2012 Nissan ?uest LE: It's Grand
January 18, 2012
I love this tall, slab-sided mutant freak. Pathetic, I know. Fawning over a minivan is like marveling at the tax code. But I thought it was the best of the bunch when Erin wrote her minivan comparo several months ago. I don't feel much different after driving our new long-termer for the first time. The V6 and CVT are a great match. Where the Odyssey's six-speed auto is indecisive and hesitant, the Quest is linear and almost seamless. The Sienna delivers its power in pretty authoritative fashion, but still not as fluidly as the Quest.
It feels like a proper big van.
Big, tall doors that slam shut with some wallop. Wide captain's chairs that could probably benefit from slightly more bolstering. Jumbo mirrors, and a rich feeling cabin with wood inlays and quality leather. Unfortunate color, though. We will absolutely destroy these tan seats and carpet with the kids, dogs, sand, dirt, bikes and lumber that will pass through in the course of 20,000 miles.
Look forward to getting this thing on a good road trip, and see if the fold-flat seating eats as much cargo volume as the specs say. See if it's a real deal breaker.
For the longest time, I never really got Nissan. When the cool kids started swapping SR20s into their 240's, I stayed in the Honda end zone, rallying around B18C's and then the K20. You were either a front- or rear-drive guy in those days. If you were into getting sideways, you weren't in a Honda. Fast-forward to the worlds of parenting and kid-crap hauling, and I'm now a Nissan homer all day.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor