2012 Nissan Quest Long Term Road Test

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: 25,000 Milestone

November 26, 2012

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In late August, our 2012 Nissan Quest broke 20,000 miles. Now, nearly three months later, we've crossed the 25,000 mile mark.

In that time we've had the 22,500-mile service completed, hit Palm Springs, and went camping with some Girl Scouts.

We've only got another few weeks left with the Quest so it's unlikely we'll topple 30, but still, 25,000 aint not bad. I think we like driving this thing. 

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 25,000 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: VQ35 Fuel Curiosity

November 09, 2012

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Recently, Oldham and I were compiling one of the monthly fuel economy updates. The question came up: which grade of fuel does our longterm 2012 Nissan Quest use?

It's 87 octane, but the question had me thinking about the other Nissan corporate product in our fleet that uses the same powertrain as the Quest, but requires premium.

Both the Quest and our longterm 2013 Infiniti JX35 use Nissan's VQ35 3.5-liter V6 and CVT transmission. Ostensibly the exact same hardware plunked into a different package. 

I started wondering why it is the case that one requires premium fuel and the other does not. And for some reason, I started hearing the voice inside your head:

"Well," you're thinking, "the JX probably makes oodles more power than the Quest as a result."

Not so much. The JX is rated just 5 hp and 8 lb-ft more than the Quest. Not exactly a huge difference, especially when we're dealing with a 260 hp engine as installed in the Quest.

"Well," you're thinking, "the JX probably returns significantly better fuel economy than the Quest as a result."

Nope. The Quest returns 19/24 city/hwy mpg. The FWD JX? 18/24.

"Well," you're thinking, "the JX probably weighs significantly more than the Quest. That's why its city fuel economy is a bit lower."

JX35 AWD: 4544 lb. Quest: 4592 lb.

"Well," you're thinking, "at 5.173, the JX's final drive is shorter than the Quest's 4.878. That's why its city fuel economy is a bit lower."

That's true, but the JX uses a larger rolling diameter tire package that nullifies its shorter final drive. The gearing between the JX and the Quest is effectively identical as a result.

"Well, WTF?"

Yes, WTF, indeed. So, I inquired with Infiniti as to why the JX requires premium. Maybe there's a big jump in output elsewhere in powerband that doesn't show in the peak numbers, I proposed. Here's the response from Infiniti:

"The Infiniti JX is programmed to run on premium. Smoother response, maximum power and torque. In their words, it helps give the 'Infiniti-ness the customer expects.'

If one chooses to put regular fuel in the Infiniti JX, power and torque will decrease slightly. Not necessarily exactly to the point you mentioned in the minivan offered by our corporate, mainstream brand, but it will decrease slightly.

As for that minivan, it’s programmed to run and be happy with regular. Quite the opposite of the Infiniti JX, however, in that if one does put premium fuel in it, it doesn’t increase power and torque. Therefore, in effect, the customer is wasting their money by putting premium in that vehicle."

From what I can translate, the JX does indeed see a benefit to premium in off-peak parts of the powerband, but the Quest does not. I don't quite understand why this would be the case -- perhaps the Quest's exhaust has more backpressure and/or its intake is somewhat more restrictive. Yeah, it's not a terribly satisfying conclusion. Any theories?

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Dealbreaker?

November 07, 2012

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Do minivan buyers really care about a three-passenger second row? I don't know, but the Quest doesn't offer one and it's outsold by its Odyssey and Sienna competitors. That likely owes to other factors as well; less cargo volume, love-or-loathe styling. My wife says a second-row bench is not only practical for kid hauling, but also when carrying large items - bag, box etc - that benefit from the extra stability of a seat and seatback (she also says the gaps around a center console are black holes for crumbs and wrappers).

I see her point. Bench seats are also great for curling up and catching some Z's. I tried a mock nap in the Quest second row and, actually, if you just threw a thin air or foam cushion over the center console (or the whole row), you'd be fine.

I'm curious why Nissan doesn't offer the eight-passenger option in the U.S, unlike the ElGrand model in Japan. With a middle seat option, you essentially offer two vans and extend the service life of a family's van. Two bench rows while kids are young, two captain's chairs for when they're older, at each others throats and can't share the same contact patch of seating. Our Quest is set up for that later phase, or as a luxury for adults in a business shuttle or vanpool.

I don't consider this a deal-breaker in the Quest. The rest of the van is too good. But it would make me wait it out, to see if the next refresh or generation offers the additional seat. Or it would just drive me into the seats of a new Grand Cherokee, 5-passenger limit and all.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: Camping Weekend

October 29, 2012

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Lake Perris is only 70 miles from home, but it might as well be the far side of the earth. 

Caravanning with a Nissan Quest full of girls, an NV full of gear, and a mighty Toyota Prius bringing up the rear, we made the trek there on Friday afternoon, and back a mere 48 hours later.

The shoe-polished Quest earned its share of honks--the girls clamoring for attention.

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2012 Nissan Quest: Little Brother, Big Brother

October 26, 2012

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Me n' my best Girl Scouts are going camping this weekend so I signed out the dependable Nissan Quest. No better large vehicle in our fleet for moving maximum people in comfort.

But what I needed was an additional vehicle to handle all of the gear.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Express? That's Not Express

October 23, 2012

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The morning after I climbed behind the wheel of our 2012 Nissan Quest and first saw the oil change (and filter and tire rotation) warnings, I did what Nissan probably intended; I headed for the nearest Nissan dealer.

But it wasn't as easy as that.

First, where is the nearest Nissan dealer, anyway? I went straight to the navigation system looking for a "nearest Nissan dearler" hot button in the POI list, but found nothing. So I typed "Nissan" into the POI "nearest to my location" search box, and it came back with list of 3 or 4 dealers, the closest of which was 11.8 miles away.

"That's not right," I grumbled.

So I turned to my iPhone and searched for "Nissan" and was rewarded with 3 choices that were less than 10 miles away. How had the iPhone beaten the navigation system? The closest iPhone result was "Stadium Nissan", and the navigation system hadn't found it because the first word in my search wasn't "Stadium". When I studied the navigation system list I noticed it had only returned results along the lines of "Nissan of <insert name here>."

Things didn't go much better when I finally got to Stadium Nissan, where I backed out of the service drive and headed home with the old oil still aboard after a couple of minutes.

As has already been established, the Quest needed nothing more than an oil change and tire rotation. So I pulled into the clearly marked Express Lane, which according to my understanding is a way for dealers to recover business lost to places like Jiffy Lube.

"Name?" asked the service writer, looking at his clipboard -- before "Hello" or "Good Morning" I might add.

"Huh?" I stammered before catching on. "Oh, I don't have a reservation. I only need an oil change and rotation. I'm here for the Express service," I continued while pointing at the sign over our heads.

"Yeah, well," he replied, "we're kind of busy. Let me go ask my manager."

After a brief huddle out of earshot he came back with the news.

"It'll be at least and hour and 45 minutes."

"Did you say an hour OR 45 minutes?" I asked hopefully.

"No. An hour AND 45 minutes, maybe more."

My vision of sitting in the dealer's waiting room, thumbing casually through an old magazine while trying not to listen to the blare from the TV was good for 30 minutes, maybe 45 tops. Their definition of "Express" was hopelessly out of line with mine. That I would need a reservation never even crossed my mind.

"No thanks. I'll handle it some other time."

Some other time indeed. I would have bought a filter and some oil on the way home and handled it myself within the hour but my parents were due in from out of town in a couple of hours and I needed to clean up, not oil down.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 23,298 miles  

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2012 Nissan Quest: Confronting Phobias

October 12, 2012

 2012 Nissan Quest: Cool Drawer

This is one of my all-time favorite comments: "The Edmunds staff drive everything like it's a rental car."

From the bottom of my heart, I know it's not true (although I did park on the sidewalk to take this photo). Then again, I bear no ill will to rental cars, either. Last time I rented a car, a regular car, paying it for with with my own money, I scored a 2012 Ford Focus hatchback. Its backseat was already cruddy and I had to designate that a no-go zone, but otherwise I liked it and I treated it well.

Yet, I have to concede I have an unofficial policy that I've quietly appled to certain vehicles in our long-term fleet for years. And last week, a more senior editor called me on it.

"Why don't you drive the Nissan Quest tonight?"

"Oh... I can't."

"Why not?"

"Hmm, well, I don't drive any of our vehicles that have three rows of seating once they pass 20,000 miles."

"Why is that?"

"Oh, well, at that point, everyone's kids have been in them, and cracker crumbs are ground into the carpets and seats, and the steering wheel and shifter and door handles are usually covered in a sticky film. And I don't know what I'm going to find in all the storage slots. Also, quite often, they smell like diapers."

"You are crazy."

"Probably, but that's how I roll."

The conversation went on for a while, and various coworkers offered opinions on the minivan lifestyle and diagnosed me as an irrational germophobe. The more senior editor got the last word.

"You're driving the Quest. Or you're taking the bus."

So I drove our long-term Nissan Quest. The cabin is still in good shape but definitely not pristine (when is light carpeting ever a good idea?), and I'll be discussing that in my next post.

What struck me, though, is that despite the veneer of family in its cabin, our Quest is still really good to drive. I remember liking this van in our last minivan comparison test (where it was up against a revamped Odyssey and Sienna), and those feelings haven't faded.

The Nissan feels a little sleepier in the handling and braking departments than either of those rival vans, but I think the difference can be written off to its tires -- Toyo A22s -- which never had any grip even when they were new. But the way the Quest rides is really something. There's a level of compliance and sophistication to it that the other minivans can't match (at least not in their current-generation state).

There's also some weight in its steering that I really like. I don't know that I find it any more precise than the Odyssey's much lighter steering, but there's a meatiness here that's kinda nice, yet it doesn't seem to cross the line to "heavy for heavy's sake."

Finally, the CVT. It's not perfect. Particularly when you're parking in a tight space and just want to creep forward ever so slightly... it pretends not to hear me in those situations. But on the freeway, this transmission works really well. You don't wait around for downshifts, and when the CVT reaches for its lower ratios, it doesn't upset the tranquility in the cabin.

What all this is leading up to is that yesterday, I signed out our 2012 Nissan Quest for the weekend just because I wanted to. Mind you, I like vans (well, I like them before anyone's kids get into them). But ever since last week, I've had a mild craving for the Quest, simply because I enjoy driving it. I'll just wear gloves this time.

Erin Riches, Somewhat Senior Editor @ 22,647 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: Price Drop for 2013

October 3, 2012

 2012 Nissan Quest: Cool Drawer

Some versions of the Nissan Quest are receiving a price cut for model year 2013.

It's the popular midrange models that get the savings. The Quest SV, which starts at $30,565 will cost $1,310 less. The SL model, which starts at $34,345 gets a break of $980.

We have the top-of-the-line LE model, which next year will get a price increase of $290. The base model Quest S will remain the same.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: I Like It Best

October 1, 2012

 2012 Nissan Quest: Cool Drawer

After 22,300 miles and about 10-months living with our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest I have concluded that it is the minivan for me. It's the one I would buy.

Not an easy decision. Our long-term Honda Odyssey and I got along fine and I very much enjoyed our long-term Toyota Sienna. But I'm happiest behind the wheel of the Nissan.

And that is the deciding factor for me. All three vans offer the features, all three vans have proven to be well-built, reliable transportation and all three vans are less then beautiful. But from the driver's seat, I like the Quest best and its suspension tuning is the majority of the reason.

While our long-term Odyssey at times felt underdamped and floaty and our Sienna SE occationally felt too stiff in an attempt to feel sporty, the Quest's suspension is tuned to perfection. Its ride is smooth and comfortable without any extra body motions or unnecessary harshness. Both around town and out on the interstate the Quest feels more like an expensive European sedan than a Japanese minivan.

This past weekend the Oldham's piled into the Quest for a quick 300 mile road trip to the Palm Springs area to see grandma and grandpa. It was just the kind of real world family outing minivans like the Nissan are designed and built for. During the excursion the van once again proved that it delivers awesome levels of function and utility, buckets of upscale luxury and convenience and just enough driving enjoyment and dynamic sophistication to keep dad happy behind the wheel.

That is not easy to do in one vehicle. Nissan should be proud of the Quest.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 22,300 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: PlasmaVan

August 20, 2012

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Minivans are not my thing. If there's one thing that will prove a guaranteed deterrent to single ladies, it's a guy driving a minivan; or pretty much any van, come to think of it. But there I was, driving our long-term Quest on a beautiful Sunday morning. I felt as unappealing to L.A. ladies as I ever have. I might as well have had open sores on my face.

Thankfully, this was only a temporary exile.

Last year, I bought a big 3D plasma TV, but I held onto my old first generation 42-inch plasma, too. On the rare occasion Niebuhr would bring his Xbox over and we'd have a dual-screen duel in Forza (also a big chick repellant), or when my new TV crapped-out, the old plasma pretty much sat in the corner gathering dust. So I decided to give this vintage 2001 TV to my sister and her family.

Plasmas have to be shipped upright, so I decided the Quest would be the best mode of transport. I was right. Kurt helped me lift and slide the TV into the second row, then I just secured it against the seats with a tie-down strap at the headrests. Those sliding side doors made the whole process incredibly easy, too.

As soon as we dropped off the TV, we bolted for the office to exchange the Quest for something a bit more inspiring. As much as minivans represent single-guy Kryptonite, it sure is useful having one at my disposal.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 20,002 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: Racking Up the Miles

August 20, 2012

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Over the weekend, our long-term Nissan Quest broke the 20,000-mile mark. That's pretty impressive, considering that we still have three more months before we're done with it. No doubt, using it as a vacation vehicle and camera van has helped. All told, the interior is holding up quite nicely.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @20,002 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Rant Of The Day

July 10, 2012

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Yep, that's a lot of traffic. Fun stuff, just one of the prices you pay to live in sunny southern California. Doesn't make it any better. Maybe you have a lot of traffic where you live, too. 

Of course, with major clog-ups comes the occasional majorly irate driver. On any given day during my commute, I'm bound to see at least one "laid-back" Californian freak out on another driver. 

Also fun.

And what is the average irate driver's response when they've been wronged by someone?

Give 'em the middle finger, of course. Which only causes more irateness between everyone involved.

Personally, I think giving someone the bird is the equivalent of saying, "Yep, I've given up, and here's proof that I don't have even one original thing left to say in life." Besides the fact it's rude, flipping someone off is just so incredibly predictable.

I'm sure you have your own way of letting another driver know they just did something incredibly boneheaded. Hopefully it's not the one finger salute.

Me? I like to give them an enthusiastic thumbs-up, sarcastic as it might be. It says, "Nice job, buddy," without saying "*%$# off."

Maybe we can all dial back the finger use out there. Maybe I'll even dial back the sarcasm. 

Mike Monticello, Minivan Editor @ 19,130 miles. 

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2012 Nissan Quest: Road Trip Notes #3

July 06, 2012

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After hundreds of miles, I'm not digging the Quest's cruise control system. The buttons themselves are fine. They're simple, easy to reach and easy to feel your way around. It's the way the system controls the van's speed that's annoying.

Call me spoiled, but I'm used to systems that bump the set speed in 1 mph increments every time you push the acc/dec switch. Some even jump in 5 mph increments if you hit it two times quick.

The Quest doesn't seem to work this way. Sometimes I push it quickly and nothing seems to happen. Other times I push and hold and then I get a big surge of power and a setting that's way too high. Maybe it is resetting in 1 mph increments but it sure doesn't feel like it.

My other small gripe is going downhill. Most systems are smart enough to control your speed on downhill sections, but in the Quest it will go several miles an hour over the set speed if you're not paying attention. Not a big deal, but another thing to keep an eye on when you're out on the interstate.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 18,082 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: A Look Underneath

July 06, 2012

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Our 2-post Rotary Lift has been busy. Here's a look underneath our long-term Nissan Quest. Wait until you see where they put the spare tire.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Voyager 1, Quest Rear-View Mirror Near Interstellar Space

June 19, 2012

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Fox News is reporting today that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, is nearing Insterstellar space. In other words, like the Quest's rear-view mirror, it's really, really, really far away. Unlike the Quest, however, the Voyager is traveling ten miles per second, once used rocket propulsion and has a back-up camera that failed 20 years ago.

That will be all.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor 

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2012 Nissan Quest: Minivan or Infiniti JX to the Grand Canyon?

June 13, 2012

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We're taking a family road trip in two weeks--two adults and two super chatty 11-year-old girls.

I've been trying to decide which car to take. Drive route begins in Southern California, and includes stops in Monument Valley, Utah, the Grand Canyon, and at the girls' request, Las Vegas.

I was initially set on the Nissan Quest, but then our long-term Infiniti JX35 arrived. The girls are still hoping for the minivan. Should their vote matter? They're already getting Vegas, afterall.

What should I choose?

Kelly Toepke, News Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: Manageable

June 12, 2012

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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

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Rant For The Day

May 31, 2012

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That's it, I have to say something: I'm so over all the nimrods we have here in southern California that think it's absolutely fine to block up the flow of traffic by just hanging out in the left lane.

It could drive a sane man crazy, so just think what it's doing to me?

Here's a good case in point: What is that Lexus GX 460 doing over in the left lane? He/she isn't passing anyone, so move over. Nope. So me and the Nissan Quest are forced to pass on the right.

The Hyundai Elantra? Just a sheep aimlessly following the herd. We've got a lot of those, too.

In my experience southern Californians are about as bad as they come in terms of left-lane hogs. Chalk it up to extremely poor driver upbringing. Yeah, that's right: I blame the parents. But maybe there are even worse states, I don't know. 

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 15,528 miles.

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2012 Nissan Quest: Kurt and the Unicorn

May 31, 2012

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Kurt's recent post showing the narrow opening afforded by the Quest's sunroof reminded me I had a shot of him attempting to find a suitable photo perch. We found a work around and he shot an incredible set of photos for Josh's comparison of the Mustang and Genesis Coupe.

Oh, and I also spotted 1of 105 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolets registered in California.

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2012 Nissan Quest: That's Not Very Big

May 31, 2012

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The Quest is a big thing. The sunroof in the Quest, at least the one in the front, you know, over the important people, is not a big thing. It's tiny. Incidentally, that is as far as it will open no matter how many times you press and release the rocker switch for the sunroof.

Not that this will matter to most, but it's so narrow my shoulders wouldn't even fit through there. I guess the ejector seat will have to go in the second row.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 15,350 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: Trona

May 29, 2012

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When I find myself in Trona, California, it's for one of two reasons.

1. I'm checking up on my international mining concern.

2. I've stopped with the rest of the Edmunds editors for a rest during our annual Fuel Sipper Smackdown, now in it's fifth iteration.

Think you know what's in this year's lineup?

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2012 Nissan Quest: Proportional Turn Signals

May 24, 2012

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I've always liked the idea of auxiliary turn signals mounted in the side mirrors. It makes sense to put these lights where people can see them, especially on a van as big as the Quest.

The signals on the Quest's mirrors are a little bigger than usual, but it seems perfectly logical. This is a big van, it needs all the help it can get letting people know it's coming. Signals this size are as important a safety feature as the airbags inside and the driver behind the wheel. Even the best drivers miss a car in their blind spot once in awhile, but with signals like these at least they're a little less likely to surprise someone when they do.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: Compared To A 2004 Quest

May 23, 2012

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Some friends of mine own a 2004 Nissan Quest, the first year of the previous (third generation) Quest. I thought it'd be interesting to see how the Quest has changed since, so I stopped by their house to get their opinion on their van and what they thought of our long-termer.

Since the wife (Nora) is the van's primary driver, I asked her most of the questions. Overall, she was pretty impressed with the new Quest. The biggest upgrade for her is the Quest's SUV-style third row seating, with seats that forward and flat into the floor rather than the more traditional, back-and-into-a-well design on older Quest (and Odyssey and Sienna). Now that she has three kids, she says it's often a hassle to deploy or stow the third row seat in her van because there's typically a lot of stuff (baby stroller, etc) in the cargo well area. With the new Quest, this isn't a problem.

 The new Quest's third row is also 50/50 split, improving flexibility. The older Quest had a rear bench only. On her van, you also have to manually remove the third-row head restraints to lower the seat. For the new van, the head restraints stay put and don't interfere with the operation. Nora also observed how our Quest's flat cargo area behind the third row is a lot easier to change a baby's diaper on.

I did point out that this new seat design does cut back on maximum cargo space. The old van had 145 cubic feet of cargo space versus 108 for the new one. But since they use their Quest mostly for hauling kids, they didn't think it would be an issue.

There were other little details that stood out to Nora. Her van doesn't have a front center console, and the front cupholder design is lousy. As such, she liked our Quest's center console quite a bit. (I do believe the third-gen Quest eventually got a front center console, perhaps as part of the '07 refresh.) She also liked the easier access to the third-row seating, the double sunroofs (compared to the peculiar multi-panel skylight design of her van), the integrated sunshades for the sliding doors (works a lot better than aftermarket shades, which often get knocked off when one opens the door) and the 120-volt household power outlet.

Nora's husband (Barry) also showed me how their van's sliding power doors don't stop and return if they encounter resistance when closing, even with Barry leaning in and pushing hard on the door in an attempt to stop it from closing. His quote: "I would not want to get an arm caught in here." On our long-termer, there was no such problem. However, I don't know if this issue would apply to all earlier Quests or just theirs in particular. I'd like to think the latter.

Finally, I asked Nora if she would consider replacing her Quest with a new one. She did like all of the above aspects. However, she wasn't too keen on the Quest's exterior styling ("It's like all party up front but all business in back"). Also, she says she's pretty burned out on driving a minivan right now. So, no, probably not.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: 15,000 Miles So Far

May 22, 2012

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We cleared 15,000 miles today for our Quest. They're piled on pretty quick; we got the van just five months ago. But the Quest has been put to good use with road trips (such as Dan's trip to Oregon), hauling stuff (Kelly's 80 cases of Girl Scout cookies) and general kid and/or family shuttle duty (Caroline's family trip to Vegas).

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2012 Nissan Quest: Showing Off At Preschool

May 18, 2012

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A fellow dad at my daughter's preschool was checking out our long-term Quest yesterday. He frequently drives his daughter to school in the pictured red Sienna. Twenty years ago we would have been comparing muscle cars or sport compacts. Now ... minivans.

I asked him what he thought of the Quest. "Well, it's ugly," he said. But I did show him the Quest's upscale interior and told him about it's impressive V6/CVT combo and nice ride. He seemed reasonably impressed.

Then he said, half jokingly: "So, want to race?" Ha! I had to politely decline, but remember you can see the Quest compared to the latest Sienna and Odyssey in our most recent Minivan Comparison Test.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 14,712 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest Starspeeder 3000 Edition

May 04, 2012

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Welcome aboard! This is Captain Riz from the cockpit. I know this is probably your first flight and it's ... mine too. Ha ha. Well, it looks like we're going to have a smooth flight to Endor, or whatever three random places the computer now takes us. God I hope we don't go to the underwater Gungan world. That's so lame. I swear, I'm taking Jar-Jar out with the laser cannon this time. Any way, I'll go ahead and open the cockpit shield. I know our Nissan Quest Starspeeder can't quite carry the 40 people that the normal model can, but what it lacks in capacity it certainly makes up for in cupholders.

Ah, I see they're loading our navigator R2-D2 and then we'll be on our way. What could possibly go wrong? Certainly not comets. Comets!!!

Captain Riz, Pilot Droid RX-24 @ 154 light years

May the Fourth be with you!

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: This Old Pump

April 29, 2012

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We came across cheap gas on the way home from Nevada -- really cheap gas. But the 2012 Nissan Quest was a few decades too late to be served.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Street Legal in Arizona

April 24, 2012

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Sorry for the glare coming off our 2012 Nissan Quest, but it's the Sun. <insidejoke>You can't move the Sun.</insidejoke>

Point is, the contraption to the right carries Arizona plates. And I'm sure here in Nevada they don't blink an eye, either.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: The E.T. Highway

April 21, 2012

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A 39-mile stretch of Nevada highway 375 is known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. Stretching from Crystal Springs to the tiny town of Rachel, the E.T. Highway runs about 15 or so miles to the north and east of Area 51 and the military's skunkworks at Groom Lake.

None of that is visible from the road -- any road, for that matter -- but that hasn't stopped the locals from playing it up as much as possible.  

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2012 Nissan Quest: Dog Report

April 17, 2012

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Before the trip to Vegas, I had to drop off my dog Mya at the sitter's. Definitely no real struggle in our huge 2012 Nissan Quest. Only issue, if you want to call it that, was trying to stop Mya from jumping in the car and then squeezing between the second-row seats to the back. In past backseats, she never had that option of extra space and easy access to those spaces. Here, she was like, "Where do you want me? Here? Or in the backseat? Or maybe in the front seat?" But no big deal and I got the hang of it for the second time when I had to pick her up after the trip.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: The Big 10,000-Mile Mark

April 16, 2012

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Time flies. Our longterm 2012 Nissan passed the 10,000-mile mark over the weekend. Seems like just yesterday our Quest was but a little lunchbox. My, how it's grown!

Tell us -- is there anything in particular you'd like to know about the Quest that we've not addressed thus far?

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 10,007 miles (hey, how 'bout that)

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2012 Nissan Quest: Rock + Windshield = Bad News

April 09, 2012

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And the worst part is that I don't know when or where it happened. At least it's small, and down by the dashboard, so it's not really interfering with the driver's line of sight.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Nearly Grounded

March 19, 2012

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Well, here's a problem I wouldn't expect to encounter in a minivan. Our NSX or old Z06? Sure. But our Quest? Curbs are not all the same height and some can be rather tall. Also the downward slope of the street's side (to aid drainage) adds to the potential problem as the door will swing open on a downward plane. So if you drive a low-slung car, it's good practice to check door-swing clearance to prevent scraping the door's bottom edge and/or digging up the grass. This curb wasn't particularly high, but my wife always does the door check thing before hopping out. Here was the surprising result with the Quest.  

Had she swung it open enough to get out it would've just cleared the curb but would've required her to replace her divots. So instead she shut the door, stepped over the console and exited via the sliding side door. I was surprised that a minivan's door couldn't comfortably clear this curb, but upon closer inspection I found out why. 

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: The Styling Is Growing On Me

March 17, 2012

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A few months ago I would've told you (if you asked) that between the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest, the Quest was the ugly duckling of the trio. Now, I'm not so sure anymore.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you the Quest is pretty or anything like that, but it's certainly distinctive and surely not boring. I think what I like about it is that it's styling is just so very Japanese. To the point that it's kinda cool.

So while familiarity supposedly breeds contempt (at least among people), the more time I spend with the Quest, the more I actually like its styling. Or, at least I no longer vehemently dislike it.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 7,945 miles.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Conversations With The Cuz

March 12, 2012

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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?"

"An SUV."

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.  

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2012 Nissan Quest: Pretty Girl Repellent

February 21, 2012

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Thanks to some very nice California weather and there being no school/work, I took my four-year-old daughter in the Quest to a state park for a daddy-daughter picnic and hike yesterday. Just about any vehicle would have been fine, but the Quest certainly made it enjoyable for my daughter. For her, there was plenty of room, easy entry and exit, rear door sunshades and a rear-seat entertainment system (I indulged her with the movie "Swan Princess").

I will be honest: There was a brief moment of personal minivan regret.

As I was packing up to head home from the trailhead, an attractive young woman pulled up in her Civic and began unloading her mountain bike from the trunk. She glanced over, and there I was standing in front of an odd looking duck of a minivan with a pink Hello Kitty backpack and water bottle in hand. I'm sure the visual was an ideal pretty-girl repellent.

But I learned from my Minivan Experience with the Odyssey back in July of last year not to worry about such things. My daughter and I had a great time, and the Quest was part of it.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,949 miles

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2012 Nissan Quest: Rare In Its Natural Habitat

February 10, 2012

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The preschool parking lot: it's the social club for minivans and SUVs. You don't see too many Quests, new or used. I have to give credit to Nissan for the styling direction of the latest Quest, though. The designers could have gone with bland in hopes of mass market appeal. Instead, we have the funky Japan van. You may or may not like it, but it does stand out.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2012 Nissan Quest: Cars That Age Gracefully?

February 08, 2012

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While walking my pup this morning, I walked past my neighbor's 199X Quest and couldn't help notice how dated it looks. Sure, most things, if not all things, from the '90s look outdated but it had me wondering how many people buy new cars with that thought in mind, how dated will their car of choice look in the future? After all not many cars age well. 

In fact, name a car that you think has aged well. (And I realize that this may not be so much an issue with minivans as other car types.)

Hit the jump for a side by side look at this old Quest and our 2012 Nissan Quest.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Taxi Duty. For Real

February 06, 2012

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Hadn't seen a Quest taxi until this one appeared on my way to work today. If you're a fleet owner who needs a minivan, the Quest seems like an odd choice. Given its seat arrangement and load floor height I would think any of the other current offerings might be better suited to this task. 

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2012 Nissan Quest: I Thought It Was Made in Japan?

February 04, 2012

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My carport is a little wider than a typical compact parking space. (Note: Most vehicles short of an H2 or dually will fit, but one side of the 'port is a stucco wall, so if I'm dealing with a half-ton pickup, a bench seat is convenient as I can exit from the passenger side.) Our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest fits in here with room to spare. A couple nights ago I allowed what I thought would be a comfortable margin -- almost 2 feet -- to exit on the driver side of the Quest.

And indeed I could get out, but when I tried to leave the driver door open to retrieve items in and around the front-passenger seat, it wouldn't stay open... because I couldn't get the door open wide enough to hit that first detent. Forcing the issue was only going to result in having the door scrape against the wall. This was inconvenient. It would have been even more annoying in a crowded parking garage with another van or SUV parked next to me.

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2012 Nissan Quest: My Second Favorite Thing

February 03, 2012

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My favorite thing about our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest, by far, is its drivetrain. The previous Quest used a version of the VQ-series 3.5-liter V6, too, but the continuously variable transmission that Nissan has switched to on this generation changes everything.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: 5,000 Miles

February 02, 2012

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Thanks to Dan Edmunds' Oregon road trip, the Quest has already hit 5,000 miles. So far all is well, save for a small star on the lower part of the windshield (I don't think we've shown you that; I'll document it tomorrow). Compared to our long-term Odyssey and Sienna, the Quest stands out for its exceptionally quiet ride. I also think its CVT works better in a minivan than their five- and six-speed automatics.

I'd intended to catch this milestone exactly as the odometer "clicked over," but this was going on, and I wasn't able to pull over immediately.

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Average Headlights

January 26, 2012

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Some of you liked last week's post on the Camry's headlights. So here's a sample of what the Quest's headlights (high beams in this case) are capable of as well as some info on the bulbs.

Our Quest, because it's an LE trim level, utilizes a combination of Xenon HID lamps and standard halogen bulbs. In low beam mode only the Xenon lamps are on. In high-beam mode both systems operate.

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2012 Nissan Quest: Separated at Birth

January 11, 2012

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Every time I see our 2012 Nissan Quest I'm reminded of something completely unrelated. Or are they unrelated?

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2012 Nissan Quest: In the Weeds

January 10, 2012

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I noticed this happening a number of times during my time with our long-term Nissan Quest over the weekend. I park it on the street, open the front passenger door to get my stuff off the seat and take a shallow divot out of the parkway grass, or at least give the grass a nice, close shave.

Maybe the areas where I was parking just had extra-high curbs?

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Nissan Quest LE: Perfect Vehicle for My Family

January 09, 2012

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The above picture was taken by my wife (so blame her for the blur) just after my daughter blurted out, "This is the perfect vehicle for our family! I love it so much more than our CR-V!"

I do too because of the extra room and amenities, and even though I've admittedly (and foolishly) avoided the minivan stigma.

Now, with a teenager and a 10-year-old, I'm probably on the far end of the minivan demographic and doubt there's one in my future. But you never know. And the Quest and my daughter's assessment make a solid case for changing my mind.

For the record, the kids aren't just giddy from riding in the Quest. They were watching a DVD of Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights on the vehicle's 11-inch rear screen. This after I picked up a copy of Young Frankenstein at the supermarket for $4.99. I had to tell them to keep it down because they were laughing so loudly.

Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Nissan Quest in VA is:

$131 per month*
* Explanation
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