Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Maxima VS 2017 Audi A3 Near Gray, GA

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2017 Nissan Maxima

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VS

2017 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.

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 A3 Sedan scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Maxima Platinum has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Maxima Platinum has standard NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Audi A3 Sedan:

 

Maxima

A3 Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

45%

Neck Stress

212 lbs.

427 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

143 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

214/398 lbs.

461/426 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 Audi A3 Sedan:

 

Maxima

A3 Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

188 G’s

219 G’s

Hip Force

286 lbs.

308 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

591 lbs.

777 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 A3 Sedan was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.

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 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.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Maxima has a standard 150-amp alternator. The A3 Sedan’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 114 more horsepower (300 vs. 186) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 221) than the A3 Sedan 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 80 more horsepower (300 vs. 220) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 2.0T’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan FWD’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Maxima has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan Quattro’s standard fuel tank (18 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:

 

Maxima

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). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A3 Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 235/35R19).

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 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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

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.

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 A3 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 A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Maxima has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (98.6 vs. 86).

The Maxima has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Maxima has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (14.3 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 remote release defeats cargo security.

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Maxima Platinum, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory 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 A3 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 A3 Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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.

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

When the Maxima Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Maxima SL/SR/Platinum’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 A3 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 A3 Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the A3 Sedan, including $228 less for a water pump, $39 less for front brake pads and $438 less for front struts.

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 A3 Sedan was rated third in its category.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A3/S3 by 86% during the 2016 model year.

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