The Nissan Quest is a minivan notable for its upscale cabin and controversial styling. While it can't quite match the interior space offered by some rivals, the Quest is one of the best-handling rides in its segment, and it certainly isn't stuck in the styling doldrums, either.
The latest model brings several minor revisions to the Quest, the most significant of which is a tweaked CVT that increases highway and combined mileage by 1 mpg. In addition, the LE trim level gains Moving Object Detection and a new name - Platinum - and a 5.0-inch audio display screen replaces last year's 4.3-inch unit.
With bold character lines adorning its flanks and an angular trapezoidal grille/headlight cluster, the Quest makes a much larger visual statement than the typical wallflower minivan. A "floating" roof treatment created by blacked out B-, C- and D-pillars is a unique touch. The Quest is one of the sleekest minivans on the market, recording a 0.32 Cd in the wind tunnel.
Inside, the Quest is surprisingly luxurious, with an attractive, Infiniti-like dashboard and abundant high-quality materials. Unlike most of its rivals, the Quest's third-row seats fold forwards onto the floor instead of folding backwards into the floor, resulting in a relative paucity of space. Cargo room behind the third, second and first second row seats is rated at 25.7, 63.6 and 108.4 cubic inches, respectively; in comparison, the Honda Odyssey offers 38.4, 93.1 and 145 cubes.
There's ample room for seven passengers to sit in comfort (eight-passenger seating isn't available), however, and theater seating means that second- and third-row occupants have an excellent view out the windows.
To keep road-trip boredom to a minimum, a DVD player with an 11-inch screen is available as an option. Notably, 16 cupholders are included as standard equipment.
The Quest features a lower sliding door step-in height than competitive minivans, which is helpful for small children or older adults getting into the 2nd or 3rd rows.
Power is provided by Nissan's tried and true 3.5-liter V6, which generates 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Shifting duties are handled by Nissan's Xtronic CVT gearbox, and fuel economy is rated at 18 city and 24 highway miles per gallon.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Quest is available in four trim levels - S, SV, SL and LE.
The S comes standard with tri-row air condition, power locks and windows (including power up-and-down second-row windows), a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an AUX input jack and a six-disc CD changer, cruise control, push-button start, cloth upholstery, wood-tone accents and 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.
The SV adds one-touch power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity a rear parking camera, an upgraded audio system with two extra speakers, a 5.0-inch color display and a USB connection port, and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Moving up to the SL nets leather upholstery, a one-touch powerliftgate, a power-adjustable driver's seat and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The aforementioned DVD package is available as a no-charge option on the SL.
The Platinum trim adds a navigation system, a 13-speaker Bose sound system, the DVD package, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and a blind-spot warning system and Moving Object Detection (described below). Also standard is an "AroundView" camera system that affords 360-degree views around the car during parking maneuvers.
All Quest models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The Platinum's Moving Object Detection system warns drivers of pedestrians, cars, or other potential hazards in the vicinity during parking or low-speed maneuvers.
The Nissan Quest minivan is up against a handful of strong and similarly fresh competitors, ranging from the Toyota Sienna, to the Honda Odyssey, to the Dodge Grand Caravan - and even the Ford Flex minivan-like crossover.