October 17, 2012
Of course I know these seats are not really sourced from the Swedes, But given how they similarly manage to provide sink-in plushness along with proper back and thigh support, one could hardly blame me for feeling this way. Kudos to Nissan for also including an angle adjustment feature for the flip-down inboard armrests.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor
July 05, 2012
After Monument Valley, we headed for the nearby Grand Canyon. It's a pretty incredible sight even if you've seen it before.
Unlike southern Arizona, the higher elevations up north mean cooler temperatures, so the Quest didn't have to work as hard to stay cool like our X3. Still, the climate control in general is pretty well designed and easy to use. It's three-zone control was particularly helpful as there was often one side in the sun.
By this time I had also come to appreciate the wireless headphones for the rear DVD system that allowed the kids to watch a movie while music plays up front. Made me wonder what I used to do in the back of our family's van on road trips all those years before DVD players.
Kelly Toeple, News Editor @ 17,863 miles
June 12, 2012
I love minivans. I've wanted to own a minivan since before I had kids (if I'm being completely honest, I wanted one before I was married, so maybe I'm weird). But, like a lot of people, I don't always like how large they feel from behind the steering wheel.
The Quest is a little smaller than the top-selling minivans, that is the perfect size minivan for me. I don't need to carry eight passengers (unlike the competition, it only seats seven) and I don't need ultimate-maximum cargo capacity.
It also doesn't feel enormous, like most of the other minivans. I love that the third row doesn't seem like it's in another zip code when I turn around or look in the rearview mirror. The Quest is a perfectly manageable minivan.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com, @ 16,050 miles
May 07, 2012
I took a mini vacation to La Quinta (the desert city in California, not the mid-range motel chain) with three friends over the weekend. Why such a big vehicle? Well, originally, there were going to be six of us, but at the last minute, the group shrunk to four but I already had our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest, so off we went.
We haven't even had the Quest six months, but it has already seen a lot of road trip duty -- it went to Oregon with Dan's family and more recently took six adults to Vegas for Caroline's family reunion.
After this short trip, all I can do is agree with pretty much everything that has been said about the Quest: it's a fine road trip vehicle. Actually, I'll go farther. I don't think I've ever driven a minivan that was more suited to road trips (provided you don't need 8 seats). Here's why:
The ride quality is superb over most types of pavement (even in L.A.), and the cabin is exceptionally quiet. It was easy to participate in conversation with the passengers in the second row. The Odyssey and Sienna aren't this quiet.
I also was reminded that I think this is the best application to date of any continuously variable transmission (CVT). The ease with which you can put the pedal down to access a lower gear ratio range and get a few more revs from the 3.5-liter V6 for passing is just so nice. There's no waiting, no gearchange drama, the torque is just there when you want it. The six-speed automatic in the Sienna is good, but even it can't match the smooth transitions you get with the Nissan's CVT.
I can't say I'm a fan of the Quest's Toyo all-season tires, which howl through assertive left turns and detract from its braking ability -- although our long-term van stopped better than an earlier Quest we tested with these tires. I know these tires may contribute to the van's ride quality, but if I owned it, I'd be looking for a grippier alternative when it was time to replace them.
Life was great inside the van as well. None of the friends agreed with my assessment that the Quest looks cool (or my contention that minivans in general are cool), but all liked our LE's accommodations and the sheer convenience of its power-operated doors. Everyone but the driver (me) dozed off in its leather captains chairs, and the triple-zone climate control eliminated any need to negotiate over the set temperature while keeping the whole cabin cool in near 100-degree temps. Of course, you can find these conveniences in any modern minivan, but the Quest's second-row captain's chairs are some of the most luxurious seats you'll come across in the minivan class.
I do wish the driver seat-bottom cushion was a little longer to support my thighs better. The Friday afternoon drive to La Quinta took five hours total (with three stops to pick up passengers), and by Hour 4, dead butt was starting to be an issue. The trip back took only three hours with stops, and I had no such complaint.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,150 miles
April 19, 2012
Ed's right that the seats in our longterm 2012 Nissan Quest are pretty plush thrones, and that there's ample space to sprawl out on them.
One thing, though -- after three hours in the saddle, I developed a solid case of dead butt. You know the feeling. No matter how much you squirm and shift, your tookus is just done with being sat upon. I didn't experience this during my two previous road trips; one of which was in our X3 (Five hours. Butt still alive.). The other trip was in our $100k Audi A8L, so, yeah, not exactly a fair comparison to our Quest.
Maybe I'm alone here on this matter regarding the Quest's front seat comfort. Until other editors chime in with their own long-haul experiences, consider this a data point of one.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 10,590 miles.
April 16, 2012
I never thought I'd be SO grateful for a minivan. I don't have kids to take to soccer practice and I don't normally haul a bunch of stuff around. But this weekend I really needed our 2012 Nissan Quest since I had to haul around my family, six people altogether for a family reunion in Vegas.
Unfortunately, the Quest seemed to be in much demand. First, editor Chris Walton had signed out for it and then the big boss, Scott Oldham, said he needed it. Currently it's the only vehicle in our fleet that can accommodate six passengers.
Thankfully, for one reason or another, which I won't even question, it worked out for me and my family. So here they are enjoying the roomy accommodations of the Quest on the way to the reunion.
The third-row passengers appreciated how easy it was to get in and out of the back. "It helped that the second-row seat is easy to move forward when you pull the lever to pull the back part down," said my sister. "Makes it easy to keep your dignity when entering and exiting the vehicle, even in heels and a flapper dress." (By the way, we had to dress up for the family reunion in 1920s fashions.) They also noted that it was comfortable with decent legroom.
My dad thought the sliding doors were magical and my mom felt oh-so fancy stepping out of the new minivan with its "magical doors" in front of her relatives. She loved that the vehicle wasn't too high off the ground and easy for her to step down from unassisted.
It was the perfect conveyance for the weekend. Really made me see the Quest in a whole new light, too. Forget kid-hauling, it'd be perfect for taking friends out for a night on the town.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor@ 10,590 miles
March 22, 2012
If you're going to buy a vehicle that facilitates road trips, it should have good seats. Actually, all vehicles should have good seats, but the for the sake of this post I'll limit things to our long-term Quest. A few reasons why these chairs work:
1. They're soft enough to conform to your body, yet they don't sag so much that you automatically slouch after 20 minutes behind the wheel.
2. There's a good range of adjustment. They go low enough for floor scrapers like myself and high for those who like to tickle the ceiling with their hair. Plenty of legroom too.
3. An adjustable, fold down armrest. It's not really a proper captain's chair if you don't have an armrest on the right side. The one in the Quest ratchets to just about any angle, perfect.
Ed Hellwig, Editor
March 12, 2012
My cousin Teri was visiting me from Virginia over the weekend before heading off to San Diego for work. When I was getting ready to pick her up at the airport, I said, "Look for a giant gray Nissan Quest minivan."
"You're driving a what??" she asked.
"A Quest minivan," I repeated.
"No, seriously, what should I look for?" she asked again.
I guess my family has gotten a little used to me driving fancy cars over the years. And yep, that damn minivan stigma surfaces yet again.
Not surprisingly, a minivan has never been on Teri's radar. She has a boyfriend, but no immediate plans for marriage or kids. "But even if I have kids, I can't see myself ever driving a minivan," she told me.
"What would your drive?"
I've had this same conversation with several women, and it's amazing how many hate the thought of driving (and worse, I think, being seen in) a minivan. Personally, I don't care who sees me in the Quest. Of course, I'm not paying for it, or driving it every day.
Teri couldn't deny how nice the Quest's ride was, or the comfortable interior, or the utter space efficiency and usefulness. But it seems like no matter how good minivans get, the stigma of actually being a minivan driver, and all that entails, just won't go away.
It should be noted, though, that Teri isn't exactly a typical female. She has two vehicles, a Nissan Pathfinder that trucks her and her friends to as many Clemson football games as possible. And a Mazda RX-8 with a manual transmission.
She told me her current dream car is the Acura NSX Concept that she saw an ad for during the Super Bowl, until I told her that it probably won't have a manual transmission.
"Wait, what? Why would anyone buy a sports car without a manual transmission? Where's the fun in driving that?" she asked.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 7,700 miles.
March 08, 2012
I'm the kind of girl who wears jeans, not shorts in the summer, uses seat heaters in August, and keeps a knitted blanket at my desk.
Yesterday I did something I almost never do. I turned the Quest's automatic climate control down to 70 degrees. And then down to 68. And finally down to 66 before the air actually started blowing coldish.
Playing around with it, I turned the auto off, put the A/C on and turned the fan way up. Still was barely cool, but never really cold.
It works well enough to keep the Quest on the road for another 200 miles before it heads in for regular service at 7,500 miles, but when even a coldy like me notices an issue, it's something we'll definitely have checked out in the next two weeks or so.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 7,296 miles
February 15, 2012
If I had to choose between our Odyssey, Quest and Sienna to drive every day, I'd pick the Quest. At first, there's nothing dramatic that stands out about it. But there are some little things that combine to make it pretty enjoyable.
For one, the Quest drives smaller than it really is. The Quest's responsive CVT comes into play here, as the van is always willing to move out smartly when I ask it to. Handling is beneficial -- the Quest is more willing to turn in than average. It's also probably due to the fact that when I take a look behind me, it doesn't immediately seem like I have an aircraft hanger's worth of space behind me. The Quest is just more personable. Rear outward visibility seems better, too, which could be due to the Quest's boxier shape.
The other thing that strikes me about the Quest is that it's just nicer inside. There aren't any cheap interior materials like in our Sienna or a convoluted dashboard design like our Odyssey. The switchgear is high quality and the navigation interface is excellent. These are the things that you have to interact with everyday.
The Quest certainly has some drawbacks, the main ones for me being reduced cargo carrying capacity (the downside to not being an aircraft hanger) and exterior styling. From an ownership standpoint, those might be enough to dissuade me. But for picking a set of minivan keys off our car sign-out board, I'll go Quest everytime.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,657 miles
December 24, 2011
We have arrived in Bend, Oregon, the first of two holiday stops on this trip. The 2012 Nissan Quest cruised uneventfully up Oregon's highway 97, deposting us at our destination with nary a sore butt or wrenched back.
This is far from the usual result. My wife and I almost never find the same seats comfortable, but that's the case here. They're supportive, well-bolstered and are just soft enough. Each has its own adjustable inside armrests and the front pair are toasted by excellent two-stage seat heaters.
Before we hit the road for this last leg, however, we made a brief stop to pick up a little something for our hosts.