Used 2015 Nissan Quest Review
Edmunds expert review
Though overshadowed by the titans from Honda and Toyota, the 2015 Nissan Quest is nonetheless a great choice for a minivan given its smartly designed interior and easy driving demeanor.
What's new for 2015
The stylish 2015 Nissan Quest is a roomy, comfortable and well-mannered minivan that flies under the radar of many shoppers. The cabin is quiet and versatile, and it offers all of the features that most families would want. Moreover, thanks to its strong, seamless acceleration and relatively agile handling, the Quest is anything but a chore to drive. Its well-tuned suspension and relaxing seating combine to make long trips a comfortable experience.
Inside, a flexible seating configuration makes it easy to switch back and forth between passenger- and cargo-hauling duties. This is because the Quest's third-row seat easily folds forward rather than backward, as in virtually every other minivan. The second-row seats also fold forward (like those in most crossover SUVs), whereas some of the Quest's more popular competitors require the second-row seats to be manually removed.
As handy as this arrangement is, though, the Quest's seating configuration has some trade-offs. First, because it provides only two captain's chairs in the second row, it can only carry up to seven people. Key competitors can carry up to eight people because they offer a choice between a pair of captain's chairs and a three-passenger split bench seat. Also, Nissan's convenient flat-folding seats result in less maximum cargo space than rival minivans.
So does the 2015 Nissan Quest belong on your short list? It all depends on your requirements. If you don't need to carry more than seven people or pack your minivan to the brim, then you'll likely enjoy the Quest's quick-change flexibility and enjoyable driving demeanor. If you're trying to maximize passenger and cargo capacity, however, then the traditional titans in this segment -- the 2015 Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna -- are better choices, because both offer eight-passenger seating and considerably more cargo capacity. The 2015 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan cousins are also worth considering, as their space-efficient Stow 'n Go seating system allows similarly quick transformations from passenger- to cargo-hauling activities, yet they still offer very impressive cargo capacity. Another possibility is the redesigned 2015 Kia Sedona, which has forward-folding second-row seats and almost as much cargo space as the top sellers.
If passenger comfort and overall driving refinement are your overriding priorities, though, the 2015 Nissan Quest is well worth your consideration.
Trim levels & features
The 2015 Nissan Quest is a seven-passenger minivan offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum (which replaces last year's LE version).
In addition to the safety features listed below, standard features on the S model include 16-inch steel wheels, Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert system (which honks the horn when you've added enough air to a tire to reach the recommended pressure), keyless entry, push-button ignition, cruise control, six-way manually adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a removable second-row console, ambient interior lighting, a rear storage well and a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio jack.
With the SV, you also get alloy wheels, foglights, power-sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a front-seat center console, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, satellite radio and a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch color display and USB/iPod audio interface.
The SL adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, roof rails, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The top-of-the-line Platinum version treats you to xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, a 360-degree top-down camera system with Nissan's moving-object detection system, driver memory functions, a four-way power front passenger seat, one-touch fold-flat third-row seats with power return, second- and third-row sunshades, advanced air filtration, a 13-speaker Bose audio/DVD system, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, auxiliary audio/video input jacks and a rear DVD entertainment system with an 11-inch widescreen monitor.
The rear entertainment system is optional for SV and SL models; on the SL, it's available in combination with the Bose audio system and an upgraded 7-inch audio display screen. Note that this audio upgrade for the SL is only available if you also select the optional dual-panel sunroof. The sunroof is a stand-alone extra for Platinum models. Leather upholstery and a power driver seat are optional in the SV.
Performance & mpg
The front-wheel-drive Quest is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy has improved for 2015 with an EPA estimate of 22 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway), which is among the best in the minivan class.
A properly equipped Quest can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a decent amount for a minivan, and a Class II trailer package is available on all trim levels.
Standard safety features for all 2015 Nissan Quest models include antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat active head restraints. A rearview camera is standard on all but the base S trim level (on which it's not available). The top-of-the-line Platinum version also comes standard with a blind-spot monitoring system and Nissan's bird's-eye-view camera system, which displays a 360-degree view of the area around the vehicle for help when parking. For 2015, this system also now detects moving objects in the camera view and warns the driver both visually and audibly.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Quest earned the agency's top rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, but it got the lowest rating of "Poor" in the small-overlap crash test. The Quest also earned a second-best rating of "Acceptable" for roof strength and "Good" for the whiplash protection of its seats and head restraints in rear impacts.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Quest stopped from 60 mph in 125 feet: slightly better than average for a minivan.
The 2015 Nissan Quest's overall ride quality is arguably the best of any current minivan, with ruts and bumps ably absorbed by the compliant suspension. Precise steering gives the Quest an almost sporting feel around turns, although the effort level feels needlessly heavy at slow speeds. Wind and road noise is silenced on nearly any road surface, providing a pleasantly quiet cabin.
The V6 delivers capable power, and we even prefer the Quest's smooth CVT over the traditional automatic transmissions in some competing models. Instant response from the engine and transmission make it easy and pleasant to pass on the highway or climb steep grades. In past years, we've noted a steady-state drone from the engine when ascending grades (a result of the CVT holding the V6 at a specific rpm to provide a compromise between performance and efficiency). We're expecting some improvement for 2015, however, as Nissan says it has added new shift logic that simulates shifts (like you'd get with a regular automatic) to minimize this less desirable aspect of the Quest's CVT. Once we've tested a 2015 Nissan Quest, we'll update this review.
Overall, the 2015 Nissan Quest's cabin is comfortable, versatile and aesthetically pleasing. Its elegantly sweeping dashboard smoothly blends into the door panels, and the center stack's controls are logically grouped within easy reach of the driver. Even on the upper trim levels, operating the various climate, navigation and entertainment systems is simple and intuitive. Interior materials are above average in the lower trims, while the leather-appointed cabins in the SL and Platinum versions create a luxurious and serene environment. Even the CD player/radio features a classy aesthetic, with a simple faceplate and chrome-banded volume and tuning knobs.
The Quest is configured to hold up to seven people. There are two captain's chairs in the second row, separated by a removable center console, and a third-row seat that's designed to seat three people. This leaves the Quest one shy of the Odyssey's and Sienna's carrying capacity, as each of them offers a three-passenger split bench seat in the second row, allowing them to carry up to eight people. The Quest's second-row seats slide and recline, and are quite comfortable. As with the third row, they also fold forward and flat, making it easier to carry big and bulky items than in the Sienna or Odyssey, both of which require you to physically remove their second-row seats.
A downside is that the Quest has considerably less cargo volume than the Odyssey and Sienna. Its taller floor limits it to 108 cubic feet of total cargo capacity, which is about 40 cubes shy of those models. The deep storage bin behind its third row is a mixed bag. It isn't as roomy as the storage wells in rival minivans, but you can store items there even when the third row is folded down. Other minivans use that well to store their folded-down seats.
Ultimately, shoppers will have to decide whether the Quest's convenience and flexibility is worth the trade-off in maximum cargo space. Chrysler's Stow n' Go system offers a compromise: Its second and third rows are more difficult to lower than the Quest's, but they leave more cargo room after disappearing into the floor. The redesigned 2015 Kia Sedona has a configuration much like the Quest's but with more overall cargo space.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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.