The Nissan Maxima is a car manufactured by Nissan that is in a line of upper mid-size executive and sports sedans. The Maxima debuted in 1976 as an upscale version of the Bluebird and was spun into its own line in 1980, having been made continuously since then. Most pre-2004 Maximas were built in Oppama, Japan, until the current North American Maximas started being assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.
The Maxima models are also known as Nissan Cefiro or Nissan Laurel in various markets.
Worldwide, the Maxima's direct competitors are Japanese models such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, and Korean models like the Hyundai Sonata or Hyundai Azera, while in the US it may also compete with the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Five Hundred. In Australia, the local Mitsubishi 380 and lower-end versions of the larger Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon are also competitors.
Unlike most of the competition, which uses belts to drive the camshafts, the Maxima engine has internal chains for the twin overhead cams, eliminating the need for periodic replacement of the timing belt.