2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2018 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Nissan Maxima doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The G80’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Maxima doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Nissan Maxima has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The G80 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The G80’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Maxima doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the G80 and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Genesis G80 weighs 587 to 1238 pounds more than the Nissan Maxima. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Genesis G80 is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

 

G80

Maxima

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

220

Neck Injury Risk

21%

23%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

212 lbs.

Neck Compression

22 lbs.

60 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

37%

Neck Stress

129 lbs.

132 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

56 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/55 lbs.

554/51 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 Genesis G80 is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

 

G80

Maxima

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

88

391

Spine Acceleration

31 G’s

57 G’s

Hip Force

394 lbs.

591 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

16 inches

HIC

230

300

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

857 lbs.

997 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G80 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Maxima is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

The G80 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The Maxima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Genesis’ powertrain warranty covers the G80 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Maxima. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Maxima ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Maxima’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G80 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Genesis will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Maxima.

Reliability

The battery on the G80 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the G80’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Maxima’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the G80’s reliability 20 points higher than the Maxima.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Genesis vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The G80 3.8’s standard 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 11 more horsepower (311 vs. 300) and 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (293 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The G80 3.3T Sport’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 65 more horsepower (365 vs. 300) and 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The G80 5.0’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 120 more horsepower (420 vs. 300) and 122 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the G80 3.3T Sport is faster than the Nissan Maxima:

 

G80

Maxima

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.5 sec

14.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.7 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

101 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G80 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on G80 3.3T Sport for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G80 has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Maxima (20.3 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the G80’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:

 

G80 3.8

G80 3.3T

Maxima

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13 inches

12.13 inches

The G80 stops much shorter than the Maxima:

 

G80

Maxima

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The G80’s optional 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Maxima 3.5 SR’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The G80 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The G80 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the Maxima (118.5 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Maxima.

The G80 5.0 handles at .88 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The G80 3.8 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Maxima Platinum (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Maxima’s (36.2 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The G80’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Maxima’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Genesis G80 amounts to more than styling. The G80 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Maxima (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G80 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G80 a Large car, while the Maxima is rated a Mid-size.

The G80 has 9.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (107.7 vs. 98.6).

The G80 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

The G80 has a larger trunk than the Maxima (15.3 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the G80 easier. The G80’s trunk lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Maxima’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the G80’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The G80 also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Maxima doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the G80 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 G80 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 G80 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Maxima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the G80 and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the G80 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.

The G80’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Maxima’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The G80’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Maxima’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The G80 3.8 AWD offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Maxima doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the G80 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Maxima doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the G80 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 G80’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.

The G80 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum. The G80 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Maxima.

Economic Advantages

The G80 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the G80 will retain 40.26% to 44.12% of its original price after five years, while the Maxima only retains 36.9% to 38.7%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Genesis G80, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Nissan Maxima isn't recommended.

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

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