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.
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.
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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
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, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.
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 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 5 Series Sedan has not been tested, yet.
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.
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.
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.
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 400 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.
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.
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 5 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 5 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the 5 Series Sedan, including $327 less for a water pump, $309 less for an alternator, $107 less for front brake pads, $240 less for a starter, $191 less for a fuel pump, $466 less for front struts and $465 less for a power steering pump.
The Nissan Maxima outsold the BMW 5 Series by 65% during the 2016 model year.