There’s nothing like a weekend getaway to not only clear out the cobwebs, but also spend additional time behind the wheel. A recent jaunt up to the wine country north of

Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley provided just the opportunity to check out the tech features on our 2016 Nissan Maxima. There’s much that works quite well and a feature or two that needs improvement.

Among the features we like is the ease with which you can connect your phone, the blind-spot detection has easy-to-see lights positioned just inboard of the outside review mirrors and the all-around view from the top of the vehicle, makes parking a breeze. Plus, there’s a good rear-view camera when backing, plenty of entertainment options from Bluetooth connections and satellite radio, comfy front buckets and decent rear seat room for another couple.

Swift, quiet transit

Hitting the road in the Maxima was a pleasure. There’s plenty of power from the 3.5-liter V6 and while I’m not a huge fan of continuously variable transmissions, Nissan has made enough continuous progress on its technology to make its CVT seamless and relatively unobtrusive in most, if not all, circumstances. The Maxima is swift with a quiet cabin and easy road manners that made driving through Los Angeles traffic effortless and the run up and over the San Marcos pass from Santa Barbara to our destination in Los Olivos one of the most enjoyable aspects of the trip.

Getting there is half the fun, but also can be half the frustration. Our biggest beef during the trip centered around the nav system, both in the inability for the voice recognition to understand what we were saying and the scale on the map itself, which made it nearly impossible to effectively use the traffic information. Either the map was too close at a mile or two to be useful in determining traffic and possible routes around it up ahead while the next step up to five miles was too small to pick out the one green route through the spaghetti bowl that is the convergence of five freeways around downtown Los Angeles. If there were increments between two and five miles, it may have helped, what’s really needed is a larger screen with higher definition graphics—like you’d find on a tablet.

Once traffic cleared and our destination programmed into the navigation system (the touch screen does work quite well even if the voice recognition has its struggles), the Maxima proved to be the perfect weekend getaway vehicle with plenty of room in the trunk for a case of wine and outstanding fuel economy of 27.2 mpg.

See past reports on our Long-Term 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum...


Long-Term Update: Powertrain

Long-Term Update: Comfort

More 2016 Nissan Maxima...

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