Featuring a 300 horsepower V6 using technology and “lessons” from Nissan's supercar GT-R, the Nissan Maxima moves solidly into the “class-above” sport sedan category for 2016. Asserting itself as Nissan's flagship vehicle with styling based on the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept, it features what Nissan describes as, “V-Motion front end, signature boomerang lights, kick-up C-pillars and unique floating roof appearance. It's the second vehicle in the Nissan fleet to wear the new design, following the 2015 Nissan Murano, and represents, according to Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn who introduced the new Maxima at the New York International Auto Show, “the return of the four-door sports sedan.”

Maxima's certainly been around for a while, and although it no longer is the scrappy four-door of a couple of decades ago, it does return and a vehicle designed for agility, roominess and sufficient muscle on demand. The packaging leans much more to refined luxury, however.

The new Maxima's engine contains 60 percent new parts compared with the outgoing V6, will return an anticipated 15 percent better fuel economy and is mated to a new, performance-oriented Xtronic transmission that delivers more torque from standstill and rapid shifts throughout the range.

Built on a new platform designed for crisp handling, the 2016 Maxima features revised independent suspension, performance damping, a large anti-sway bar and standard 18-inch and available 19-inch alloy wheels.

Styling is appealing and eye-catching both inside and out. In appearance the new Maxima suggests luxury branding even though pricing for the new model starts at $35,900 in Canada. Likewise the interior communicates premium branding, with an impressive list of standard features including leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, NissanConnect with navigation, 8.0-inch touchscreen display, Remote Engine Start and RearView Monitor.

For those in the market for a large sedan, the new Maxima offers a genuine high-end look and features at a surprisingly low cost.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee and will be available this summer.