What it is: The Nissan Quest is a passably good minivan you might not even know exists.
Base prices range from $27,750 to $41,350.
Mileage ranges from 19 miles per gallon in the city to 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
What’s worth knowing: Nissan has distinguished itself from Toyota, Honda and other rivals with sharp designs backed by sporty performance. But that formula doesn’t quite apply to minivans, which might explain why Nissan’s effort to sex up the version of the Quest it offered between 2004 and 2009 was a big flop. After a year on the sidelines, Nissan unveiled the latest version of the Quest last year, taking a more conventional approach.
Who it’s for: No secret here. The Quest, like all minivans, is for unapologetic parents who need the most practical hauler available and can afford to pay up for a fairly advanced vehicle.
What’s good: The Quest is cavernous, with three rows of seats that hold seven passengers and a long list of convenience features. The second row captain’s chairs, where kids typically sit, slide forward and back and recline, for an optimal fit of young and old. Flipping down the seats to get to the third row is an easy one-touch job that a kid can accomplish. There are cupholders and storage nooks everywhere, and handling is comfortable for such a behemoth.
What’s bad: Some reviewers complain that the cabin controls are on the cheap side. And like most minivans, the Quest can easily top $30,000 with a few options, which is out of range for many families.
How it stacks up: The differences between the Quest and its main competitors, the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, are subtle. The Quest is limited to seven passengers, while other minivans offer an optional second-row bench seat that boosts capacity to eight. The Quest has a deep storage well in the rear, which holds a lot of gear even with all three rows intact, but the second- and third-row seats, when folded down, don’t stow quite as deeply as they do on other vans. Another competitor, the Dodge Grand Caravan, starts at a lower price. As for styling—well, they’re minivans.
What to do if you want one: Test the Quest’s versatility by flipping all the seats up and down while holding a child or bag of groceries in one hand. While doing a test drive, find some curves and make sure this heavy hauler doesn’t feel too lumbering or tilty.