Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Maxima VS 2017 BMW 3 Near New Braunfels, TX

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2017 Nissan Maxima

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VS

2017 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Maxima as “Superior.” The 3 Series Sedan scores at most only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

To help make backing safer, the Maxima SL/SR/Platinum’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Maxima Platinum’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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the 3 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, daytime running lights, available blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

220

232

Neck Injury Risk

23%

36%

Neck Stress

212 lbs.

345 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

214/398 lbs.

321/434 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the 3 Series Sedan:

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

168

276

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

15 cm

21 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.2/.1 kN

2.6/3.2 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.51/.43

.89/1.03

Tibia forces R/L

2.1/.4 kN

6.1/6 kN

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, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

188 G’s

232 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

64 G’s

Hip Force

591 lbs.

688 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 3 Series Sedan was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 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 3 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.

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 120 more horsepower (300 vs. 180) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 200) than the 320i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. 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 330i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the 320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan Diesel’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Maxima has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Sedan:

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

11.8 inches

The Maxima stops much shorter than the 3 Series Sedan:

 

Maxima

3 Series Sedan

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the 3 Series Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 3 Series Sedan.

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Maxima is 2.1 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than on the 3 Series Sedan.

The Maxima 3.5 SR handles at .86 G’s, while the 340i pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Maxima is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the 3 Series Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Maxima has 2.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 3 Series Sedan (98.6 vs. 96.2).

The Maxima has 3 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Maxima has a much larger trunk than the 3 Series Sedan (14.3 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Maxima Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry 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 3 Series Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Maxima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the 3 Series Sedan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air conditioned seats in the Maxima SR/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Maxima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Maxima with a number “3” insurance rate while the 3 Series Sedan is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Sedan because it costs $117 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the 3 Series Sedan, including $322 less for a water pump, $20 less for an alternator, $178 less for a starter, $7 less for fuel injection, $2 less for a fuel pump, $111 less for front struts, $308 less for a timing belt/chain and $319 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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 3 Series Sedan was rated third in its category.

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