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A minivan on critical life support. Buyers should look elsewhere.
Plenty of features and gadgets, versatile interior, solid handling.
Needs more power, needs more interior space, poor crash test scores.
Available Quest Minivan Models
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A stabilizer bar is now standard on the GLE model while new titanium-colored accents have been added to the 16-inch SE and 15-inch GXE alloy wheels. The SE gets auto on/off headlights and all Quests now come with a video entertainment system at no extra cost.
Nissan completely redesigned the Quest in 1999 in an attempt to keep pace with superior vans from Honda, Chrysler and Ford. The current van's exterior is larger than the previous-generation Quest, with 4.6 more inches in length and 1.2 more inches in width. These dimensions provide an extra 9.6 cubic feet of cargo volume for a total of 135.6 cubic feet. Stylistically, the Quest's front end is rounded with a chrome grille and multiparabola headlights with crystalline lenses. A standard driver's side rear sliding door is one of its many features, making entry and exit easier for the kiddies.
Under the hood is a 3.3-liter, 170-horsepower V6 engine that makes 200 foot-pounds of torque. This engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that changes gears neatly, without a hint of harshness due to electronic controls. Antilock brakes and power steering are standard on all Quest models and the suspension provides a smooth, quiet, sedan-like ride.
For 2000, the minivan is available in three flavors: value-oriented GXE, sporty SE with larger 16-inch alloy wheels, and luxurious GLE trim, featuring leather seating and the Quest Trac flexible seating system. Versatile passenger space is the Quest's stock-in-trade with a third-row limousine seating option among its many features. With seven-passenger Quest Trac Flexible Seating, you can get 24 different combinations with the bench seat and 66 with the second-row captain's chairs. 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 behind the driver's seat. Storage compartments total 31 and cupholders will hold 13 drinks throughout. To enhance storage even more, buyers can add an optional multi-adjustable Quest Smart Shelf with mesh net located behind the third row.
The Quest's dashboard has a functional layout with the audio unit located above the climate controls for easier access. An automatic headlight on/off switch (standard on GLE and SE) can be set to sense the onset of darkness and automatically turn the headlights on. 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. The standard entertainment system features a new, larger screen for 2000 to better pacify rambunctious rear passengers.
Distinctive in shape and enjoyable on the road, Quests perform adequately, though more engine power would be appreciated. Except for the upright seating position, this Nissan's handling traits make it easy to forget that you're inside a minivan. Unfortunately, especially since this is a family-minded vehicle, the Quest's crash test scores are sub par. If you're seeking transportation for loved ones, the Windstar or Odyssey are a "safer" bet.
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