Top Safety Pick +

2021 Nissan Maxima

midsize car / 4-door sedan

Award applies only to vehicles built after November 2020

2021 Nissan Maxima 4-door sedan
2019 Nissan Maxima shown

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Small overlap front: passenger-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Headlights
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle
Standard system
Superior
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian
Standard system
Superior

Child seat anchors

LATCH ease of use
+

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights
  • Standard blind spot detection
  • Standard lane departure warning
  • Optional lane departure prevention

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2019-21 models

Tested vehicle: 2019 Nissan Maxima S 4-door

The Nissan Maxima was redesigned for the 2016 model year after a one-year absence from the market. Beginning with 2019 models, the frontal and side curtain airbags were enlarged, knee airbags were added for the driver and front passenger, and rear seat-mounted side torso airbags were added to improve occupant protection in frontal and side crashes.

Driver-side small overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2019 model Maxima conducted by Nissan as part of frontal crash test verification. Because the structure was not changed, the structure rating is based on this test and an earlier test of a 2016 model Maxima conducted by the Institute.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTN1902 CEN1523
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 11 11
Footrest (cm) 7 8
Left toepan (cm) 4 5
Brake pedal (cm) 2 3
Parking brake (cm) 13 12
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 3 1
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 0 0
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 4 3
Upper dash (cm) 6 6
Lower instrument panel (cm) 8 7

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTN1902
Head
HIC-15 109
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.0
Extension bending moment (Nm) 13
Maximum Nij 0.17
Chest maximum compression (mm) 21
Femur (kN)
Left 1.4
Right 0.6
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 0
Right 3
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.57
Right 0.35
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 1.9
Right 0.6
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 62
Right 43

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Small overlap front: passenger-side

Rating applies to 2019-21 models

Tested vehicle: 2019 Nissan Maxima S 4-door

The Nissan Maxima was redesigned for the 2016 model year after a one-year absence from the market. Beginning with 2019 models, the frontal and side curtain airbags were enlarged, knee airbags were added for the driver and front passenger, and rear seat-mounted side torso airbags were added to improve occupant protection in frontal and side crashes.

Passenger-side small overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2019 model Maxima conducted by Nissan as part of frontal crash test verification. Because the structure was not changed, the structure rating is based on this test and an earlier test of a 2017 model Maxima conducted by the Institute.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Passenger restraints and dummy kinematics
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on passenger side

Test ID VTP1903 CEP1702
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 16 16
Footrest (cm) 13 12
Right toepan (cm) 8 8
Center toepan (cm) 6 5
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 0 3
Upper occupant compartment
Center dash (cm) 7 5
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 5 6
Upper dash (cm) 10 8
Right lower dash (cm) 10 11

Passenger injury measures

Test ID VTP1903
Head
HIC-15 76
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.7
Extension bending moment (Nm) 14
Maximum Nij 0.20
Chest maximum compression (mm) 17
Femur (kN)
Left 1.1
Right 0.9
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 2
Right 4
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.41
Right 0.53
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 1.8
Right 1.2
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 49
Right 60

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTP1903
Head
HIC-15 36
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.8
Extension bending moment (Nm) 9
Maximum Nij 0.14
Chest maximum compression (mm) 19
Femur (kN)
Left 0.1
Right 0.3
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 2
Right 3
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.53
Right 0.34
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 0.1
Right 0.4
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 23
Right 26

How the passenger-side small overlap front test is conducted

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2019-21 models

Tested vehicle: 2019 Nissan Maxima S 4-door

The Nissan Maxima was redesigned for the 2016 model year after a one-year absence from the market. Beginning with 2019 models, the frontal and side curtain airbags were enlarged, knee airbags were added for the driver and front passenger, and rear seat-mounted side torso airbags were added to improve occupant protection in frontal and side crashes.

Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2019 model Maxima conducted by Nissan as part of frontal crash test verification. Because the structure was not changed, the structure rating is based on this test and an earlier test of a 2016 model Maxima conducted by Nissan.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTF1903 VTF1502
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 3 3
Left (cm) 5 5
Center (cm) 5 5
Right (cm) 6 3
Brake pedal (cm) 3 4
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 0 1
Right (cm) 1 1
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) -2 -3
Rearward (cm) -6 -8
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 0 1

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTF1903
Head
HIC-15 195
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.2
Extension bending moment (Nm) 22
Maximum Nij 0.25
Chest maximum compression (mm) 22
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 0.6
Femur force - right (kN) 1.3
Knee displacement - left (mm) 1
Knee displacement - right (mm) 3
Maximum tibia index - left 0.29
Maximum tibia index - right 0.37
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 1.9
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 1.4
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 44
Right 41

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2021 models built after November 2020

Tested vehicle: 2021 Nissan Maxima SV 4-door

The Nissan Maxima was redesigned for the 2016 model year after a one-year absence from the market. Beginning with 2019 models, the frontal and side curtain airbags were enlarged, knee airbags were added for the driver and front passenger, and rear seat-mounted side torso airbags were added.

Further improvements were implemented beginning with 2021 models built after November 2020 including door sill and pillar reinforcement as well as the addition of a larger side curtain airbag to improve occupant protection in side impact crashes. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Side ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2021 Nissan Maxima conducted by Nissan as part of side crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTS2022
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -16.5
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTS2022
Head HIC-15 345
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.0
Compression (kN) 0.0
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 26
Lateral force (kN) 0.9
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 29
Average deflection (mm) 25
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.88
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.35
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.8
Acetabulum force (kN) 0.8
Combined force (kN) 1.6
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.1
L-M moment (Nm) 110
A-P moment (Nm) 33

Passenger injury measures

Test ID VTS2022
Head HIC-15 150
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.4
Compression (kN) 0.3
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 15
Lateral force (kN) 0.8
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 15
Average deflection (mm) 13
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 1.92
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.09
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.3
Acetabulum force (kN) 0.6
Combined force (kN) 0.9
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.4
L-M moment (Nm) 170
A-P moment (Nm) 22

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2016-21 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Nissan Maxima S 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,479 lbs
Peak force 15,738 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 4.52

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Seat type: Power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Power cloth seat
Geometry
Backset (mm) 20
Distance below top of head (mm) 30
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 13.5
Head contact time (ms) 63
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 0
Max neck tension (N) 591

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted

Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle

System details

  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection
  • Standard Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW)

Overall evaluation

Applies to 2020-21 models

Superior
Superior
  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian

Trim level(s)

  • All trims

System details

  • Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection

Overall evaluation

Applies to 2019-21 models

Superior
Superior

Crossing child

  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.

Crossing adult

  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.

Parallel adult

  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 37 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision. A warning was issued 1.9 seconds before impact.

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Headlights

Trim level(s)

  • All trims
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? Yes
Overall rating
Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler 0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination High-beam assist credit

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was fair on the left side of the road and inadequate on the right side. On curves, visibility was fair on the sharp right and sharp left curves and inadequate on the gradual right and gradual left curves.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was good on the gradual right curve and fair on the sharp right and both left curves.

High-beam assist compensates for some limitations of this vehicle's low beams on the straightaway and all 4 curves.

Technical measurements for this test
Trim level(s)
  • All trims
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? Yes
Overall rating
Applies to 2019-21 models
LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Amount glare
exceeded threshold
Straightaway right edge 72.9 m None
Straightaway left edge 48.7 m None
250m radius right curve, right edge 54.3 m None
250m radius left curve, right edge 43.5 m None
150m radius right curve, right edge 54.6 m None
150m radius left curve, left edge 47.7 m None
HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Straightaway right edge 166.6 m
Straightaway left edge 152.8 m
250m radius right curve, right edge 78.1 m
250m radius left curve, left edge 74.6 m
150m radius right curve, right edge 59.9 m
150m radius left curve, left edge 56.1 m

How headlights are evaluated

Child seat anchors

Applies to 2021 models

Overall evaluation
+
extra LATCH positions
Vehicle trim SL
Seat type leather

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor and the ability to borrow lower anchors from the other seating positions.

Note: When anchors are borrowed, they aren't available to use in their designated positions.

Overall evaluation
+
extra LATCH positions
Vehicle trim SL
Seat type leather
1 2 3
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
not too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
Can be borrowed from 1 and 3
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
not too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
Technical measurements for this test

Seat position 21

3

Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 0-2
Force (lbs) 16
Clearance angle (degrees) 98
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 0-2
Force (lbs) 17
Clearance angle (degrees) 94
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 22

2

Lower anchor A
Lower latch is shared for this seat position
Lower anchor B
Lower latch is shared for this seat position
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 23

1

Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 0-2
Force (lbs) 12
Clearance angle (degrees) 99
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 0-2
Force (lbs) 11
Clearance angle (degrees) 93
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

How child seat anchors are evaluated