The entry-level S model is gone, and a 40th Anniversary package joins the Platinum range.

Nissan has announced pricing for its 2021 Maxima, and there are some surprises. The sedan carries over from 2020 unchanged, but value-minded shoppers no longer have an entry-level S model to choose from. The cheapest Maxima is now the SV, which starts at $36,990 and represents an apples-to-apples increase of $340 from the 2020 SV. However, the SV is a full $2,540 more than the now-canceled S model it replaces in the Maxima hierarchy.

Nissan offers no explanation for dropping the Maxima S, which wasn't exactly a no-frills sedan to begin with. The automaker's 3.5-liter, 300-horsepower V6 was standard-issue along with a range of driver-assist and safety systems. That holds true for the SV and all Maxima trims in 2021, with Nissan Safety Shield 360 offering everything from automatic emergency braking to blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning. You'll still pay extra for features like intelligent cruise control, however.

Gallery: 2021 Nissan Maxima

Additionally, the SL trim is also gone, leaving Maxima buyers with SV, SR, and Platinum to choose from. The SR is $500 more expensive than last year with a starting price of $42,150, which oddly enough is almost identical to the Platinum trim at $42,220 – a $380 increase from 2020. Nissan doesn't mention any specific changes to standard equipment that could account for the price differences.

To celebrate four decades of Maxima production, Nissan offers a 40th Anniversary Edition package for Platinum models that adds another $2,125 to the price. The extra cost gets you a two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl exterior finish with a black roof, a plethora of black trim that includes exhaust finishers and wheels, and the requisite 40th Anniversary badging. Red leather seats with contrast stitching, white-faced gauges, dark chrome trim, heated rear seats, and more 40th Anniversary branding are found inside.

Nissan says the 2021 models, including the 40th Anniversary Edition package, are now available at dealerships. Prices do not include $925 for destination and handling.