By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
In the world of minivans Nissan's Quest for 2014 takes a pretty convincing stab at pulling off "cool" without sacrificing any of the features that make a minivan so vital to the family. A tall roofline and wraparound glass set the Quest apart, as do an interior and a dashboard that would be equally at home inside any luxury SUV. Gadgets galore and clever features, such as the 1-touch power sliding door and power-return 3rd-row seat, make the Quest even more desirable. Of course, you could pay less and get more horsepower from the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Kia Sedona, but really, what price can you put on being cool?
If your growing brood mandates a minivan in your driveway, we can't think of a more uniquely styled one than the Nissan Quest. When loaded, the Quest feels more like a luxury SUV than a rug-rat ride, and its 19-mpg city rating should go a long way to easing frequent trips to the pump.
The Quest is good, but not complete. If you need seating for eight or a multi-screen DVD entertainment system, the Quest can't oblige. Also, the Quest is only offered with front-wheel drive, so if you need the added traction of all-wheel drive, Toyota's Sienna is the only game in town.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2014, the Nissan Quest gains some new color choices but otherwise carries over unchanged.
Driving Impressions Nissan's 2014 Quest achieves its superior fuel economy thanks to its gearless CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission. The step-less transmission is not a new idea, but Nissan has perfected it...... allowing for full-time optimization of both fuel economy and power. The Quest moves smoothly and quickly from a dead stop, and its impressive 19-mpg city fuel-economy rating is matched only by the Honda Odyssey. The Quest's CVT receives power from a 3.5-liter V6 good for 260 horsepower, more than enough to move a loaded minivan. For a Nissan, we expected a little sharper steering and a stiffer suspension than what we found, but overall we wouldn't say we were disappointed. The softer suspension results in the Quest's ultra-smooth ride, a tradeoff we think most minivan users will appreciate. Those seeking a bit more feedback might be happier in the VW Routan or Honda Odyssey.
With tasteful leather seating (standard in SL and LE trims, optional in SV) and a well-coordinated color scheme, the interior of the 2014 Quest looks like it belongs in a much more expensive vehicle, one aimed more at accommodating grownups than schlepping kids.
CVT (CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION)
With no gears, as such, to shift, this transmission provides seamless power with little lag.
The 7-passenger Quest's great interior volume and handsomely appointed interior set the class standard. Everything you touch has a premium feel worthy of an upscale Infiniti vehicle. The creased faux-wood insert running along the dash and doors looks first-rate, and the perforated leather seating in the SE and LE trims (and optional in the SV) is unexpected in a minivan. We noted some ergonomic glitches: The shift lever in the "D" position partially blocks the climate controls, and the traction-control and power liftgate buttons are placed down by the driver's knee where they are difficult to find.Exterior
Aside from the Honda Odyssey, no minivan on the market is as expressively stylized as the Nissan Quest. Although not as long or wide as the segment leaders, the Quest is taller than most of its rivals, by as much as three inches, which helps create a more open and roomy cabin. Its expansive surround of tinted privacy glass gives all inside a clear view out while keeping prying eyes (and cabin-heating sun rays) at bay. Standard equipment on S and SV trims includes 16-inch wheels, but 18-inchers are fitted to the higher-line SL and LE trims.
The base Nissan Quest S minivan comes with 16-inch wheels, cloth seating surfaces, a 60/40-split folding 3rd-row seat, a 6-CD audio system and six airbags. The SV trim adds fog lights, a premium audio system with USB port, 1-touch power sliding side doors, Bluetooth and a rearview camera. 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 13-speaker Bose audio system, blind-spot warning system, a power-return 3rd-row seat, an air-scrubbing climate-control system, hard-drive-based navigation, rear-seat DVD entertainment and the new Around View Monitor.
Aside from a few extras like splash guards, roof-rail crossbars and carpeted floor mats, options remain few on the 2014 Quest minivan. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system and Bose premium audio system can be added to the SL model, leather upholstery is optional on the SV, and a dual-panel moonroof is available on SL and LE models.
Powering the Quest is a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Although the Quest doesn't have the most horsepower in the minivan segment, it does have the smoothest transmission and impressive city fuel economy of 19 mpg.
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg
The 2014 Nissan Quest S minivan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,815, placing it below a base Toyota Sienna (about $28,000). A top-line Quest LE starts at $43,465 and can top $46,000 with lots of accessories, in line with the top-of-the-line Honda Odyssey Touring Elite (just over $45,000). Before heading to your local Nissan dealership to see and drive a Quest, we recommend you check its Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to find out what others in your area are currently paying for it. If you're thinking ahead and wondering what the Quest will be worth in a few years, it should hold an average resale value, a little below that of the Sienna and Odyssey.