The Nissan Maxima is a full-size car (previously mid-size) manufactured by Nissan and sold primarily in North America, the Middle East, and China. Making its sales debut in 1981 for the 1982 model year as the Datsun Maxima, it replaced the earlier Datsun 810. The name "Maxima" dates back to 1980 for the 1981 model year when the upscale 810 sold as the "810 Maxima" in North America. Like the 810, early versions of the Maxima had their origins in the Datsun/Nissan Bluebird. The Datsun brand was phased out in favor of Nissan in 1983 for the 1984 model year, thus becoming the Nissan Maxima.
Most pre-2003 Maximas were built in Oppama, Japan, until the current North American Maximas started being assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.
In some markets beyond North America, the "Maxima" name has also been applied to the Nissan Cefiro and Teana (see below).