2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A-Class 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 A-Class and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Maxima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A-Class gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima:

 

 

 

MPG

A-Class

 

FWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

Maxima

 

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Maxima doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Maxima:

 

A-Class

Maxima

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Maxima doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class offers an optional 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 A-Class’ 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.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Maxima SR pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A-Class’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Maxima’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes A-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Nissan Maxima.

The A-Class is 1 foot, 1.7 inches shorter than the Maxima, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes A-Class amounts to more than styling. The A-Class 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 A-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The A-Class has .9 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more rear headroom than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Maxima doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 44% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Maxima (except S/SV/SL), the A-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 A-Class’ 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.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Maxima doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The A-Class’ 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 A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Maxima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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