2019 Chrysler 300 vs. 2019 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 300 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the 300 and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chrysler 300 is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

 

300

Maxima

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

504/415 lbs.

840/589 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chrysler 300 is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

 

300

Maxima

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

391

Spine Acceleration

50 G’s

57 G’s

Hip Force

350 lbs.

591 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

47 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

910 lbs.

997 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 300’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 300 has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - 300 optional). The Maxima’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 300 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 300’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Maxima’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The 300’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 63 more horsepower (363 vs. 300) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (394 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chrysler 300 V8 is faster than the Nissan Maxima:

 

300

Maxima

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.8 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.6 sec

14.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.4 MPH

99.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 300 V8’s fuel efficiency. The Maxima doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler 300 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The 300 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Maxima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 300 V8/AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:

 

300 V8/AWD

Maxima

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.13 inches

The 300’s standard brakes have 7% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Maxima (474 vs. 444 square inches), so the 300 has more braking power available. The 300 V8/AWD’s brakes have 16% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Maxima (513 vs. 444 square inches), so the 300 V8/AWD has more braking power available.

The 300 stops much shorter than the Maxima:

 

300

Maxima

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 300S/300C/Limited has standard 20-inch wheels. The Maxima’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the 300 can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Maxima doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 300 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 300’s wheelbase is 10.9 inches longer than on the Maxima (120.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 300 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Maxima.

The 300’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52% to 48%) than the Maxima’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the 300 more stable handling and braking.

The 300S handles at .85 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 300 a Large car, while the Maxima is rated a Mid-size.

The 300 has 7.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (106.3 vs. 98.5).

The 300 has 2 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

The 300 has a much larger trunk than the Maxima (16.3 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

Towing

The 300 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Maxima has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 300 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Maxima. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

The 300 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Maxima doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the 300 and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 300 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 300 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Maxima doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 300 (except Touring/Touring L) offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Maxima doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The 300’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 300 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 300 will cost $1100 to $5220 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

The 300 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 300 will retain 40.97% to 42.9% of its original price after five years, while the Maxima only retains 36.9% to 38.7%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 300 is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because it costs $198 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the 300 than the Maxima, including $50 less for a water pump, $164 less for a starter, $192 less for fuel injection, $30 less for a fuel pump and $139 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler 300 will be $2613 to $7877 less than for the Nissan Maxima.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Chrysler 300 and the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chrysler 300 outsold the Nissan Maxima by 10% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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