Despite the growing popularity of SUVs over the last five years, minivans continue to be a viable and lucrative segment of the automotive market. With 1.2 million units expected to sell in 1999, the minivan wars are being waged with ever-improving models from the likes of Chrysler, Ford, and, of course, Nissan.
The latest volley in this battle over parental (and shuttle fleet manager) dollars comes from Nissan in the form of its highly revised Quest model line. The Quest, which was introduced by Nissan in 1993, has been given more of everything (power, interior room, doors) for '99. The all-new body is 4.6-inches longer, 1.2-inches wider and 180 pounds lighter. By redesigning the frame, Nissan was able to improve torsional rigidity by 15 percent while giving the Quest better sound deadening for a more tranquil ride.
Inside is a larger cabin area (9.6 more cubic feet) than last year's model. To give a place for everything and to put everything in its place, the Quest boasts 31 storage areas including an innovative storage shelf system, located behind the third seat. Called the "Smart Shelf," this feature allows hard and soft items, like a baby stroller and grocery bags, to be stacked behind the third seat for increased and convenient cargo carrying. The shelf can be placed in one of three positions and it will hold up to 30 pounds.
Additional features like dual sliding doors, a third row "limousine" seating position and air conditioning round out the Quest's standard creature comforts. On SE and GLE models, options like a two position memory driver's seat, a six-disc center console-mounted CD player, and a second-row 12-volt outlet help make things easier on drivers and passengers. And even though they've been around for over a decade on Chrysler minivans, we're still impressed with the power rear-quarter windows that swing out at the touch of a button.
A new 3.3-liter V6 replaces last year's 3.0-liter engine. It produces 170 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque which makes driving the Quest about as fun as driving a minivan can be. It certainly isn't an underpowered vehicle and, even loaded with kids and stuff, the new V6 should keep you out of the truck lane when climbing mountain passes. All models benefit from an updated suspension and second-generation antilock brakes. On SE models, a rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch wheels make the Quest almost sporty ... almost.
Seated behind the driver's seat, Nissan's effort to improve ergonomics can be seen in the positioning of the steering wheel and the easy reach to most of the interior switches/knobs. The audio controls are located above the heating and air conditioning unit because, according to Nissan, the radio gets more attention then the climate control center. We agree, but one problem area still exists. When you tilt the steering wheel all the way up (as taller drivers will do) the column shifter effectively blocks the rear window switchgear (defrost, wiper) when in the "DRIVE" position. So, unless you want to stop and put the Quest in "PARK," you'll have to hope the rear window never fogs (or that you aren't over 6 feet tall).
We could also do without the "Push to Release" emergency brake. Besides the inevitable, "Where's the brake release lever?" that everyone goes through when first driving the car, it is counter-intuitive. Push harder on the brake to release it? No thanks, just give me an easy-to-reach lever.
Overall, the Quest makes a compelling argument for the vehicle shopper looking to transport people in comfort, but not necessarily style. The revised body, with its easy-to-use dual sliding doors, is, uh, unique. Yeah, that's the word we'll use for now, unique. Unfortunately for Nissan, the always-strong Grand Caravan and the newly revised Windstar make the minivan conflict an ever-raging battle, with little chance of the new Quest winning the war.
1999 Nissan Quest Overview
The 1999 Nissan Quest is offered in the following submodels: Minivan. Available styles include SE 4dr Minivan, GXE 4dr Minivan, and GLE 4dr Minivan. Quest models are available with a 3.3 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 170 hp, depending on engine type. The 1999 Quest comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The 1999 Quest comes with a basic warranty, a roadside warranty, and a powertrain warranty.
Is the 1999 Nissan Quest a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1999 Nissan Quest and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1999 Quest featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 1999 Nissan Quest? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1999 Nissan Quest and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1999 Quest 4.3 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1999 Quest.
Review We purchased this van with 45k mi on it and have added another 60k w/o a major problem. I change the oil every 5k, and that's about it for service. Brake, shock, and tire wear have all been minimal. It starts and runs well in all weather, with one exception of a moderate lag at idle speed when the A/C compressor turns on. MPG is fair, usually 20-22. Seats are firm and comfortable. Driving position/feel is more carlike than other minivans. A little rust is beginning to show at the bottom of the sliding door panels, but the rest of the paint is good. One annoyance is that the latch on the passenger side sliding door window will not stay screwed in, but I would still buy this van again.
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1999 nissan quest SE 4dr Minivan, 4-speed automatic, regular unleaded 18 combined MPG 15 city MPG/23 highway MPG