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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 A6 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 A6 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A6 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Maxima’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Maxima and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A6. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A6 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.
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 Maxima’s reliability 53 points higher than the A6.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A6 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Audi.
The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (300 vs. 248) than the A6 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Maxima is faster than the A6 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:
Zero to 60 MPH
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 A6 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 A6 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 A6; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.
The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 600 pounds less than the Audi A6.
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 A6 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Maxima has 1.4 inches more front headroom and 3.7 inches more front legroom than the A6.
The Maxima has a larger trunk than the A6 (14.3 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).
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 A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Insurance will cost less for the Maxima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Maxima with a number “1” insurance rate while the A6 is rated higher at a number “3” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the A6 because it costs $146 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the A6, including $259 less for a water pump, $21 less for a muffler, $78 less for front brake pads, $511 less for a starter, $1153 less for fuel injection, $121 less for a fuel pump and $192 less for front struts.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $18326 to $20135 less than for the Audi A6.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Audi A6 isn't recommended.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A6 was rated third in its category.
The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A6/S6 by almost two to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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