By KBB.com Editors
Since its initial launch as the joint venture sibling of the Mercury Villager, Nissan's Quest has been the QUESTion mark in the Nissan lineup. Those questions continued with the latest iteration, introduced as a solo Nissan effort in 2004. Whereas most of its competition embraces the bland in pursuit of the minivan mainstream, Nissan took a decidedly different tack in both exterior styling and interior execution. With an all-new vehicle emanating from an all-new Canton, Mississippi plant, both quality and marketing resultsat launchwere decidedly mixed. For 2007 Nissan performs one of its most aggressive mid-model "freshenings" ever. And while little of the money spent is evident on the outside, the interior represents another Nissan shift, but this time it's a shift nearer the sweetspot of the minivan marketplace.
If you're in need/want/desire of a minivan, but would enjoy taking the road less traveled, the Quest is your one-and-only. While solidly improved on the inside, and with an on-road dynamic that was never in question, the Quest sheetmetal remains as polarizing as ever. In point of fact, it is arguably the most provocative skin this side of the English Channel. Get past the exterior and you'll enjoy a boatload of utility in combination with good performance, great flexibility and one of the industry's best powertrains.
If you don't enjoy drawing attention to yourself, the Quest is probably not drawn for you. Even with deeply tinted windows it's not the van in which to disappear, making it wholly inappropriate for the Drive-In. Also, like its marketplace brethren in the Honda and Toyota showrooms, this is a full seven-passenger serving whether you're needing it or not. With the additional bulk of its full-size spec comes fewer parking choices and (typically) more fuel consumption.
Most vehicles get some sort of freshening/revamp in the middle of their product cycles. Rarely, however, are those mods this extensiveor expensive. The old interior, whose material choices made Kia's Sephia look like a Bentley, has been sent packing, replaced with an all-new instrument panel, available front-row center console, in-dash Vehicle Information System (standard on SE, optional on SL) and fold-flat third-row seat. On the outside the Quest benefits from a new grille, front fascia and chrome door handles. In combination with design and material enhancements inside, the overall impression is considerably more upscale and, at least inside, significantly less "funky".
Driving Impressions The 2007 Quest continues to share its basic platformthe Advanced FF-Lwith Nissan's Maxima, Murano and Altima. To that end it not only enjoys a car-like ride and handling dynamic, but...one whose on-road composure is perhaps more refined than the norm. You won't, to be sure, enter a Quest in motorsports competition, but you can be assured of accurate steering, competent braking and sure-footed roadholding. From a driver's standpoint, the eight-way adjustable seat provides a hip point as highor lowas you'd want it, giving you better visibility and the perception of better control. Finally, there's nothing to fault with the combination of Nissan's 3.5-liter V6 and five-speed automatic. It's simply one of the best engine/transmission combos at the price point.
We enjoy the functionality of the minivan, but wish designers took more chances in the segment. Nissan's design team has answered our call by giving the Quest a shape entirely its own. And the daring design doesn't in any way diminish its functionality. This is a big box with big capabilityit simply doesn't wear the skin of a two-box design.
Although it may not roll off the tongue like Chrysler's Stow 'N Go, and won't provide the concealed stowage of Chrysler's offering, we like Nissan's Fold-Away seating very much. When raised, the second-row seat is exceedingly supportive, and when folded, it's almost completely flat. The third row accommodates passengers well, providing genuine comfort to full-size adults. With this packaging you can carry people, or things, or both, with space for the things and comfort for the people.
Beyond the aforementioned redo, where dash and instrument panel are all-new and accompanied by a wholesale improvement in materials and textures, you'll be impressed by the significant upgrade in interior appearance. Almost every surfacesave the S model's steering wheelis an intriguing surface, catching the eye and begging you to touch it. This is in sharp contrast to its predecessor, which might have caused you to close your eyes and keep your hands in your pockets. Beyond the interior's tone and texture is a near-unbelievable functionality. There is space galore, made all the better by the airy greenhouse, high ceiling (truly generous headroom) and fold-flat third-row seating. The seat design is notable, looking and feeling like a contemporary display in a gallery, while the steering wheel in our test S model, although artfully designed, is all too plastic in texture.Exterior
While the majority of minivans are unified in their designsthe front half of the vehicle looks as if it belongs to the rear halfthere's intentional discord designed into the Quest sheetmetal. That discord begins at the front fender with its impossibly low cowl and continues, unabated, through the sharp upsweep taking place in the middle of the front doors. A better-integrated grille and headlamp assembly reduces the visual disconnect, but this remains as far from the mainstream, minivan-wise, as Tiny Tim. We like it, but back in the days when RenaultNissan's parentwas still in the U.S., some of us liked the Le Car and Fuego, too. Kudos go to the high quality fit and finish, with door closures sounding closer to Mercedes than Mazda.
In a category catering to a family-and-convenience-oriented clientele, the S level Quest has much to offer. Passive safety is provided by the typical array of airbags, including a roof-mounted side-curtain airbag. Active safety is supplied by an all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc braking with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control. Notably, a rear sonar system is standard on the S, SL and SE models, enabling the driver to detect things located immediately behind the rearward-moving van. And if your hauling needs exceed the Quest's interior volume, roof rails, too, are standard.
Nissan's marketing team has created a significant gap between the comfortably-equipped SL and loaded SE . For those wishing to split the cost difference, consider the SkyView Glass-paneled Roof package. Looking up, you'll enjoy the openness of glass roof panels in combination with a power sliding sunroof. Looking in, driver and passengers will benefit from the Technology package, included when you opt for SkyView. The Technology package supplies a rearview monitor, in-dash LCD color monitor, dual-zone Automatic Temperature Control and automatic headlamps.
Among those manufacturers offering a mid-displacement (between three and four liters) V6, Nissan's efforts shine. Whether this powerplant is placed in the Quest, Altima or G35, it seems eminently well-suited to the task at hand. The DOHC 24-valve layout provides 235 horsepower, a five-horsepower drop from 2006 due to a new SAE rating system. And it delivers that power, via a five-speed automatic transmission, in an entirely seamless manner, with both good throttle response and excellent cruising capability. Under the hood, it's your typical transverse installation, with good access to battery and fluids, but limited access to anything else.
235 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
By Dave on Monday, December 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 173,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value and quality for the money."
Cons: "Front seat ergonomics and automatic windows."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Still running strong after 10 years and 173K miles. No major repairs over the life of the vehicle. Great value and I definitely got my monies worth out of the van. Only minor issues are the ergonomics of the front seats and the drivers and passenger windows don't go up automatically even though we have and the drivers side fixed once. The window bug seems to be a common problem with these vans. Other than those two minor issues it has been a great van and I am hoping to get another 80K miles out of it."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By KidsRgrown on Monday, November 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 151,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room. Stylish in and out."
Cons: "Some electrical problems."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"At 10+ years, this van still looks good and runs great. We performed all scheduled maintenance and oil changes. After year 7 we started having the following troubles: the second-row heating controls stopped working, so only the front-seat passengers can regular heat/AC for front and rear. The radio cuts out when we go over bumps but comes back on. The auto-up on the passenger front window will take the window all the way up and bring it back down about 3". You have to put it back up again to make it stay. There is a loud tapping when it is first started, but the mechanic told us that once the car warms, it will go away. He is right. After about 5 min it goes away. My struts are now shot. The interior is fantastic. It is beautiful, comfortable, and has lots of storage. 6' tall passengers have plenty of leg room in the first and second rows. The third row is a tighter fit, but not as bad as any of the other vans I have been in. The third row is very heavy to get up and down, but it is much more substantial than those in other vans. The panoramic windows have always been a hit, and the DVD player has never failed us. I will miss this vehicle and will be sad to let it go. I do mostly city driving. Average 19.6 mpg."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By PersonX on Sunday, September 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "elegant looking, good price, comfortable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"One of the best cars that I drove. Excellent, comfortable, and practical. Very good for a big family and for moving small stuff."
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Shari on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Rides and drives like car. Glass roof, Comfy"
Cons: "gas milage, rear seats not split"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have only owned this van about 4 months, bought it used at 119,000 miles, it's a 2004 loaded. It drives and rides like a car. Lots of room, love the sunroof and fixed glass in the rest of the roof. Only dis-likes, are gas milage (about 16 mpg around city). And back seats are not split, so they are very heavy to fold up and down for 1 woman. If they were split seats, it would be great. All seats are really comfortable. They are leather."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Ms Nikki on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy easy to get in smooth ride"
Cons: "no open windows second row"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My son is 6'5" and fits in my back seat very well. even the 3rd row is comfortable. People love how comfortable the seats are, nice and wide . the ride is very smooth and it takes curves well at a higher than normal speed even. Just tried it to see how it would do. I love the smokey gray color, it is a very classy looking car . It is a 2006 but people think it is brand new. I love that the dash board is in the middle not behind the steering. The second row windows don't open at all would like for them to roll down.. I ride a lot of elderly it is easy to get in seats at hip height just sit and turn legs in. Second row cup holder on the outside of seat by door, broke off as people would get in and out of car, would have been better to put it on the inside of seat. I like the way the back is made on 20206 better than the look of the 2014 to boxy."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By woody on Monday, July 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Open interior access."
Cons: "shoddy construction of interior fixtures."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"At 96,000 miles the engine failed with a defective cylinder. A new engine was purchased. The plastic interior fixtures and dashboard weak and shaky. rear seats difficult and tedious to lower into floor. Tire size and type expensive. No tow package available. Too low for bumpy terrain. Low gas mileage. Replaced steering arm and wheel bearing. My repair costs approximately $6,000. It must have been assembled on Friday or Monday."
10 people out of 15 found this review helpful