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Is Nissan Maxima Sports Car? (Answered)

Is Nissan Maxima Sports Car? (Answered)

We conducted thorough research on a car we are discussing today. And it is none other than Nissan Maxima. It has around eight generations and multiple versions within each one. So, sit back and relax. In the meantime, we take you through different aspects of Nissan Maxima to answer your question.

By and large, the Nissan Maxima is a mid-size car. Overall, it lacks the horsepower one expects from sports cars. On top of it, it is a 4-door sedan, while sports cars contain two doors. Besides that, Nissan Maxima is front-wheel-drive, whereas sports cars usually have rear or all-wheel drive.

However, it is crucial to highlight that things are not as simple as described above. One has to understand that Nissan Maxima has evolved with new generations coming out one after another. Within generations, different cars with new features and power are launched. Hence, we will discuss the Nissan Maxima in the context of several aspects, like engine, design, power/weight ratio, and drive system. It will help us to get to the bottom of superficial generalization. After that, we will see the category of Nissan Maxima for insurance purposes. So, let’s open the can of worms.

Also, read: How Many Miles Can A Nissan Maxima Last?


Inarguably, the significant parameter to evaluate the criteria of a sports car is the engine. A sports car usually consists of different engines, such as V6, Inline-6, and Inline-4. When it comes to horsepower (HP), there is no specific limit to it. It can have as low as 100 HP.

When we talk about Nissan Maxima, all cars were launched with different 6-cylinder engines. Nonetheless, the horsepower continued to increase with each new generation coming out on the market. Here we define the maximum horsepower of each generation.

  • First-Generation (1980- 1985) – 120 HP
  • Second-Generation (1985-1990) – 157 HP
  • Third-Generation (1990-1995) – 170 HP
  • Fourth-Generation (1995-2000) – 193 HP
  • Fifth-Generation (2000-2004) – 255 HP
  • Sixth-Generation (2004-2009) – 265 HP
  • Seventh-Generation (2009-2016) – 290 HP
  • Eighth-Generation (2016-2018) – 300 HP

Considering that a sports car can contain a 6-cylinder engine and has as low as 100 HP, it reveals that all generations meet the criteria. To your surprise, it is not enough to win a sports car category.

We often consider a car a sports car when it hits the parameter of power-to-weight ratio. Here we discuss it at length below.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Nissan Maxima

Power-To-Weight Ratio

When we combine the factor of an engine with a power-to-weight ratio, we reach a logical conclusion. The power-to-weight ratio explains how powerful the engine of a car is related to its weight. The likelihood of considering a sports car becomes concrete when the ratio hits at least 0.07 horsepower for every pound.

It is super easy to find the power-to-weight ratio. We are required to divide the horsepower of a car by its curb weight. Along the same lines, here we find out the power-to-weight ratio of a few cars of Nissan Maxima to determine if they belong to a sports category or not. Keep in mind that sports cars generally have the power to weight ratio of 0.07 or higher.

First of all, let’s figure out the power-to-weight ratio of a car belonging to the first generation of Nissan Maxima.

  • 1984 Nissan Maxima = 120 HP / 2879 lbs. = 0.04

Let’s now find out the power-to-weight ratio of a car from the third generation.

  • 1994 Nissan Maxima = 160 HP / 3128 lbs. = 0.05

Here we determine the power-to-weight ratio of a car from the fifth generation.

  • 2002 Nissan Maxima = 260 HP / 3309 lbs. = 0.07

Finally, we try to find out the power-to-weight ratio of a car from the eighth generation.

  • 2017 Nissan Maxima = 300 HP / 3609 lbs. = 0.08

The results show that the cars from the first and third generations did not meet the criteria. On the other hand, the cars from the fifth and eighth generations successfully met the requirements. Therefore, we can conclude one thing from it. The evolution of Nissan Maxima began to hit the parameter of the power-to-weight ratio of a sports car.

Also read: The Transmissions Of A Nissan Maxima, Common Problems And Fluids


Along with the two above aspects, design is another essential element to figure out the category of a car. It helps distinguish between a sports car and other types of cars. As a guideline, a sports car consists of two doors. At the same time, a sports car has improved handling.

However, Nissan Maxima is available only as a four-door Sedan. Hence, it out rightly deviates from the sports car category. The four-door car design usually indicates a car to take a family from one place to another. On the contrary, the aim of sports cars is sporty driving and running around a track swiftly.

2020 Nissan maxima sr

At the same time, remember that from 2017 the Nissan Maxima allows you to get a sportier performance and look by picking out the SR trim level. For improved handling and traction, the Nissan Maxima SR comes with performance-driven tires and wheels. For greater control, the trim level also incorporates stiffer suspension tuning. This model will provide you tighter handling and let you experience less body roll.

Also read: Is The Hyundai Veloster A Sports Car?

Drive System

There is usually one thing expected from a sports car. It is that its engine resides as close to the middle of the car as likely. Nevertheless, it still goes in the front as well. Meanwhile, the drive is more likely to turn out rear-wheel drive. In modern cars, all-wheel drive has also become popular.

When we see Nissan Maxima, nearly all cars from each generation have front-wheel drive. There is an exception of the first generation since it contained cars with rear-wheel drive. Otherwise, all generations from the second extending towards the eighth have front-wheel drive. Furthermore, the car has the engine in the front that we anticipate for most cars.

Apart from that, it is a consensus among car enthusiasts that a front-wheel driver makes a car less exciting to drive. It is because drifting becomes difficult. Thus, it reveals that Nissan Maxima is not a sports car as far as the drive system is concerned.

Is The Nissan Maxima A Sports Car For Insurance Purposes?

It is vital to highlight one thing crystal clear. Whether the Nissan Maxima is a sports car or not for insurance purposes is not pertinent. It is the case since insurance providers consider several requirements. Plus, they do not often inform you with what category they assign a particular car.

For instance, insurance companies take into account the trim level of your Nissan Maxima. They also consider the age of a driver. Moreover, they check out the safety and crash test results.

Assuming you need insurance rates for Nissan Maxima, we inform you it is contingent on various factors. Indeed, it is on you whether you wish liability alone or look forward to full coverage.

Eventually, we will give you a rough estimate of the insurance cost of Nissan Maxima. You can expect to pay nearly $1,550 a year as far as the average Nissan Maxima insurance rates are concerned. Also, it costs around $129 a month. That said, several factors influence overall car insurance costs.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Nissan Maxima Takes (Explained)


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