Nissan Quest News ?? Car and driver

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JEFF ALLEN, THE MANUFACTURER

When Nissan desperately needed a minivan for sale in the 1990s, it teamed up with Ford to rebrand the Mercury Villager as the original Quest, an arrangement that lasted another generation. The villager was killed in the early 2000s, so Nissan then set out on its own to create the funky third-generation Quest on the bones of the Altima sedan, but sales were terrible, spawning rumors that the company was breaking down. would completely remove from the segment. . A fourth quest was in the maps, however, and to bring the van to life, Nissan found another partner: itself, more precisely, the Japanese mother ship.

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JEFF ALLEN, THE MANUFACTURER

Indeed, the 2011 Nissan Quest is paired with the Japanese market Elgrand, a strategy that allows the automaker to hedge its bets against picky American buyers; if we don’t buy the thing, the production can ostensibly be reassigned to Japan. (This is where this new Quest will be built, unlike the previous model, which was assembled in Canton, Mississippi.) It’s a strategy that makes sense, but one that may need to be embraced sooner. possible: innovative styling is usually not among vans. the highest priorities of buyers, and this new Quest is as quirky as its slow-selling predecessor. That said, we love the samurai-helmet-meet-the-suburbs look of this minivan, and its wrap-around glass and tiled body sides create visual drama, at least as much as you might expect from a minivan, anyway. way. The styling of the new model is based on that of the Forum concept, which was written in the United States.

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JEFF ALLEN, THE MANUFACTURER

Give me more of these hot and hot features

Bold appearances tend to turn minivanites off, but the features and ease of use make them hot and awkward. As you might expect, the Quest’s second and third rows fold down to accommodate any flatbed furniture you can buy, but the chairs aren’t removable and won’t fold into the floor; instead, they fold forward to create a flat cargo bed, which Nissan says allows constant access to deep cargo well behind the third row. This well also has its own 60/40 split cover. Dodge, of course, offers the second row Stow ‘n Go, where the seats fold into the floor. In the Odyssey, the third row folds forward like that in the Quest, and then has to be flipped over into the luggage compartment to create a flat cargo floor, which Nissan’s press materials imply is terrible. inconvenience.

But the quest has its own drawbacks. Total passenger volume is roughly what you’d expect for the segment – all range from around 160 to 170 cubic feet, depending on equipment – but the Quest’s non-removable seats take up a good chunk of cargo space. when they are flattened. At a maximum of 63.6 cubic feet behind the second row, it trails 20 to 30 cubic feet behind the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan. And its 108.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded up follows the Odyssey of over 40 cubic feet. (Granted, this Honda figure is with the seats pulled out, and only Toyota gives a number for a folded, but installed, second row: 117.8 cubes.) The Quest is in line with its peers behind the third row, with 35, 1 cubic feet. available, however, and Nissan says the access height through the sliding side doors is lower than other vans, which is a good idea for small children and older people.

Trims and Equipment Overview – Take a Deep Breath

The Quest is suitably equipped to fight the segment leaders, but doesn’t seem to offer many innovations of the kind that influence buyers. The lineup starts with the S $ 28,550, works with mid-size SV and SL versions, and is topped with the LE. (Pricing for other versions is not available at the time of this writing, but we would expect it to be as close to the Japanese competition as the base price.) The S could stand for “stripper Here, the highlights of the feature list being 16-inch Steelies, cloth seats, cruise control, manual front seats, four-speaker stereo, and keyless entry and start. Take a step up and you add a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power sliding side doors, 16-inch aluminum wheels, a six-speaker stereo with 4.3-inch color screen, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity. , a reversing camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The SL opens up the possibility of adding option packages, including a rear DVD entertainment system with an 11-inch screen (the Honda and Toyota both offer much larger screens that provide split-display capability for multiple entrances), a set of two sunroofs, and a Bose package that adds a bunch of speakers and satellite radio to the DVD player. It also grabs roof rails, a power tailgate, heated and power front seats, leather upholstery, and an easier-to-use third-row folding mechanism. The LE Complete Boat includes all of the above except the optional dual sunroofs, and it’s the only way to get an integrated navigation system, Nissan’s sophisticated air-purifying air conditioning and a blind spot warning lights, all of which are standard. . It also has a power function to elevate the third row.

One cool feature: The tire pressure monitoring system on all Quests has a feature first seen on the Infiniti QX56, where the hazard warning lights flash when air begins to flow through the tire. , and the horn sounds softly when the desired pressure is reached.

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JEFF ALLEN, THE MANUFACTURER

Familiar powertrain

The Quest powertrain consists of Nissan’s VQ35DE V6 mated exclusively to a CVT; the engine is the same as the Altima and Murano that this minivan shares its platform with, so we expect brisk acceleration. The 253 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque found here are quite similar to the Odyssey (248 hp / 250 lb-ft) and Sienna (265 hp / 245 lb-ft) V6s, but pale a bit in comparison to the 283 hp in the Grand Caravan and the 260 lb-ft of its Pentastar V-6. The Quest, like almost all of its competitors, directs its power only to its front wheels; the Sienna is the only one that can be ordered with all-wheel drive. In terms of size, the Quest is pretty much in line with these three segment leaders, though it’s a bit narrower and taller than these offerings.

With engine horsepower similar to its peers, no huge advancements in flexibility or the fabulous minivan, and a somewhat compromised cargo space, it’ll be hard for the Quest to stand out. It looks like Nissan is once again relying on styling to separate its minivan – a dangerous lane, as the company should know – and it’s not as if the segment leaders have made recent missteps. The new 2011 Odyssey and Sienna drive well and offer at least one standout feature this Quest doesn’t, and the 2011 Grand Caravan has made big strides in powertrain and interior refinement. We can’t wait to put all of these vans together and see if the eccentric Nissan can improve on the third-gen fourth of five in our latest minivan review, but it looks like that quest, on paper, can end up where it leans. ‘old one has stopped when it goes on sale early next year. At least it looks pretty rad.

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JEFF ALLEN, THE MANUFACTURER

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