By George Polgar

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nissan recently overtook Honda to become the 2nd largest foreign carmaker in the United States.

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Several years of product updates have given Nissan a string of winners including an affordably stylish Altima mid-sized sedan, the global crossover segment leading Rogue, and the value-packed modern luxury Murano SUV.

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The new 8th generation Nissan Maxima full-sized sedan is calculated to keep up the momentum. Once the dominant vehicle format, the full-sized sedan is now considered an endangered species eclipsed by crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

But with a 4-Door sports car image burnished with Blue Angels jet fighter inspired designs, the Maxima is a good fit for younger buyers moving through life and family cycles. And the huge base of healthy and active boomers, who favor traditional big sedans, will appreciate Maxima’s style, comfort and confident ride.

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For Nissan, the super-premium new Maxima keeps the heat on Japanese rivals like Honda and Toyota and takes a shot at conquest sales from European luxury performance car makers like Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Starting at around $32,000 the new Maxima offers a compelling luxury, convenience and performance value proposition.