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Nissan Maxima

mike ditz/Nissan

Tech specs

Price range: $40,790-$45,650.

Engine: 3.5-litre V6.

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Transmission/drive: Xtronic continuously variable/front-wheel.

Why it matters: Two words: safety technology. Nissan’s flagship sedan, the Maxima, gets refreshed for 2019. The exterior and interior tweaks aren’t drastic, but the added safety technology is impressive.

The Maxima gets 10 airbags and comes with a number of driver safety features you’d expect to find on more expensive, luxury cars. The available bundled package, dubbed “Nissan Safety Shield 360,” includes six innovative safety-tech features.

One of the most noteworthy is the intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection system. By using forward-facing radar and camera technology, it can track vehicles and pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle. If you don’t notice a pedestrian, the system will warn you with audible and visual cues and apply the brakes to help you avoid or reduce the severity of a frontal collision.

High-beam assist, also part of the package, is a handy feature when driving down dark country roads. It automatically switches the high beams on and off as needed, depending on the oncoming traffic. If it detects a vehicle ahead, the system will switch to low-beam headlights and then turns the high beams back on when needed – the driver doesn’t need to touch a button or flick a switch.

It’s nice to see innovative safety technology features finally trickling down into mainstream sedans like the Maxima.

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

If you think electric cars are boring and bland, take a look at the Nismo RC. This is no ordinary zero-emission Leaf; this is an AWD, all-electric, performance race car from NISMO, Nissan’s racing arm. Weighing in at 1,220 kgs, it can hit zero-100 k/hr in only 3.4 seconds. That’s Porsche 911-fast.

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