The Quest had one of the most flexible interiors of any MPV. In its latest edition, it has simply lost some of the utility that one expects from a family vehicle.
In terms of overall length and wheelbase, the Quest isn’t much smaller than the Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna, or Honda Odyssey. At 200.8 inches long, on a 118.1-inch wheelbase, it’s reasonably close to those competitors in almost every dimension. Where it loses is interior volume: its fixed seats take up space where a good fold-out third-row seat would leave a flatter cargo floor – and where the fold-away second-row seats in Chrysler vans would gain the corners. feature wars, every time.
The Quest has a few other flaws, from the front seats to the rear. There’s ample leg and head room, and tall adults will fit comfortably in its plush-padded buckets. The view in front is very reminiscent of the first Japanese MPVs that arrived in the United States in the 1980s, with a flat dash structure that makes entry and exit easier, as well as wide doors.
The problem starts in the second row, where the Quest’s sliding side doors don’t retract enough for adults to climb up and sit down easily. It can be difficult to maneuver a car seat through the opening, let alone a child with a mind of its own. The Quest doesn’t have a middle seat, which means other eight-passenger minivans have an advantage over this one. Quest’s third row seat is cramped for adults, acceptable for children.
Whether in the second or third row, the seats themselves are well reclined and provide good support, but they don’t move – the seatbacks simply fold down when more cargo space is needed. More than anything, the Quest feels as small as the inside, that and its relatively high cargo floor. The seats fold up quite easily, thanks to levers and pull straps. However, if you are ordering the power assist for the third row seat, be aware that it will stop before you lift the seat fully. Oddly, it drops in an upright position, leaving the owners to use a fabric strap to finish the job.
Since the seats no longer tuck into the floor, as they did in the old Quest, the cargo volume is significantly reduced. In all, the Quest has 35 cubic feet behind its third row seats, 64 cubic feet with the third row folded down and 108 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The next Kia Sedona has folding second row seats like the Quest, but still offers up to 32 cubic feet, 80 cubic feet and 142 cubic feet of space. Chryslers have their folding seats in the first-class floor on some models – and with them, they can boast 33 cubic feet, 83 cubic feet, and 144 cubic feet, respectively. The huge Sienna has 39 cubic feet, 87 cubic feet, and up to 150 cubic feet of space with the second row seats folded down and the third row folded down, respectively. The Odyssey has 38 cubic feet, a vast 93 cubic feet and 149 cubic feet of space behind the respective rows.
Other compromises are less noticeable, but they are there. There’s no telescoping steering wheel with the Quest, although the elevated seating position makes the most of the situation. It offers up to 16 cup holders and bottle holders, although the pop-out pair under the radio is only large enough for cans.
The review continues below