and interior. Let's begin.
Published Date: 11/06/2019
For added peace of mind, Toyota Safety Sense P® (TSS-P) comes standard on the 2019 Toyota Avalon.
Maxima’s safety system comes with Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking. Maxima misses out on Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) which comes standard on Avalon along with key TSS-P features. For the Maxima S, features such as LDA w/SA and AHB are not available.
Avalon also comes standard with 10 airbags. For its part, the Maxima S Xtronic CVT comes with four dual-stage airbag systems that adjust the inflation rate based on crash severity.
The Avalon XLE delivers slightly more horsepower at 301 hp and 267 lb.-ft. vs. the Maxima's 300 hp @ 6,400 rpm and 261 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm for the Maxima's S Xtronic CVT.
With an EPA-estimated 22/32/26 mpg (city/hwy/comb), Avalon XLE has higher fuel economy ratings than Maxima, which has an EPA-estimated 20/30/24 mpg (city/hwy/comb). Avalon also offers a hybrid option while Maxima does not. The Avalon Hybrid XLE has an EPA-estimated 43/44/44 mpg.
The 2019 Avalon also has a new enthusiasm for performance with paddle shifters and clever sound enhancement systems (available on XSE, standard on Touring), neither of which are available on Maxima.
Avalon outdoes Maxima in terms of cargo capacity: Avalon features 16.1 cu. ft. whereas Maxima has only 14.3 cu. ft. Along with this cargo capacity, Avalon features more rear legroom at 40.3 inches vs Maxima’s 34.2 inches. For its part, Maxima has .9-in. more headroom and 2.9-in. more front legroom than Avalon. The Avalon XLE has 37.4-in. headroom and 42.1-in. legroom in the front.
When equipped with the available JBL® Audio Upgrade (MSRP $680), Avalon XLE's 14-speaker system exceeds Maxima SV's 8 speakers. The Bose Audio upgrade that comes standard on the Maxima SR (with an MSRP of $39,630) offers only 11 speakers. Both sedans come with Bluetooth® & Apple CarPlay® compatibility. Maxima does come standard with Android Auto™ compatibility which is not a supported feature by Avalon, but Avalon has Amazon Alexa. Avalon has a 7" Multi-Information Display that comes standard. For its part, the Maxima has a standard 8" Multi-Information Display.
For tech on the go, Avalon has five standard USB ports, while Maxima SV only has two standard USB ports. Also, Avalon XLE has an available power tilt/slide moonroof (Moonroof Package, MSRP $1,000); Maxima's only moonroof option – a dual-panel panoramic – is available on the SR and Platinum grades only.
Plus, Avalon has a 3-month All Access SiriusXM® trial and Safety Connect and Service Connect for 3-year trial, Remote Connect for a 6-month trial, and Wi-Fi Connect for a 6-month trial.
The Avalon comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P® (TSS-P) suite of active safety systems, offers greater fuel economy with the XLE’s EPA-estimated 22/32/26 mpg (city/hwy/comb), and offers many more interior comforts and conveniences when compared to Maxima. Plus, Avalon has a hybrid option.
While the base grade Maxima starts at a slightly lower MSRP of $34,050 vs. Avalon XLE’s MSRP of $35,650, the safety and extra features on the Avalon offer a much higher value. Also, higher-end trims of the Maxima have a greater MSRP than higher-end Avalon trims.
The dramatic body lines and clever LED lighting systems of the Avalon express its enthusiasm for performance and are sure to make it stand out from the crowd. With all of these advantages, it is clear to see our winner in this head to head: the Toyota Avalon.