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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Maxima 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 BMW 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
The Maxima has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima (except S/SV/SL) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
Both the Maxima and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 5 Series Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 5 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 5 Series Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.
The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (300 vs. 248) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 258) than the 530i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Maxima is faster than the 530i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:
5 Series Sedan
Zero to 30 MPH
Zero to 60 MPH
45 to 65 MPH Passing
Speed in 1/4 Mile
The Maxima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.
The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the 5 Series Sedan, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.
For better maneuverability, the Maxima’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The Maxima’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.1 feet).
The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 700 pounds less than the BMW 5 Series Sedan.
The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Maxima has .6 inches more front headroom and 3.6 inches more front legroom than the 5 Series Sedan.
The Maxima has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Maxima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 5 Series Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Maxima has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the 5 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the 5 Series Sedan, including $295 less for a water pump, $401 less for a muffler, $76 less for front brake pads, $204 less for a starter, $7 less for fuel injection, $86 less for a fuel pump, $258 less for front struts, $445 less for a timing belt/chain and $137 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $11161 to $26337 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Maxima and the BMW 5 Series Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 5 Series Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.
The Nissan Maxima outsold the BMW 5 Series by 15% during the 2018 model year.
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