The 2011 Nissan Quest Review: Minivans, a creation of Chrysler in the mid 1980's, were designed to combine car like accommodations and driving quality with the practicality and hauling ability of the full-size, truck-based vans. They were very successful, filling a huge need, and Nissan's first Quest was one buyer’s option in the minivan market.
The original Quest was a little smaller than the competition and sold pretty well, but was not the leader. Later Quests, including the version that expired in 2010, were a little odd looking and remained marginal in the segment. Nissan somehow misgauged the market.
Well, now the new, fourth-generation model is aimed squarely at families, Nissan finally admitting that that’s where the action is with these people carriers. The new van is not only king-sized and fully featured, but it is richly appointed inside, even traditional in its presentation. Wearing an expressive face and rakish roofline, it truly matches the leading minivan sales guys point for point.
The styling may be a little unusual here, but there’s no argument that it’s pretty attractive. And somehow, the vehicle has a real mass to it, almost like a Greyhound bus, but nicer looking, of course. Perhaps it’s the roofline, with its wraparound glass windows in back. The car exudes genuine presence.
The second-generation Quest’s interior featured some odd proportions, with the apparent aim of artistic expression rather than a sense of solidity. The third generation partly corrected that, but the new fourth-generation car gets the “Fort Knox” feeling just right. The materials look rich, but more importantly, provide the sense is that you’re riding in a strong, safe place.
That’s what families are looking for, after all.
Families who travel often want to provide entertainment to their kids in back. The Quest has second and third row theater seating, so everyone can see out and also watch the optional 11-inch video screen that drops down from the ceiling. There’s a remote control and two wireless headsets to keep the kids distracted while mom and pop put away the miles up front. The driver gets a conversation mirror to monitor what’s happening back there.
You can get the new Quest in four versions: S, SV, SL and LE. The S is the entry point, but still provides a generous list of features, including second and third row seats that fold flat, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, center consoles in both the front and middle rows and a four-speaker audio system.
The SV steps it up with power sliding doors, alloy rather than steel 16-inch wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, two additional audio speakers, color dash display for audio, a USB port and lots of other things most people want. The S and SV feature cloth interiors.
The SL and LE are the upper level models. My tester was a Black Amethyst SL model. SL’s get bumped up to 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate and Quick Comfort heated seats that are designed to hit the thighs and hips first, then the pressure points, it’s very scientific. Other benefits include roof rails, an auto-dimming mirror, and more.
The LE, at the top of the list, adds a standard navigation system, and Nissan’s is one of the best, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, and an advanced climate control system that filters out pollen and offensive odors outside the car to protect the sensibilities and health of your family.
The Quest gets its motivation from a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 260 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. Nissan knows its V6 engines, routinely winning industry awards. Their V6 engines make the 370Z a real sports car and the Altima sedan a surprisingly virile performer, and these engines get duty elsewhere as well. The 4,400 to 4,500 pound van moves along with ease.
The EPA gives the Quest fuel economy numbers of 19 City, 24 City, averaging 21, but during my test week I averaged 17.4. And unlike other cars, this one had two ways to tell the fuel economy, one in the console and another on the dash. They ended up different by .3 of a mile per gallon. The EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide gives the car a decent 6 for Air Pollution but a lackluster 4 in the Greenhouse Gas area.
There are two option packages for the SL, including the DVD Entertainment System and a killer Bose audio system, both standard on the LE, and a humungous dual moonroof, which is available only on the SL and LE.
Pricing starts at $28,550 for the S, up to the LE at $42,150 including destination charges. My SL tester MSRP came in at $38,840. It’s hard to imagine what else you could ask for in a motorized vehicle.
By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line: The 2011 Nissan Quest minivan has finally joined the market segment with a real contender. Minivans need to be a safe and fun place to be for long trips, carpools and rides to Grandma’s house. The new Quest now has the right stuff that minivans buyers look for in a family hauler. It took them awhile to get it right, and now the new Quest is on the right track to sales success. You should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”
Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The 2011 Nissan Quest Bottom Line Review provided by: TonyLeopardo © AutoWire.Net - “Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember:
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Column Name: The new Quest is on the right track to sales success
Topic: The 2011 Nissan Quest Minivan
Word Count: 1,010
Photo Caption: The 2011 Nissan Quest Minivan
Photo Credits: Nissan Quest Internet Media
Series #: 2011- 34
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2011 Nissan Quest