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The Nissan Quest features wild styling and better performance than most other minivans. Its powerful 3.5-liter V6 is a version of the same engine used in the 350Z sports car. And its smooth five-speed automatic would be perfectly at home in an expensive luxury car. With crisp steering, carlike ride and handling characteristics, and loads of useful space, the Quest is more fun to drive than most minivans and a better all-around choice for big families than a crossover SUV.
The space-age styling carries through inside with jetliner-style seats, and optional SkyView glass roof panels. A rounded pod juts out from the dash and houses the shifter and secondary controls. The cabin is comfortable and innovative. Its back seats are as roomy and comfortable as those of any minivan. And the rear cargo area is among the most useful, bested only by Chrysler's.
The Quest has a longer wheelbase than any minivan on the market today, and is as tall and long as its largest competitors. It's also one of the most versatile, with a radically arching roofline that contributes to its practicality. Its sliding doors open wide, and it boasts handy features such as a power liftgate, power rear-quarter windows, a sonar park-assist system, and overhead mood lighting. It's capable of towing up to 3500 pounds.
Nissan introduced the Quest as an all-new model for 2004. At the time, it featured a controversial interior design. Nissan changed to a more conventional interior for the 2007 model year, and also revised the front and rear exterior styling.
The 2007 Nissan Quest is offered in four trim levels: base 3.5, 3.5 S, 3.5 SL, and 3.5 SE. All are the same length. All feature Nissan's superb 3.5-liter V6 engine, a five-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.
The Quest 3.5 ($24,350) comes with cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, front and rear air conditioning with rear controls, cruise control with switches on the steering wheel, AM/FM/CD audio with eight speakers and RDS, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, two 12-volt power points, cornering lights, dual sliding doors, and P225/65HR16 Goodyear Eagle LS all-season tires on 16-inch steel wheels.
The 3.5 S ($25,650) adds a power right-side sliding door, a power liftgate, power third-row vent windows, in-dash six-disc CD changer, upgraded audio speakers, rear sonar back-up warning system, and illuminated steering wheel audio switches.
The 3.5 SL ($27,500) adds an eight-way power driver's seat, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise control and illuminated audio switches, rear-seat audio controls, upgraded stereo speakers, electrochromic rear-view mirror, HomeLink transmitter, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. The SL Premium package ($4,050) adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power four-way adjustable front passenger seat, front seat armrests, and 265-watt Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a six-CD in-dash changer. An Upgrade package ($650) adds front-seat side-impact airbags, a power sliding door on the driver's side, and puddle lamps.
The 3.5 SE ($33,900) adds leather upholstery; heated front seats; four-way power for the front passenger seat; dual-zone automatic climate control; RearView Monitor with a seven-inch screen; memory function for the driver's seat, mirrors, and pedals; dual power sliding doors; 265-watt Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a six-CD changer; an interior air filter; tilt-down backup aid side mirrors; a full-length overhead console; automatic headlights, fog lights, and P225/60HR17 Goodyear Eagles on machine-finished aluminum rims. The SE also has Nissan's SkyView Roof, which features a power glass sunroof over the first row, panoramic glass panels over the second and third rows, and sunshades for the panoramic panels. The SE also gets more safety features: front-seat side-impact airbags and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
The Seat Package, which nearly every Quest has, features fold-flat captain's chairs in the second row, with cupholders and an easy-entry feature, a fold-flat bench in third row with grocery-bag hooks, 3-point seat belts, and LATCH-style child safety seat anchors.
The DVD Entertainment Package ($1,550) includes a DVD drive mounted under the front passenger seat, a seven-inch color screen, remote control, auxiliary inputs, rear-seat audio controls and two wireless headphones. A dual-screen version of the system ($2,000) is available exclusively for the 3.5 SE. The Navigation and PAX package for the SL ($3000) and SE ($2650) includes a DVD navigation system with a seven-inch screen, 19-inch Michelin run-flat tires, and a cargo organizer for the area left by the now-absent spare tire.
The Technology package for the SL ($1700) includes dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, the RearView monitor, and automatic headlights. The Technology package for the SE ($800) includes the satellite radio and Bluetooth. The Towing package ($560) gives the Quest a towing capacity of 3500 pounds.
Safety features include curtain airbags for all three rows (for head protection), the required frontal airbags, active head restraints, traction control, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, plus a tire-pressure monitor. Side-impact airbags (for torso protection) and electronic stabilit
The challenge in designing the Nissan Quest was to create a minivan that didn't look like one, while keeping it practical. By lengthening the wheelbase and shortening the front and rear overhangs, designers produced a swooping roof line while enlarging the interior space. Bold fender flares give it a sporty-looking front-end. Blacked-out side pillars provide a window line that goes from the front wheel arches to the taillights in a bold arching arrow. The result is a vehicle with sleek character lines that does not look nearly as big as it actually is.
The long wheelbase gave the designers the opportunity to lengthen the sliding rear doors. That makes getting in and out easier, especially to the third row of seats. The power sliding doors work very well, and will open simultaneously from a distance when the buttons on the remote are pressed, though we found them reluctant to respond at times. The sliding doors have pinch protection, but seemed to push pretty hard before reversing direction. Due to the swept-up hipline, the slot for the door runners is in the middle of the bodywork rather than being disguised along the lower edge of the side windows.
The power tailgate works well, though it was slow to respond to the remote. It's possible to interrupt then reverse its opening by pressing the remote button again, useful when you notice that you've backed up too close to a wall or tree for it to clear.
The cabin is far from typical. And while it may not be to everyone's taste, it's innovative and useful. The interior dimensions are enormous, making the Quest feel incredibly roomy. Interior materials are quite nice. Nissan has come a long way in this regard. Most of the materials are soft to the touch, and everything fits together well.
A rounded pod finished in a soft black material juts from the center of the dash housing the climate and audio controls and the shifter, bringing them closer to the driver. The buttons and knobs for the climate controls are large and easy to operate. The remaining controls take some acclimation, however. The radio uses A, B, and C presets instead of dedicated AM, FM, and satellite presets, and the Seek button is obscured by the shifter when in Drive.
XM and Sirius satellite radio are available, which offer high-quality sound just about anywhere in the U.S. News hounds can follow the latest stories on Fox News or CNN with no need to change stations on a cross country trip. The Radio Data System, or RDS, identifies programming on the radio's display, making it easier to find what you want.
The navigation system is a pleasure to use. Its screen is located high up on the center of the dash. (The gauges lives here on previous models, but Nissan moved them to the traditional position for 2007.) The navigation system offers a three-dimensional bird's eye viewing angle as well as the standard straight overhead angle, good for wowing your friends.
The steering wheel of SL and SE models has illuminated controls for the audio system, and there are remote driver's door-mounted switches for models equipped with the power rear windows. Small-items storage is generous, with a large center console and a cubby at the bottom of the center pod.
The SkyView roof features a pair of long, rectangular glass panels that appear from the inside as four glass panels over the rear seats. The glass panels cannot be opened or removed but can be covered by a sliding blind. They help make the rear seating area less claustrophobic by letting passengers see trees, airplanes and mountain tops, adding to the airiness of the spacious cabin. Nissan chose opaque shades to slide over the glass panels, much better for blocking unwanted sunlight than the mesh covers used by some manufacturers. The SkyView package comes with a traditional power glass moonroof between driver and front passenger. It's a neat feature, fun for the kids and when the adults are out for an evening on the town.
When equipped with the central roof console and DVD entertainment system, the second-row seats make you feel like you're seated in a first-class Learjet. A DVD entertainment system with two monitors is available for SE models. DVD controls are located in the headliner, as are rear air-conditioning controls.
Rearward visibility is good using the rearview mirror and cleverly shaped outside mirrors. The available sonar back-up system helps with parking and can help avoid small children, pets or tricycles below the line of vision.
The seats are an unusual design. Far less bulky than normal, they look like airline seats when viewed from the side. While there is plenty of head and leg room, and the SL's standard adjustable pedals make it easy to find a natural seating position, we felt the front seatbacks were too hard.
The second-row captain's chairs are a popular option and, in spite of their spartan appearance, are very comfortable and supportive. The armrests are positioned at a comfortable angle on both sides of each seat. These seats fold flat and flip forward to provide access to the third row, and there is a center walkthrough as well. The flip-and-fold procedure can be done with one hand, but it isn't as easy as in some minivans and the seats don't fold into the floor or tilt far enough forward to provide optimal cargo room.
The third-row seats are among the most comfortable w
The Quest is more fun to drive than most minivans. Its suspension is taut, so it's more responsive than all minivans but the Honda Odyssey. Like the Odyssey, it has relatively little lean in corners and nosedive during braking. The steering is crisp, with just the right amount of feedback to let the driver feel connected to the road. Its high seating position offers good all-around visibility.
The Quest handles well. That not surprising once you realize it shares chassis components with the Nissan Maxima and Murano. Granted, the Quest doesn't handle as well as the Maxima, but it feels more stable in corners than a sport-utility vehicle and it handles better than a Toyota Sienna. It is still a very large vehicle, however, so you don't want to toss it into corners like it's a sports car. Also, its size makes parallel parking and backing out of tight spots a chore.
The Quest's 3.5-liter engine is one of the best V6s on the market. It's essentially the same engine used in the 350Z and Infiniti G35. Tuned for the Quest, it's rated at 235 horsepower. Nissan's variable valve-timing system helps optimize efficiency at a wide range of engine speeds. The torque curve is relatively flat and peaks at 240 pound-feet at 4400 rpm. This provides the driver with responsive performance, whether driving around town or cruising on the freeway. The Quest accelerates onto on-ramps with gusto and the five-speed automatic transmission provides quick, smooth downshifts for respectable passing response. The Quest is one of the faster minivans, but its heft prevents the V6 from being as responsive as it is in Nissan's cars. In addition, the throttle can be a bit sensitive at tip-in, so you need a delicate touch when accelerating from a stop, not a great feature in stop-and-go traffic.
Quest rates an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg City/Highway. It will run on regular unleaded gasoline. The engine controller dials back the ignition timing when it senses regular gas to protect the engine from damage. As a result, the engine delivers less than peak power, but it is still more than adequate for most daily driving. When you want all the available power, just pump in high-octane premium and the engine happily increases its power output.
The Michelin PAX run-flat system is superb and we highly recommend it. Traditional run-flat tires use super-stiff sidewalls and, as a result, suffer from a hard ride. The Michelin PAX system uses a special wheel and a support ring that prevents the tire from deflating or coming off the rim even if all the air is removed and you are driving at 55 mph. Even with what are essentially 19-inch wheels, PAX-equipped Quests maintain a forgiving ride quality with just the right amount of road feel. Changing a tire or waiting for a tow truck can be dangerous, particularly in high-crime areas or in heavy traffic. With the PAX system the driver can continue driving until the tire is replaced.
The Nissan Quest boasts brisk performance and handling that makes it fun to drive. It's like a Maxima in minivan clothing. Its radical exterior styling may not be for everyone, but the cabin is innovative, roomy, and comfortable. Passengers will be comfortable and happy no matter where they're sitting. Opting for the leather upholstery, DVD entertainment system, SkyView roof and other features turns the Quest into first-class travel.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent John Rettie reported from Santa Barbara, with Mitch McCullough reporting from Los Angeles and Kirk Bell reporting from Chicago.
Build and price your dream Nissan Quest in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
2013 Nissan Quest$24,911 | 13,091 mi
2013 NISSAN QUEST$26,777 | 16,652 mi
2013 Nissan Quest$26,984 | 15,050 mi
2012 Nissan Quest$15,841 | 67,275 mi
2012 Nissan Quest$17,777 | 56,314 mi
2012 Nissan Quest$17,995 | 60,586 mi
2012 Nissan Quest$21,933 | 18,960 mi
2012 Nissan Quest$24,943 | 30,217 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$17,542 | 82,436 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$17,803 | 63,783 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$18,479 | 60,108 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$18,990 | 24,327 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$20,985 | 66,160 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$21,995 | 57,008 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$23,400 | 52,460 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$23,900 | 46,857 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$24,998 | 36,393 mi
2011 Nissan Quest$26,998 | 29,249 mi
2009 Nissan Quest$12,900 | 84,785 mi
2008 Nissan Quest$9,495 | 127,705 mi
2008 Nissan Quest$11,981 | 68,898 mi
2008 Nissan Quest$12,999 | 83,642 mi
2007 Nissan Quest$6,995 | 106,800 mi
2007 Nissan Quest$9,946 | 86,507 mi
2005 Nissan Quest$8,988 | 110,494 mi
2005 Nissan Quest$9,780 | 77,649 mi
2004 Nissan Quest$3,990 | 155,000 mi
2001 Nissan Quest$5,595 | 111,000 mi
We have information you must know before you buy the Quest.
We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.
We will not spam you, and will never sell you email.