Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Maxima VS 2017 Acura RLX Near Macon, GA

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2017 Nissan Maxima

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2017 Acura RLX

Safety Comparison

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 RLX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Acura RLX:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

212 lbs.

222 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

67 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

214/398 lbs.

305/387 lbs.

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

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 Acura RLX:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

591 lbs.

901 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 RLX is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Maxima’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the RLX’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Maxima’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RLX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RLX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Acura RLX V6:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Maxima gets better city fuel mileage than the RLX FWD V6 (21 city/30 hwy vs. 20 city/30 hwy).

The Maxima has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the RLX:




Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 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 RLX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 RLX doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the RLX, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Maxima 3.5 SR handles at .86 G’s, while the RLX pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Maxima 3.5 SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RLX (26.6 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Maxima’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the RLX’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 750 pounds less than the Acura RLX.

The Maxima is 3.3 inches shorter than the RLX, making the Maxima easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Maxima has 1.8 inches more front headroom and 2.7 inches more front legroom than the RLX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Maxima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The RLX doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 RLX 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 RLX’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $10695 to $12628 less than for the Acura RLX.

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 RLX isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Acura RLX by almost 43 to one during the 2016 model year.

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