2012 Nissan Quest LE: Could Be My Minivan
March 31, 2012
First off, why are these things are called minivans when they're anything but? Still, if I had four or five kids and decided to get a "maxivan" (sorry Dodge) instead of a Ford Flex, the Quest would be my choice. My main reasons why echo the sentiments of some of my colleagues...
Solid Driving Dynamics:
The Quest's V6 packs plenty of punch and yet, driven in a worst-case scenario environment (heavy-footed staff and perpetual L.A. "freeway" gridlock) we are averaging 19 mpg. Nissan's CVT is the best in the business as it smoothly transfers the power to the wheels without feeling like an old automatic with a slipping torque converter. Lastly, the Quest provides a plush ride without feeling like a King size mattress on four beach balls when a faster corner comes up.
I know this is about as big a concern in this segment as singing ability is to Nicki Minaj. But on the other hand, I just couldn't drive something as fugly as the Odyssey and the Sienna is just bland. The Quest is the only one that strikes me as approaching attractive. Yes, the front end is a little weird, but I like the profile with its sweeping character lines and Mini Cooper/Ford Flex-like greenhouse with its blacked-out roof pillars that give a wrap-around glass effect. Just watch the lower skirting when you open the passenger's door next to a high curb.
As other staffers have noted, the Quest's inner sanctum looks and feels a cut (or two) above the others. The flowing dash design, convincing fake wood accents, high quality materials and contrasting piping on the seats make it seem as if the Quest LE was indeed at first slated to be an Infiniti.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor