2012 Nissan Quest LE: Oregon Day 3 -- Bend to Brookings
December 27, 2011
Yeah, we've been out and about in our 2012 Nissan Quest for more than three days, but the last couple don't count because we sat planted in one place, exchanging gifts and stuffing our faces. That we were doing so in Bend, Oregon was a huge plus.
Today we got back on the road and headed for Christmas II at my folks place on the Oregon coast just north of Brookings near a place called Pistol River.
Between here and there sits Crater Lake National Park, but with no time to stop we skirted along its northern flank on our way over the Cascade range. The steady climb up highway 138 started out dry enough, but it quickly turned to slush, patchy ice and, near the 5,400-foot summit, snow. That we got through without a cracked windshield from scattered patches of pumice laid down by ODOT snowplows was something of a minor miracle.
This was by no means a severe test, and there was certainly less snow than we found the last time we came through in our long-term Ford Flex. But the front-drive Quest and its all-season tires did manage to make the Bend-area locals and their studded tires look a little silly. (Actually, long-time Bend natives scoff at the studded rubber, too, attributing their popularity to Southern California transplants that have never heard of Blizzaks, apparently.)
The only trouble we had was minor. The Quest's navigation system insisted on a route from Crater Lake that's about 30 miles longer than the road I know to be straighter and faster. The Google Maps app on my iPhone was in my corner. The Quest was not set to look for scenic routes -- it simply made the wrong call.
No big deal, but it doesn't do my mistrust of navigation systems any favors.
Mileage-wise, this was a decent day despite questionable conditions. The Quest managed 23.6 mpg over 276 miles on 87-octane gas that, according to the locals, contains a full 10% ethanol. Rounding up, that matches the Quest's EPA highway rating of 24 mpg. It seems to be breaking in nicely.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicel Testing @ 2,348 miles