By KBB.com Editors
Looking for a family-hauler with a snappier style and image? Try the 2011 Nissan Quest minivan's distinctive boxy shape. Its tall, angular profile gives it a masculine vibe that dad will dig while, inside, mom will appreciate the overall upscale look and feel that's more adult-luxe than functional kid-mobile. Other minivans are less expensive and offer more power under the hood, but none deliver the wallop of design of the Nissan Quest.
If most of your errands are of the in-town variety, it's worth pointing out that the 2011 Nissan Quest's 19-mpg city fuel economy is best-in-class. And, inside, an interior that looks less utilitarian than most minivans gives this box-on-wheels a more premium feel.
If you're hoping for a minivan with a dual-screen rear-seat DVD system or seating for 8, you'll find such features in the Honda Odyssey or the Toyota Sienna, but not the 2011 Nissan Quest. This minivan also runs on the higher side of the price spectrum, with the no-options-available base S trim opening close to $28,500.
The all-new, fourth-generation Quest returns to the Nissan lineup after a 1-year hiatus with a bold look that towers above the competition – literally.
Driving Impressions The gearless pull of the 2011 Nissan Quest's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gives it a very smooth flow of power to the driving wheels. Nissan is a fan of this...transmission, and we think its application in the Quest is one of the best yet. It's smooth, delivers power rapidly and helps the van obtain an EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city. Dynamically, the Quest minivan feels just like it looks: Large. Despite its masculine outward appearance, the Quest is a bit soft underneath, with one of the least engaging combinations of ride and handling in the minivan segment; if you prefer a smoother ride over more responsive handling, you've found your minivan.
With tasteful leather seating and a well-coordinated color scheme, the interior of the SL and LE trims looks like it belongs in a much more expensive vehicle that focuses more on hauling adults than children.
CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
With no gears, as such, to shift, this transmission provides seamless power with little lag.
The 2011 Nissan Quest boasts the most spacious, luxury-like interior in the minivan segment. All of the knobs and buttons within reach of the driver have a solid, premium feel to them, and the faux wood trim throughout the cabin is well-executed. What's more, the SE and LE trims – which run on the higher end of the Quest price range – offer leather seating that wouldn't be out of place in an Infiniti vehicle. Our only complaint about the interior is regarding the shift knob – with the lever in drive, it gets in the way of the climate controls for the driver.
Among the minivans currently on the market, the 2011 Nissan Quest's boxy silhouette makes this van stand out. The Quest is shorter in length and narrower in width than most of the competition, but it also stands taller – by nearly 3 inches in some cases. This extra height serves to illuminate the vehicle's full-surround "privacy glass" and distinctive square back end. Standard equipment on S and SV trims is 16-inch wheels and tires, but 18-inchers are fitted to the more upscale SL and LE trims, which helps fill the oversized wheel wells.
The 2011 Nissan Quest S minivan comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V6, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), 16-inch wheels, push-button start, cloth seating surfaces, seating for 7, a 60/40 split third-row seat, a 6-CD audio system with auxiliary input jack and six airbags. The SV trim adds fog lights, a premium audio system with 4.3-inch color display and USB port, 1-touch power side sliding doors, Bluetooth, a rearview monitor and tri-zone automatic climate control. The SL gets 18-inch wheels, roof rails, a power tailgate, leather seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The range-topping LE adds a blind-spot warning system, a power return third-row seat, an air-scrubbing climate control system, hard drive-based navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
Aside from a few extras like splash guards, roof-rail crossbars and carpeted floor mats, options remain few on the 2011 Nissan Quest. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system or Bose premium audio system can be added to the SL model, while a dual-panel moonroof is also available on SL and LE models.
Providing the muscle for the 2011 Nissan Quest's metal is a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Although the Quest doesn't have the most horsepower in the minivan segment, it does have the smoothest transmission and the best city fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon.
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24
By MNBlues on Monday, March 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "poor build quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I like the ride and transmission of my 2012 quest but when it is cold the rear sliding doors rattle almost constantly. Nissan seems unconcerned with this issue and the dealership has replaced numerous parts. In the summer all is well but in MN there is too much winter to be acceptable. Various other trim parts inside the car rattle as well as issues with the construction of the seats leave me disappointed with the vehicle as well as Nissan. If you live in colder climates I would avoid this vehicle at all costs!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Boston ma family on Friday, March 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,809overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride, luxurious, features, controls"
Cons: "gas mileage, minor wind noise,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We are a Nissan family I have been buying this product since 1994 now had nothing but great reliable vehicles from Nissan. I still own a Altima, Versa, Juke and now Quest purchased in Oct 2013 its the best in options and comfortable interior than ever. Ride is smooth, V6 engine makes the van an pleasant to drive love the styling of it. The controls are perfect along nice displays and navigation is at best on voice commands which is overall great on Quest SV might be top of the line looking but its a really great minivan for its money. I am happy with our 8th Nissan as is will maintenance them and planning drive until 200K miles before traded but think will keep the last ones we purchased few years ago and recently this one purchase couple months because its a great minivan ever."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Eli on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,500overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Unresponsive dealer reps as noise problems."
Cons: "Wind noise unacceptable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Interior space not used to full potential. Front center console is too small and interior space is not accessible from the top. In Mn with the snow the doors carry an unacceptable amount stuck to the bottom because the doors extends to the bottom of the carriage. When it freezes you have a problem. We have what I call an owl in the rear. I have had it in to the dealer they have replaced the front passenger door rubber, changed elephant ears outside mirrors and still the noise is there. It's and unacceptable amount of noise. I have had no luck trying to find/locate a factory rep. I have had a Voyager, Caravan, Sienna, and this Quest. The ride is very good but the problems make the ride unacceptable."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Big John on Monday, January 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, Power, Ride"
Cons: "Lack of controls on steering wheel on S model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought new much less expensive than Honda or Toyota for same base model line. Very comfortable ride, good power from V6 and smooth transmission. 32,000 miles no problems. S model could use steering wheel controls if you are tall like me it's a reach for the media and ac controls. Plenty of storage with third seat down and under rear deck."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Uncle Lar on Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable for passengers, great mileage"
Cons: "Loved it until the transmission slipped"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Transmission completely shut down (disengaged) pulling a 2000 lb boat and trailer up a slippery ramp. Dealer could find nothing wrong - no codes. Buying a AWD Explorer!"
8 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By CalBama on Thursday, September 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Been researching for over 6 months now ... settled on Sienna, Sedona or GC - butI had multiple concerns: 1. Price - Sienna 2. Reliability - Sedona and GC Almost pulled the trigger. On a whim, visited a Nissan dealership. I was initially turned off by the comments about high price, 'limited space' and lack of 8 seats. 99% of the time - we only have 6 passengers ... so ultimately, this became a contender. The year end clearance was the clincher. I get a competitive price and RELIABILITY. 1. Smoooooth CVT transmission 2. Great combined mileage (22 currently but still improving) 3. Permanent roomy storage - since 3rd row folds forward. 4. Competitive total 3rd row storage - 36 cu. Feet 5. Great driving dynamics 6. Quiet - inside and out (used to my noisy MPV) 7. Comfortable 8. Nice trip computer in the base model Wish List: 1. More USB ports 2. More cubbie holes (like the 2 level glove box in the Sienna and GC) 3. Base model has no tint 4. Backup sensors should be standard"
15 people out of 26 found this review helpful