2019 Honda Accord vs. 2018 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Maxima’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

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

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 2 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

The Accord’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Accord 2.0T is faster than the Nissan Maxima (automatics tested):

 

Accord

Maxima

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.6 sec

14.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

101 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Accord gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima:

 

 

Accord

Maxima

 

 

Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

26 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

22 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

n/a

 

 

Sport/Touring 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/34 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

V6/Auto

 

Sport/Touring 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Accord uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Accord 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.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Accord higher (6 to 7 out of 10) than the Nissan Maxima (3). This means the Accord produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Maxima every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Accord stops much shorter than the Maxima:

 

Accord

Maxima

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Accord 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.

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Maxima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Accord’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the Maxima (111.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Accord Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Maxima Platinum (26.4 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

Chassis

The Honda Accord may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Nissan Maxima.

The front grille of the Accord EX 1.5T/EX-L 1.5T uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Maxima doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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

The Accord has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (105.6 vs. 98.6).

The Accord has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 6.2 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

The Accord has a much larger trunk than the Maxima (16.7 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Maxima’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

Towing

The Accord 2.0L Turbo offers up to a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Maxima has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Accord Touring has a standard 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.

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

Both the Accord and the Maxima offer available heated front seats. The Accord Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Maxima.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $1760 to $5950 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

The Accord will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Accord will retain 43.72% to 52.72% 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 Accord is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because it costs $324 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the Maxima, including $89 less for a water pump, $205 less for a muffler, $14 less for front brake pads and $462 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Accord will be $14293 to $18333 less than for the Nissan Maxima.

Recommendations

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

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 22 of the last 24 years. The Maxima has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Maxima has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The Maxima has never been chosen.

The Honda Accord outsold the Nissan Maxima by almost six to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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