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2011 Nissan Quest Road Test and Review

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Nissan Quest

COMPARE: 4 2011 Nissan Quest Models Side By Side By Side By Side
Is The 2011 Nissan Quest Your: Perfect New Car Match?

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
The Auto Channel

SPECIFICATIONS – 2011 Nissan Quest

Model: 2011 Nissan Quest 3.5 SV
Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6
Horsepower/Torque: 260 hp @ 6,000 rpm/240 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: CVT
Wheelbase: 118.1 in.
Length/Width/Height: 200.8 x 77.6 x 71.5 in.
Tires: P225/65R16 (compact spare)
Cargo volume: 37.1/63.6/108.4 cu. ft. (behind 3rd row/3rd row down/2nd row down)
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway/16.4 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 20.0 gal.
Curb weight: 4,389 lbs.
Sticker: $30,900 (includes $800 destination charge, $300 roof rails, $180 carpeted 3rd row, $60 cargo net)

Top 5 reasons to buy this car
1. Reasonably priced
2. Good power
3. Comfortable
4. Reasonably accessorized
5. Ample storage/people capacity

The Bottom Line: The fourth generation Nissan Quest may not have the aerodynamic profile of its predecessor, but the more squared-off profile promises increased cargo capacity and a more practical vehicle.

It's interesting that, in an era when many manufacturers are going to more aerodynamic shapes for their minivans, Nissan has decided to go in the opposite direction for the fourth generation Quest. The third generation Quest had a profile like an airfoil, with a decided leading and trailing edge. This generation is more squared off, not unlike the QX or Ford Flex. The back is almost vertical and the edge over the rear hatch is squared off.

True to its exterior promise, the Quest has the capacity to carry many people, lots of cargo, or both. We recall that our full-sized van carried five people plus camping gear and supplied for a five-week trip to the western National Parks. The Quest appears to have similar capacity, but in a more compact, minivan body.

There are three rows of seats for seven passengers. Behind the third row is 37.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Drop that third row, if you're only carrying four passengers, and the cargo capacity increases to 63.6 cubic feet. that's easily equivalent to what we had in our big van.

Fortunately, the Quest has the power to handle all that capacity. The 3.5-liter DOHC V6 produced 260 horsepower and drives the front wheels through a CVT transmission. There's enough power for Interstate highways, although some care should be exercised on some entry ramps.

Handling is OK for a minivan, but the Quest's top-heaviness is apparent. Generally you aren't going to put a minivan through a tough handling course, so the Quest is fine. On the positive side, the ride quality is very good and the Quest has good road manners.

The front and second row bucket seats are comfortable. The arm rests, however, are another story. they are difficult to adjust, because when you lift them up to the correct position and go just one click too far, you have to go all the way to the top and start again. Normally this isn't a problem, but the arm rest has to be moved to buckle up.

Like our big van, there's easy access to the second row seats. Child seat installation in those seats is a snap.

Vision is good all around, even with all the rear seats up. So often in a minivan rearward vision is compromised, but not so in the Quest.

We didn't have a navigation system in our tester but the screen serves as a readout for the audio and HVAC systems, telling you what you're listening to or where the air is aimed. The audio system was good. We tried to pull in our favorite Philadelphia stations on FM, and when we couldn't I hooked up my iPod for preferred entertainment.

I jabbered on about the carrying capacity in the back, but there are other little niches that show attention to detail. For example, there is a drawer at the front of the center console that is practical.

I was also pleased by the bottom line of the Quest. Granted, this wasn't over equipped and had manual seats, no navi system, etc., but $30,000 is a good number.

2011 The Auto Page