Nissan Maxima vs BMW 5 Series

2021 Nissan Maxima
2021 Nissan Maxima
$37,090MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 5 Series
2021 BMW 5 Series
$54,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Nissan Maxima
$37,090MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 5 Series
$54,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
Overview

MSRP

$37,090

MSRP

$54,200

Average price

$18,301

Average price

$26,430

Listings

3077

Listings

8640
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Powerful engine
  • Premium interior materials
Cons
  • All-wheel drive not available
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cramped back seat
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard

Reviews Summary

The 2021 Nissan Maxima celebrates 40 years on sale, making it one of the oldest Japanese automotive nameplates in continuous use. While it’s impressive for any model to survive four decades, the Maxima has spent most of its history mired in mediocrity.

The Nissan Maxima name first appeared in 1981 as a rebranding of the Datsun 810 sedan. The original Maxima/810 was a true enthusiast’s car, boasting rear-wheel drive (RWD) and a sporty character that led Nissan to declare it a “four-door sports car.” However, that only lasted for a few years.

With its first redesign for the 1985 model year, the Maxima switched to front-wheel drive (FWD) and was positioned as Nissan’s flagship sedan. It’s been that way ever since. Nissan has continued to gesture in the direction of that original RWD model, but for most of its 40 years, the Maxima has been a slightly sportier alternative to full-size sedans like the Toyota Avalon, rather than a BMW beater.

So it is with the current, eighth-generation, Maxima, which debuted for the 2016 model year. It enters the 2021 model year with few changes, the most significant being a 40th Anniversary Edition option package for the top Platinum trim level, which sits above the base SV and mid-range SR trim levels. That’s what we test drove for this review.

Reviews Summary

BMW was once known for sports sedans, and the 5 Series was one of the most prolific of those sedans. Sitting between the 3 Series and 7 Series in size and price, previous generations of 5 Series were known for a balance of performance and luxury, with impeccable engineering throughout.

Today, the BMW 5 Series is largely irrelevant. The 3 Series is now so big that there is less reason to upgrade, and most buyers are more interested in SUVs anyway. The competition—including the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Volvo S90—has also gotten better.

That doesn’t mean BMW has given up on the 5 Series. The current generation (codename G30) arrived for the 2017 model year, but it gets a midcycle refresh (or LCI, short for “Life Cycle Impulse,” in BMW speak) for 2021. Major updates include a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a bigger infotainment touchscreen, and subtle styling changes.

The 2021 BMW 5 Series is not like the 5 Series models of old. That may drive away hardcore car fans, but the 2021 model makes a strong case to new-car buyers, maintaining sportier-than-average driving dynamics, along with the tech and luxury features expected of a car in this segment.

No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.5L 300 hp V6

Engine

2.0L 248 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

300 hp @ 6400 rpm

Horsepower

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

MPG City

20

MPG City

25

MPG Highway

30

MPG Highway

33
2021 Nissan Maxima
2021 Nissan Maxima
$37,090MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 5 Series
2021 BMW 5 Series
$54,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Nissan Maxima
$37,090MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 5 Series
$54,200MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
Overview
MSRP
$37,090
$54,200
Average price
$18,301
$26,430
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.4
4.5
Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Read full review

8.0 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Powerful engine
  • Premium interior materials
Cons
  • All-wheel drive not available
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cramped back seat
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Summary

The 2021 Nissan Maxima celebrates 40 years on sale, making it one of the oldest Japanese automotive nameplates in continuous use. While it’s impressive for any model to survive four decades, the Maxima has spent most of its history mired in mediocrity.

The Nissan Maxima name first appeared in 1981 as a rebranding of the Datsun 810 sedan. The original Maxima/810 was a true enthusiast’s car, boasting rear-wheel drive (RWD) and a sporty character that led Nissan to declare it a “four-door sports car.” However, that only lasted for a few years.

With its first redesign for the 1985 model year, the Maxima switched to front-wheel drive (FWD) and was positioned as Nissan’s flagship sedan. It’s been that way ever since. Nissan has continued to gesture in the direction of that original RWD model, but for most of its 40 years, the Maxima has been a slightly sportier alternative to full-size sedans like the Toyota Avalon, rather than a BMW beater.

So it is with the current, eighth-generation, Maxima, which debuted for the 2016 model year. It enters the 2021 model year with few changes, the most significant being a 40th Anniversary Edition option package for the top Platinum trim level, which sits above the base SV and mid-range SR trim levels. That’s what we test drove for this review.

BMW was once known for sports sedans, and the 5 Series was one of the most prolific of those sedans. Sitting between the 3 Series and 7 Series in size and price, previous generations of 5 Series were known for a balance of performance and luxury, with impeccable engineering throughout.

Today, the BMW 5 Series is largely irrelevant. The 3 Series is now so big that there is less reason to upgrade, and most buyers are more interested in SUVs anyway. The competition—including the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Volvo S90—has also gotten better.

That doesn’t mean BMW has given up on the 5 Series. The current generation (codename G30) arrived for the 2017 model year, but it gets a midcycle refresh (or LCI, short for “Life Cycle Impulse,” in BMW speak) for 2021. Major updates include a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a bigger infotainment touchscreen, and subtle styling changes.

The 2021 BMW 5 Series is not like the 5 Series models of old. That may drive away hardcore car fans, but the 2021 model makes a strong case to new-car buyers, maintaining sportier-than-average driving dynamics, along with the tech and luxury features expected of a car in this segment.

Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.5L 300 hp V6
2.0L 248 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
248 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG City
20
25
MPG Highway
30
33
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