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Compare the2023 Nissan MaximaVS 2023 Audi A6

2023 Nissan Maxima
2023 Audi A6

Safety

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The A6 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 A6 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Maxima has a standard blind spot warning system which uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. A system to reveal vehicles in the A6’s blind spot costs extra.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the Maxima has a standard rear cross-path warning system, which uses sensors in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. Rear cross-path warning costs extra on the A6.

The Maxima’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 A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available 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 Audi A6:

Maxima

A6

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

30%

Neck Stress

289 lbs.

322 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

64 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

359/238 lbs.

292/435 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

290

354

Neck Injury Risk

31%

41%

Neck Stress

124 lbs.

228 lbs.

Neck Compression

91 lbs.

98 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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Audi A6:

Maxima

A6

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

119

135

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

27 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

349 lbs.

716 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

275

395

Hip Force

480 lbs.

514 lbs.

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

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A6. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A6 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

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 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 above average in initial quality. With 72 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is rated below average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 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 With 27 fewer problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, J.D. Power ranks Nissan higher than Audi.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2021 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 1 place higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 39 more horsepower (300 vs. 261) than the A6 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

Transmission

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The Maxima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A6 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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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 A6 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the A6; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Maxima’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the A6’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 550 pounds less than the Audi A6.

The Maxima SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A6 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Maxima has 1.4 inches more front headroom and 3.7 inches more front legroom than the A6.

Cargo Capacity

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The Maxima has a larger trunk than the A6 (14.3 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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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 A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Maxima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Maxima with a number “1” insurance rate while the A6 is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

The Maxima will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Maxima will retain 43.69% to 43.8% of its original price after five years, while the A6 only retains 39.58% to 41.37%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the A6 because it costs $146 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the A6, including $261 less for a water pump, $21 less for a muffler, $86 less for front brake pads, $517 less for a starter, $1266 less for fuel injection, $122 less for a fuel pump and $192 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $16639 to $21184 less than for the Audi A6.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Maxima and the Audi A6, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A6/S6/RS 6 by 69% during the 2022 model year.

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