Used 2016 Nissan Quest Minivan Review
Though overshadowed by the minivan titans from Honda and Toyota, the 2016 Nissan Quest is nonetheless a great choice for family hauling given its smartly designed interior and easy driving demeanor.
It's easy to overlook the Nissan Quest minivan given that it's gone on without a major redesign for a half decade now and that its main competitors, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, get most of the attention. But while the 2016 Quest doesn't enjoy the name recognition of those sales juggernauts or even the fresh look of the recently redesigned Kia Sedona, the Quest offers most of the passenger comforts that minivan buyers shop for.
The 2016 Nissan Quest's unconventional look adds a dash of distinctiveness to this traditionally staid segment.
There are some distinctive elements here, too. The second and third rows handily fold forward to create a flat load space. And because that third row doesn't fold and tumble backward as in most other minivans, it can be easier to stow away. That's especially true with the top-dog Platinum trim, where the bench does this at the touch of a button. The Platinum trim also includes a surround-view parking camera, which utilizes a set of cameras positioned around the car to approximate a top-down view for an accurate parking job. The only other minivan that offers this useful feature is the Sedona.
The Quest does have a few drawbacks that are worth mentioning. The Quest has a lot of cargo space because it is essentially a giant box, but the high load floor and non-removable cargo covers behind the third row mean it ultimately holds less gear than competitors do. Its seven-passenger maximum may count as an automatic disqualification, as its rivals offer seating for eight.
If you require an eight-passenger minivan, or really, are considering a minivan at all, taking a look at our top-recommended 2016 Honda Odyssey and 2016 Toyota Sienna is an absolute must. Followed closely thereafter is the thoroughly impressive 2016 Kia Sedona, which also seats eight and includes features not found on the Quest. We're less fond of the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country and 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan, which are even older than the Quest, have always been far from class leaders and are in great need of a redo. That's the extent of the minivan segment, however, meaning that with so few entries it's worth your time to look at the Quest. It's distinctive enough in design and content that it might surprise you.
trim levels & features
The 2016 Nissan Quest is a seven-passenger minivan offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.
Standard features on the S model include 16-inch steel wheels, the Easy Fill Tire Alert system, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, two-zone air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, sliding and reclining second-row captain's chairs, a removable second-row console, a 60/40-split folding and reclining third-row seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Every 2016 Quest except the base S has standard power-sliding doors.
Stepping up to the SV adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, roof rails, power-sliding doors, rear privacy glass, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, satellite radio and a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch display screen, a USB port and a media player interface.
The SV's optional Leather package adds leather upholstery for the seats and door trim, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
The SL comes standard with the Leather package, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a quick release for folding the third row and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
A DVD Entertainment System package available for SV and SL models includes a 7-inch touchscreen interior with in-dash DVD player, a rear DVD entertainment system with an 11-inch widescreen monitor, a 120-volt power outlet and auxiliary audio/video input jacks. To this, the SL can be bolstered with a 13-speaker Bose audio system and a dual-panel sunroof.
The range-topping Platinum includes SL features plus bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree parking camera, driver memory functions, a four-way power front passenger seat, power return for the third row, second- and third-row sunshades, advanced air filtration, a navigation system, the 13-speaker Bose audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen and the DVD Entertainment package. The dual-panel sunroof is the only stand-alone extra for Platinum models.
performance & mpg
The 2016 Nissan 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) that powers the front wheels. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway), which is the best in the minivan class. In Edmunds performance testing, the Quest went from zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, which is an average performance for a V6 minivan.
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 2016 Nissan Quest models include antilock disc brakes, stability and 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. The top-of-the-line Platinum version also comes standard with a blind-spot warning 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. It also includes parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert, which provides audio and visual warnings when moving objects are detected in the camera view.
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 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, an average stopping distance for a minivan.
The 2016 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 are silenced on nearly any road surface, providing a pleasantly quiet cabin.
Its V6 power is unremarkable, but the Quest is an exceptionally smooth-riding minivan.
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). Nissan updated the CVT's software last year, so we hope to see improvement in that area for 2016.
Overall, the 2016 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 good 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 2016 Quest's interior is more attractive and luxurious than the minivan norm.
The Quest is configured to hold as many as seven people, one less than the Odyssey, Sienna and Sedona. There are two captain's chairs in the second row (rather than a three-person configurable bench), separated by a removable center console, and a third-row seat that's designed to seat three 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 reconfigure the cabin 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; it's more like a large crossover in its seating arrangement and overall space. Its taller floor limits it to 108 cubic feet of total cargo capacity, which is about 40 cubes shy of its chief minivan rivals. The deep storage bin behind its third row is also 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.
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.