2001 Nissan Quest Review

Pros & Cons

  • Tidy exterior size, lots of bang for the buck, interior flexibility.
  • Insufficient passing power, ungenerous interior space.
List Price Estimate
$768 - $1,304

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A minivan on critical life support. Buyers should look elsewhere.

Vehicle overview

Nissan completely redesigned the Quest in 1999 in an attempt to keep pace with superior vans from Honda, Chrysler and Ford. But that effort has proven too little, too late. Quest isn't a good seller, and will be axed from Nissan's lineup after a short 2002 model run. Don't fret; Nissan will reintroduce the model mid-decade, with far more competitive design and packaging than this current version.

For 2001, Quest is available in three flavors: value-oriented GXE, sporty SE, and luxurious GLE trim. This year, GXE has standard 16-inch wheels and a rear stabilizer bar. SE models are tuned more aggressively, featuring acceleration sensitive strut valving and a strut tower brace under the hood for more stable cornering. GLE, which comes standard with leather seating and the handy Quest Smart Shelf system, gets a new in-dash CD changer and wood accents on the steering wheel rim.

Versatile passenger space is the Quest's stock-in-trade with a standard driver's side sliding door and a third-row limousine seating option among its many features. With seven-passenger Quest Trac Flexible Seating, you can get 24 different combinations with the bench seat and 66 with the second-row captain's chairs. Second-row seats can fold down into a table, or be removed completely. The third-row seat also folds into a table, folds further for more cargo space, or slides forward on integrated tracks -- all the way to behind the driver's seat. To enhance stuff-stashing space even more, buyers of GXE and SE models can add an optional multi-adjustable Quest Smart Shelf with mesh net located behind the third row.

Under the hood is a 170-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine that makes 200 foot-pounds of torque down low for good punch in traffic. This engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. Antilock brakes and power steering are standard on all Quest models and the suspension provides a smooth, quiet, sedan-like ride underneath GXE and GLE models. SE models are tuned to provide more driver involvement with the road.

The Quest's dashboard has a functional layout with the audio unit located above the climate controls for easier access. An automatic headlight on/off switch (standard on GLE and SE) can be set to sense the onset of darkness and automatically turn the headlights on. Visibility is great, too, from upright but comfortable seating that's tempting for a long trek. Gauges are small, but acceptable, and controls are pleasing to operate. The entertainment system, optional for 2001, is an overhead unit featuring a new, larger screen to better pacify rambunctious rear passengers.

Distinctive in shape and enjoyable on the road, Quests perform adequately, though more passing power would be appreciated. Except for the upright seating position, this Nissan's handling traits make it easy to forget that you're inside a minivan. Furthermore, Nissan has addressed last year's issue of sub-par crash test scores with the 2001 model, and the Quest now makes near-perfect scores across the board. The Honda Odyssey still has it beat, though, and offers more interior room and automatic sliding doors to boot. So keep in mind those invaluable words of wisdom, "My momma told me, 'you better shop around?'"

2001 Highlights

Despite the company's decision to kill the Quest after a short 2002 model run, Nissan imbues the 2001 Quest minivan with a raft of minor improvements. Styling front and rear is freshened, and redesigned alloy wheels debut on all models. Entry-level GXE gains a rear stabilizer bar, while sporty SE receives acceleration-sensitive strut valving and a strut tower brace. New interior gauges and fabrics spice things up, and a 130-watt Super Sound system is standard on SE and GLE. Luxury GLE models also get an in-dash six-CD changer and a wood-n'-leather steering wheel. An optional overhead family entertainment system replaces the former floor-mounted model, though that rather archaic unit can still be specified for SE and GLE Quests equipped with a sunroof. Front seatbelts now have pre-tensioners for improved occupant protection, and crash test scores are up this year, as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Nissan Quest.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Dependable and easy to drive Mini-Van
We bought this mini-van brand new. Normal maintenance is all we really performed on this vehicle. The rear cooling feature is a must as it cools the people in the back seat quickly. I am very happy with this purchase. The engine runs smoothly and quietly even though it has over 100k miles.
A Decent Van Built By Ford
This is a decent vehicle with so-so amenities, but has a reliable engine. If you can find one with low mileage with a low price, here are a few things to look for that I have found at over 200,000 to date: have windows up and listen for engine when at idle and then at driving. Engine mounts tend to break easily. Check transmission oil pan for leaks. Check CV boots for tears, and listen for any clicking noises when you turn wheels while driving at parking lot speeds. Make sure A/C and fan(s) blow properly with no strange noises.
Ya Really Have to Wonder About Nissan
The van is actually built by Ford, and although I have never associated true quality to Nissan, the product is more of a black eye to them, which probably explains their choice to cancel the joint project (Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest) with Ford Motor Co. The Quest was a great product in its first incarnation, but the second generation (this model) that started in '99 was ill prepared and obviously not given much attention, especially in the engine and transmission department. It has decent power, fairly good handling (at least the SE does), and offers decent room. The engine has held up quite well with nearly 190,000 miles on it, and the only major problem was a broken tranny oil pan.
OK but still not a Honda
Performance only marginal. Good around town, bad through hilly/ mountain areas on the highway. Driver side window has problem going up/down. Radio display goes in/out at times. Comfortable seating. With 45,000 miles, van has been very reliable. Some squeeks..side and rear windows???


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Nissan Quest

Used 2001 Nissan Quest Overview

The Used 2001 Nissan Quest is offered in the following submodels: Quest Minivan. Available styles include GXE 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A), SE 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A), and GLE 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Nissan Quest?

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Nissan Quest?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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