Motoring: 2007 Nissan Quest improves upon past models
What turned me off about the Quest was not its styling, size or its silly center-stack instrument binacle. No, what turned me off was the quality. The Quest sadly had the built quality comparable to the worst American and Korean car manufacturers would normally put out, so to see this type of sad quality on a Japanese vehicle was just not right.
Thankfully, Nissan has woken-up and has addressed the issues regarding the Quest with the 2007 model.
Yes, some would say the exterior styling is still too unusual, but I like the way it looks. This is an interesting looking minivan, and those words have never been uttered by me in my entire life. Minivans are not suppose to look good but this one does. I say “Bravo” to Nissan for having the guts to put such a design into production.
Thanks also goes to them for finally fixing the interior. The old Quest interior looked like a bad extra from a Star Trek movie, nothing looked right and the quality was horrendous. Now the quality is much, much better and better still, the interior now looks modern and the instrument binacle has finally been put where it belongs, behind the steering-wheel (not the middle of the dash). On top of that, I love the orange dials, this dash looks fantastic at night-time.
So, the 2007 Quest looks better and has a much improved interior, but does it drive any better?
Well as far as power is concerned, nothing has changed there. It still has a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 235 hp, mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox, driving the front wheels. However, the chassis has improved quite a bit. The 2006 Quest I drove earlier this year felt as loose as the hinge on an old barn door and that chassis flex made the whole interior squeak. The 2007 model I just drove had no such issues. The chassis felt tighter, there were no squeaks and the handling felt a lot better too. This minivan is so car-like to drive, I'd often forget that I was driving a van. One thing you cannot and should not forget is its size. This is a huge minivan and thus care is needed to maneuver it in and out of traffic and while backing out. Thankfully my test vehicle was fitted with a reversing camera, which came in very handy.
So, this is a vastly improved product, but it is still not perfect just yet. First, compared to its competition like the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey, the Quest does not have power windows in the rear sliding doors. However, the other two do not have fold away into the floor seats in the middle row. The Quest also has a fold away into the floor rear bench, but it is not a split folding rear bench. And while I am talking about seats, I will say that I am not a fan of the front seats. The curvature is weird and takes a lot to get used to it. Plus, the seats are obviously designed for the fat-American because they are very wide and have no support to hold you in place while you tackle corners.
So the Quest is still not perfect yet and it is pricey too. My fully loaded SE model with a navigation system, a reversing camera and DVD screens for the second and third row came in at a whopping $49,948. A similarly equipped Odyssey will set you back $48,100, so the Honda is still the best minivan for the money.
However the Quest is vastly improved and offers the most space inside. Oh and one more thing, the Quest is actually quite frugal, I averaged 12.5-liters/100km, which means it is better than most of its competition.
So to cap it all, the new Quest is much improved over the old one, so if you were put off by the Quest the last time you bought a minivan, its time now to take a look at it again. It might just be what you're looking for.