2012 Nissan Quest 3.5 LE Review

Tuesday March 27th, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

Nissan Quest 2nd row captains chairs

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics

The interior of the 2011 Quest is very spacious. There is more head room, leg room, hip room (second row), shoulder room (second row), name-your-own-body-part room than the competition. I had trouble putting my left arm on the door armrest half the time, because there is so much space around me. This is extremely useful when I had to install the child seat and when we had to put our toddler into that child seat.

I also found it quite easy to move between the front row to the second and third row inside the minivan. Not that I had to, it was just a cool thing to do. The seats on the Quest SL are leather and very comfortable. I would totally take this on a road trip to Vegas. Arm rests on the driver and passenger seats as well as the second row captain’s chairs are comfortable and easy to adjust.

The second row seats also fold flat, as does the third row 60/40 split seat. The much-touted permanent rear storage under the floor was actually really handy. It was at a good load height and really spacious. Anything you put in there is hidden out of view too. I only wished Nissan had more cargo netting and dividers there, so things don’t just roll around while driving (a $95 option).

The Quest features useful steering wheel controls for the radio, Bluetooth hands free and cruise control, and for the most part the buttons on the center stack are easy to decipher and use. The only complaint I have is the location of the console-mounted gear shifter. It blocks the driver’s view of the climate controls and audio controls just to the right of the shifter. It’s an annoyance that I could not overcome in the 4 days I had the tester.

The rear entertainment system on the SL features an 11 inch monitor for DVDs, which was great for watching my favorite movie, Airplane! It does not have the optional dual screen set-up found in the Odyssey (dual input only available in the SL model), however, which would be great if you have more than one child.

The power sliding passenger doors and lift gate are awesome, and you wouldn’t understand how awesome these features are unless you have kids or love going grocery shopping. But this is standard on all minivans these days. The Quest does have the optional keyless entry system, which is not available in the Odyssey or the Sienna. This is a great feature, you can just leave your key in your pocket at all times, push a button to unlock and lock your doors, and push the start/stop button to turn on the van.

Value

At $42,300 MSRP, the 2011 Nissan Quest 3.5 LE with the optional DVD entertainment system is priced at comparable levels to the Odyssey and a bit under the Sienna. All the specs and features are very similar in all three vans. They even have nearly identical HP, torque, and MPG numbers. The Quest gets 19 MPG city and 24 highway, and I averaged just over 19 MPG in combined driving. As far as family transport goes, there really is no other vehicle that offers as much space and convenience than a minivan. No SUV or crossover even comes close. But you have to be mentally prepared to deal with the fact that you’re marginally cooler than a school bus driver. No cool marketing with viral YouTube videos is going to change that.

Nissan Quest dual sliding power doors

The Choice is Yours

Like I was saying, there is no better family vehicle than the minivan as far as space and convenience goes. Any rational adult would have no problems choosing a minivan over a station wagon, crossover vehicle, or a SUV. But you have to be mentally prepared. Once you make the move, there is no turning back until your kids go to college. So if you are ready to make that move, your next decision is whether or not you want to blend in. There will be plenty of Town & Countrys, Grand Caravans, Siennas and Odysseys out there. Do you want to be one of them? Or do you want to be slightly different and unique? If you want to retain the last thread of individuality left somewhere inside of you, choose the Quest.

BUILD INTERIOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLING VALUE OVERALL
RATING 4.5 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.5 4.0 4.0/B

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4 Responses to 2012 Nissan Quest 3.5 LE Review

  1. RICHARD D, RIRKEN says:

    I PURCHASED A 2011 QUEST ON FEB. 1, 2011 AND DID NOT EVEN TEST DRIVE IT. AT 700 MILES WE DROVE IT 1400 MILES TO OUR WINTER VACATION RENTAL, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL RIDE!! 20 MILES TO THE GALLON, THE CVT TRANNY IS A DREAM, NO MORE SHIFTING DOWN ON CLIMBING HILLS. THIS IS MY 4TH NISSAN, I HAVE HAD 2 PICKUPS AND A 1999 QUEST SPORT VAN, THIS 2011 IS THE CREAM OF THE CROP

  2. Britt says:

    I’m in the market for a new car and ended up driving the Quest three times after weeks of trying out a variety of cars and car types. Took my spouse to try it out tonight and afterward he (picky and thrifty though he is) asked me if there was any reason I needed to try out anything else. He felt it was far nicer than anything else we’ve driven (including the 2011 Ford Explorer) and the features, driving experience, even the tight turning radius made it a must-buy for me as far as he’s concerned. Looking at online pricing it looks like you can get it for $5k under MSRP in most places too.

    If I had any quibbles it’d be the shifter (as noted in the article) and the lack of a 8 passenger option. But I can’t tell you how much I loved the fact that the third row folds forward instead of trying to hide itself backwards into the floor. After 8 years of another mini-van that does that I can’t tell you how excited I am about never, ever, ever having to deal with that again. Nothing more fun that being in the store parking lot in the rain trying to get everything out of the well in the back so you can fold the third row down. Grrrr.

    Nissan really got it right this time. I can live with the boxy behind for all of the features you get plus the very luxe interior and incredibly useful storage area.

  3. francois says:

    I love that interior. It is huge and it looks private jet-like. The rear hatch opening is big too reminiscent of the Nissan Cube’s box style rear entry.

    The exterior doesn’t look right. that rear upper panel is just so high and box like. Front quarter angle looks a little off too. I’d have to see it in person. It’s such a radical styling departure from the current Quest that it seems Nissan is searching for their corporate style.

    Oh well, it does seem like a nice package. It’s got deliver better value though than the established competition of Honda and Toyota vans.





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