Both the 2020 Ford Fusion and Nissan Maxima are big on smooth-riding speed and rich interior comfort. So how do you choose between the two? Our comparison guide takes a close look at each sedan to help you pick the one that’s right for your daily drive.
Sportiest Ride: It’s a Tie
Nissan likes to call the Maxima a four-door sports sedan. And once you take one for a test-drive, it’s clear to see why. Every Maxima trim model comes standard with the same powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 engine that drives the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. This V6 makes 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque for a seriously sporty performance.
The 2020 Ford Fusion also puts an emphasis on performance. This sedan feels smooth and composed, whether you’re getting up to speed on the highway or navigating a curvy mountain pass. Shoppers can choose from three engines for an increasingly quick ride. The most powerful engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, offers 240 horses and 270 pound-feet of torque. The Fusion is even available with all-wheel drive, traction-enhancing performance technology that makes for an even sportier ride.
Thriftiest Performance: 2020 Ford Fusion
More Luxury: 2020 Nissan Maxima
Both of these midsize sedans put an emphasis on interior comfort and space, but the Maxima has a little extra flair. Inside, you’ll find an attractive design and an abundance of high-quality materials. And every Maxima comes standard with high-end extras, like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are also standard, so you can access smartphone apps directly from the aforementioned touchscreen.
We certainly don’t have any complaints about the 2020 Ford Fusion interior. This five-passenger midsize sedan is a roomy, smooth-riding commuter. Modern features like dual-zone automatic climate control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are optional for the base S trim model and standard on the rest. But the Fusion isn’t quite as luxurious as the Maxima – at least not until you get to the top-trim Titanium model, with its sunroof and ambient interior lighting.
Best Deal on a New Car: 2020 Ford Fusion
The Nissan Maxima comes standard with extra luxury, but its starting price tag might be a little steep for some. While the Maxima starts at $34,250, the 2020 Ford Fusion gives you a great deal on modern transport, with a starting MSRP of just $23,170.
Indeed, while the top-trim Maxima goes for upwards of $41,640, the top-trim Ford Fusion gives you a great deal on upscale travel. The Fusion’s MSRP range stops at $36,450 – not far from where the Maxima’s starts. (Remember how that top-trim Fusion Titanium is as luxurious as the Maxima? They’re also similarly priced.)
While the Maxima might speak to some with its upscale cabin, the Ford Fusion is our overall pick. In addition to costing less – much less – the Fusion also provides a sporty performance and better fuel economy.