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 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."
3 people out of 3 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."
1 person out of 1 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!"
4 people out of 18 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"
12 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Ratsnake on Monday, September 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 410overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, Quiet, Plush, Smooth Transmission"
Cons: "Need USB ports!, Would prefer dials for the AC"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We needed to replace our 10+ year old Mazda MPV. Reliability was #1 (wife is driving 90% of the time - with the kids), followed by comfort and price. My short list was the Sienna, Quest, Sedona and GV. Once I started researching about reliability, the Quest leapt from #3 to #1. I was leaning towards the Sedona and GV all throughout the last 6 months --- but the reliability factor kept me on the fence. The comfort (sooo quiet, plush seating) was another factor. Having driven a Mazda MPV, I was yearning for some peace and quiet without sacrificing the driving dynamics. This was where the Quest once again trumped the Sedona and GV. Somehow, driving the GV and Sedona just didn't feel solid (long term). The materials (fit and finish) didn't seem it would hold up in 10 years. Plus, the GV was very quiet but the materials made me doubt it would remain rattle free in 2-3 years. Lastly - was the price. This is where the Quest broke the tie with the Sienna. I got a very good price on the Quest that the Sienna simply could not go near to. Initially, an 8-seater was critical - but since 99% of the time, we only have 6 passengers, this made the Sienna and its price less appealing. As far as mileage, I am averaging 21 combined after 400 miles on the odometer. It is creeping up. As far as the CVT and driving dynamics - buttery smoooth! It does not have all the bells and whistles as the GV and Sedona --- (but certainly more than the Sienna) but has far better quality and reliability than the Sienna - at a very competitive price."
11 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By D. on Saturday, September 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "space, large passenger areas, good stereo system"
Cons: "road noise, lack of storage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"It's not bad gas mileage or space for cost- plenty of easily accessible rooom- lots of conveniences inside- bluetooth, steering wheel controls for stereo and bluetooth, lots of airbags for safety- all and all not too shabby. However, the road noise in this van is pretty bad- and if you sit in the back seat during travel you can't hear conversation or the radio unless it's exceptionally loud. Also, when I compared to my friends vans we don't have as much storage space (like in the floor) as some other similar type vehicles. For me,it has been a great van, but ultimately I'm shopping for something a bit more like a crossover type vehicle and something that addresses the noise issue."
10 people out of 11 found this review helpful