Childre Nissan Compares 2014 Nissan Maxima VS 2015 Audi A3 Near Gray, GA

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2014 Nissan Maxima

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2015 Audi A3

Safety Comparison

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Maxima and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 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 A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 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.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 19th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 120 more horsepower (290 vs. 170) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 200) than the A3 Sedan 1.8T’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 70 more horsepower (290 vs. 220) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has 6.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan FWD’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Maxima has 5.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan AWD’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Sedan:


A3 Sedan

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

10.7 inches

The Maxima’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A3 Sedan are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the A3 Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A3 Sedan. The Maxima 3.5 SV’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the A3 Sedan.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Maxima’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (109.3 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Maxima is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the A3 Sedan.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Maxima has 2 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Maxima has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (14.2 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The A3 Sedan’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Maxima SV, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Maxima SV’s optional 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Maxima allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A3 Sedan’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield, the Maxima has standard extendable sun visors. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the Maxima SV to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Maxima SV’s optional air conditioned driver’s seat cools the driver and helps take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an air conditioned driver’s seat.

The Maxima has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the A3 Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A3 by almost 63 to one during 2013.

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