Photo of 2016 Maxima by Paul Clinton.

Photo of 2016 Maxima by Paul Clinton.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima has improved city and highway fuel economy over the outgoing model by more than 15 percent as the large sedan enters its eight generation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 2016 Maxima has achieved an EPA-rated fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. That's an improvement over the outgoing 2014 model, which was EPA rated at 19/26/22 mpg respectively.

The 2016 Maxima went on sale on June 3, and will compete in a crowded field of large sedans including the Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300, and Hyundai Azera. The earlier Maxima found its way into some rental fleets with 12,199 units added in 2013. Its commercial fleet penetration has been minimal.

Nissan is hoping to also draw buyers considering entry luxury models such as the Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 328i, and Lexus IS. Nissan has made several upgrades to the vehicle, including a new engine, new Xtronic continuously variable transmission, and 82-pound weight reduction.

The Maxima is now powered by a 3.5-liter VQ-series V-6 engine that makes 300 hp.

The 2016 Maxima is available in five trim levels including the S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. Nissan assembles the vehicle in Smyrna, Tenn., and the engine in Decherd, Tenn.

The 2016 Maxima retails for $32,410 for the S, $34,390 for the SV, $36,890 for the SL, $37,670 for the sporty SR, and $39,860 for the top-of-the-line Platinum.