Redesigned Nissan Maxima aces IIHS crash tests

The 2016 model has received \'good\' ratings in all crash scenarios, performing much better than the outgoing Maxima.

Nissan's 2016 Maxima has earned top crashworthiness honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The eight-generation 'four-door sports car' received 'good' ratings in every crash scenario, along with a 'superior' assessment for front crash prevention. The strong all-around performance was deemed worthy of a Top Safety Pick+ award.

The structure was well optimized for the challenging small-overlap test, with maximum intrusion of 12 cm measured at the parking brake pedal. Dummy measurements point to a low risk of serious injuries, despite a risk of head contact with the forward structure.

In contrast, the seventh-generation Maxima received 'acceptable' ratings in two crash tests, disqualifying the car from earning Top Safety Pick status. In the small-overlap test, intrusion reached 22 cm at the hinge pillar and the steering column was pushed back 7 cm toward the driver.

Interestingly, the older Maxima received a 'good' mark in for restraints and dummy kinematics in the small overlap test, but earned a lower rating overall due to structural deformation. The 2016 model proved to have a stronger structure, contributing to the 'good' rating overall, but showed poorer performance in the subcategory related to dummy movement.

The IIHS has implemented tougher criteria for 2016-model-year cars, requiring 'good' overall ratings in all crash categories and an 'advanced' or 'superior' assessment for automatic emergency braking.

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