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Available Quest Minivan Models
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Substantial upgrades include dual airbags, integrated child safety seats, side-impact protection meeting 1997 passenger car standards, revamped fabrics, new colors, freshened styling and a cool in-dash six-disc CD changer. The Quest is still in the hunt.
Nissan claims that its Quest is the top-selling import-brand minivan. Actually, they're made in Ohio, in XE and luxury GXE trim, along with the closely related--but not identical--Mercury Villager. This year, Nissan infuses the Quest with several improvements to keep it competitive, including the addition of two important safety items.
Dual airbags replace those goofy motorized seat belts, and buyers can opt for an integrated child safety seat. Other interior refinements include new colors, new fabric styles, more storage space, and backlit switchgear. Outside, Nissan spruces the Quest up with seven new colors, freshened styling, and new wheels. New options include remote keyless entry, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, a semi-automatic climate control system, and an automatic-on headlamp system.
Versatile passenger space is the Quest's stock in trade. With seven-passenger Quest Trac Flexible Seating in an XE model, you can get 20 different combinations. In a GXE with captain's chairs, the total possibilities reach an even two dozen. Second row seats can fold down into a table, or be removed completely. The third-row seat also folds into a table, folds further for more cargo space, or slides forward on integrated tracks--all the way to the driver's seat.
Exceptionally smooth and quiet on the road, the Quest delivers more than adequate acceleration when merging or passing, courtesy of the 151-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine. The column-shifted four-speed automatic transmission changes gears neatly, without a hint of harshness, helped by electronic controls. You also get a smooth, comfortable highway ride and undeniably car-like handling--more so than most. Visibility is great, too, from upright but comfortable seating that's tempting for a long trek. Gauges are small, but acceptable, and controls are pleasing to operate.
Air conditioning and a tachometer are standard fare, while the GXE adds antilock braking (including rear disc brakes), a roof rack, and a host of powered conveniences. Distinctive in shape, enjoyable on the road, Quests are solidly assembled and perform admirably. Except for the upright seating position, it's easy to forget that you're inside a minivan, not a plain sedan.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.