2011 Nissan Quest

S FWD 4-Dr Minivan V6 auto trans

2011 nissan quest Reviews and News

2011 Nissan Quest Left Side View
Nissan has not had an easy time of it in the U.S. minivan market. The original Quest, codeveloped with Ford and sold also as the Mercury Villager, was undersized. Nissan's next Quest was a solo effort that featured avant-garde design -- too avant-garde, as it turned out -- and which was built at the company's brand-new U.S. factory in Mississippi. That Quest was dogged by quality problems, and sales were disappointing. Nissan has now given up engineering a minivan specifically for the American market, and its latest Quest is instead an adaptation of the Japanese-market Elgrand minivan, and is imported from Japan.
2011 Nissan Quest Front View
The styling of the new Quest is 180-degrees out from the previous one. Where the last Quest was all wavy and swoopy, the new one flaunts its slab-sided boxyness. The oddball interior of the previous Quest is only a fading memory, as the new model is conventionally configured. My test example was leather-lined and nicely padded just about everywhere -- as well it might be for $43,750. That's for the top-spec LE, optioned up with dual, opening sunroofs (the kids can control their own). Otherwise, the LE comes with pretty much everything, including navigation, a backup camera, the aforementioned leather, and a rear-seat DVD player. Kids loved the wide (11-inch diagonal) flip-down video screen, which powers open at a touch of the button on the remote. It's standard on the LE and optional on the SL. In addition to DVDs, the system can play movies or other media contained on a flash drive, which you can plug into a USB port.
This big box feels huge from the inside. The second row has plenty of space, but accommodations in the third row are somewhat dependent on the generosity of those in the second-row seats, which can slide fore and aft and which also recline. If spiteful older siblings are in row two, the third row can be tight; with more magnanimous passengers in the middle seats, the third row can be fine, even for adults. Cargo space behind the third seat -- in important measure for families that often travel full-up -- is 37 cubic feet, including the extra-large well beneath the two removable floor panels.
From the driver's seat, the Quest feels dead conventional. The ride is fairly comfortable, and the chassis does nothing to encourage high-speed cornering through the subdivision. The steering earns points for being reasonably direct and not overboosted. Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6 has been much maligned for its coarse nature, but it's barely audible here, and it's certainly powerful enough to get the team to soccer practice on time. It plays well with the continuously variable automatic transmission, as it's torque arrives low enough in the rev range that there's none of the rubber-band throttle response you get when a CVT is paired with the small four-cylinder engines more typically used with this type of transmission. Fuel economy is quite good in the city (19 mpg) but the highway figure (24 mpg) can't match the class-leading Honda Odyssey. [A side thought: Shouldn't the EPA come up with a new test cycle, suburb, for minivans?]
So, the grown-ups' verdict is that the Quest has finally achieved the normalcy that should enable it to grab a decent slice of the minivan market. But what's the kids' point of view? Well, we asked one young lad who is a keen -- bordering on obsessive -- observer of cars. His parents just bought a Toyota Sienna minivan, but upon seeing the Quest, young Johnny was smitten. "I love your Quest," said the boy, who is 5. "I'm going to buy one tomorrow."
2011 Nissan Quest
2011 Nissan Quest Rear Left Side View
Base price (with destination): $42,150
Price as tested: $43,740
Standard Equipment:
- 3.5-liter V-6
- CVT automatic transmission
- Front seat active head restraints
- 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and panic brake assist
- 18-inch aluminum wheels
- Automatic climate control with air purifier and auto recirc
- First- and second-row power windows
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror w/Homelink
- Blind-spot warning system
- 8-way power driver's seat w/memory
- 4-way power passenger's seat
- 2nd-row sliding and reclining captain's chairs w/removable center console
- 60/40 split-folding and reclining 3rd-row seats
- Quick release 3rd-row folding seatbacks with power return
- Leather seating and door trim
- Heated front seats
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
- Wood-tone trim accents
- Tilt and telescoping steering column
- Illuminated steering-wheel-mounted controls for cruise control, audio, and navigation
- 13-speaker Bose audio system with AM/FM/XM/CD, USB and aux. inputs, and 9.3GB hard drive
- Navigation w/XM traffic and weather, and Zagat survey results
- Rear-view monitor and 8-inch color display
- 2nd-row 11-inch DVD screen with remote and two headphones
- Power sliding doors
- Power liftgate
- Xenon headlights
- Power mirrors w/turn signals, memory, heating, and auto-tilt in reverse
- Keyless ignition
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 2nd- and 3rd-row sun shades
- Roof rails
- Chrome-accented side sill spoilers, door handles, and license plate finisher
Options on this vehicle:
Dual-opening glass moonroof - $1350
Carpeted floor mats - $180
Cargo net - $60
Key options not on vehicle:
None
Fuel economy:
(city/hwy/combined)
19 / 24 / 21 mpg
Engine:
3.5L V-6
Horsepower: 260 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 240 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Drive:
Front-wheel
Transmission:
CVT
Curb weight: 4548 lb
Wheels/tires:
18-inch alloy wheels, 235/55R18 tires
Competitors:
Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Siena
2011 Nissan Quest Rear Three Quarters Static
Seeing the Quest in person brings to mind a design executed in drywall. The sides of this van are enormous and nearly flat, a perception enhanced by the van's 6-foot 1-inch height and fact the doors wrap under the body. Even the optional 18-inch wheels look small in the wheel wells. On the plus side, the new Quest displays more design personality than the all-new Toyota Sienna and appears more cohesive than the all-new Honda Odyssey. The Sienna, however, looks a bit cleaner (if blander) because the rear-door tracks are concealed along the lower edge of the rear windows.
2011 Nissan Quest Rear Three Quarters Static
The reality with minivans is that their exteriors are secondary to their interiors. You must open the doors to see where manufacturers spend the majority of their development dollars. Do so on the Quest and you'll find a practical 7-passenger environment that's standard on every trim level.
The front compartment is roomy and comfortable. Like nearly all contemporary minivans, the dash thrusts rearward in a shape that harkens back to a day when rear-wheel-drive full-size vans has their engines mounted between the front seats. The modern design is useful because it places controls within easy reach of the driver and front passenger. The front thrones proved most comfortable for the driver. The front passenger had to beware of the protruding center console. The surface facing the front passenger is hard plastic and it's an unpleasant surface for a knee to rub against.
Opening either rear door reveals more than 143.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space or seats for another five bodies. Access through the rear doors was engineered with little people in mind. A recessed step lowers step-in height to just 15.7-inches. Given the van's exterior shape, you'd expect plenty of room for those in the second and third rows, and there is.
If you must know, there are 16 cup holders.
When van duties require carrying cargo rather than passengers, the second- and third-row fold easily. The seats are not removable, so cargo gets loaded on top of the seat backs and the seats don’t all touch when they are folded down, so the vehicle doesn’t quite have a perfectly flat and even floor to load objects onto.
In addition to the cargo space above the folded seats, the Quest features a huge cargo well behind the third-row. How large? Big enough for your 5-foot 9-inch author to climb in and close the twin covers over his only slightly folded body. The strong yet lightweight lids align with the main floor of the minivan and can support more than 200 pounds.
To help make room for the well, the Quest's spare tire is located under the second-row seats. The under-chassis mount is only accessible from outside the vehicle, and it's a considerable reach. With this arrangement, you'd better hope you never get a flat tire.
Tertiary to many minivan buyers is the powertrain. Adequate, reliable, relatively efficient propulsion is enough. No lusty exhaust notes, please.
2011 Nissan Quest Front View
Nissan's familiar 3.5-liter V-6 is the Quest's single engine. A CVT is the only transmission. In this fitment, the V-6 makes an ample 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Generally speaking, CVTs like torquey engines, and in this case, the two play well together.
Power? There's plenty. Torque steer? A little, but only sometimes.
The van is happiest when driven smoothly. The CVT and V-6 deliver seamless acceleration that's smooth enough to put any baby to sleep in its car seat. More aggressive acceleration is less fluid. When rushed, the CVT and engine dawdle while selecting the right gear ratio and engine RPM the driver needs leading to some throttle lag and blustery driveline noise.
Final EPA figures were not yet available (the van goes on sale early in calendar year 2011), but Nissan expects 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.
Nissan builds the 4,300-pound Quest on a modified version of the corporation's D-Platform, the same front-wheel drive architecture used for the Maxima, Altima and Murano. The wheelbase is 118.1-inches, identical to the Odyssey and an inch shorter than the Sienna.
The Quest proved smooth and quiet while driving around town. No corners were late-apexed during the research required for this article. The electrically-assisted steering didn't encourage verve-filled driving thanks to its Zanax-numbed feel.
While not as quiet as a summer vacation-town's library in the dead of winter, interior noise levels were subdued. If you conduct your own test drive you'll hear some engine noise up front and whispering wind noise in the back.
Realizing that family vehicular budgets cover a range, Nissan is fielding four models. The Quest S ($27,770) is the price-leading model with seven-passenger seating, a proximity keyless entry, pushbutton start system, six airbags, a six-CD audio system, removable second-row console and 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. Each successive model adds content until you reach the fully-loaded, NAVI/DVD/11-inch LCD/blind-spot-warning equipped LE ($41,350).
Because they deliver on practicality, minivans survived the age of the SUV and seem to be holding their own against the onslaught of crossovers. People who count such things peg the minivan segment for 2011 at being something more than 500,000 units and growing. Statisticians surmise that some of the renewed interest in the segment is just because of the new product from Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, and now Nissan. Designed purposefully for families, the 2011 Quest is absolutely competitive with the segment's other new entries.
PistonsShorts
Last May, during a photo shoot for an Automobile Collectible Classic story, my lovely little VW Scirocco 16V requested a new engine. It did this in subtle ways, such as pouring a six-foot puddle of oil out onto the street in front our photographer's pristine mid-century modern home. (The street needed to be repaved to clean up the mess. Whoops, um, sorry.) Slightly more than slightly embarrassed, I figured it was about time to oblige, and I promptly called a friend at Volkswagen of America.  "I don't care if I have to mortgage my house to pay for it, please find me me a new block. This will be the fifth engine I've put in the car, and I've just about had it with used blocks and I'm hoping this will be the last."
2011 Nissan Quest Front View
Finally, a Nissan in a mainstream segment that possesses some of the charm and style of the brand's many niche offerings. I love the Quest's slab-sided styling, if only because it goes directly against the swoopy-van trend currently pursued by the new Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. It's almost like it's saying, "Yeah I'm a huge van designed for carrying around juice boxes and dog kennels. You got a problem with that?" I don't. The interior isn't quite as spunky -- no shag carpets here, like in the Cube -- but is still more interesting to look at than the cabins of its main competitors. I'm too young and too single to test the van's kid-and-crap-carrying capability, but I do like the utility of the deep underfloor storage bin behind the third row.
2011 Nissan Quest Front Three Quarters Static
I had two trips home in this van and I was impressed. Unlike the last Quest, this is a real van, one that I could see carting around my family in. The interior is attractive, second only to the Honda. I'm not sold on the seat-folding/cargo setup of this van yet, however. Its seats fold nearly flat but not down into the floor like in other minivans. I might miss a true, flat cargo floor.
2011 Nissan Quest Side View
The previous-generation Quest looked a bit too weird for my liking, but I really dig the distinctive yet tasteful exterior styling of the brand-new 2011 edition. Unlike Matt, however, I actually thought that the Quest felt smaller inside than the other minivans we recently tested. The sliding door openings definitely were smaller. Also, the inside buttons that operate those power sliding doors were very small and hard to push with winter gloves on. The ingress handle on the B-pillar got in my way a couple times when I was loading the kids, but I appreciated the Nissan's excellent headroom. I certainly did not appreciate the fact that the power sliding door's don't-pinch-a-person reversing function had a threshold that I found scarily too high. Luckily I -- and not one of my kids -- was the test subject. Nissan PR is investigating this concern ...
2011 Nissan Quest Front View
This very square, blocky vehicle reminds me of modified GM Astro/Safari vans done in Japan in the 1990s. Very tall body sides. Very high cowl. Really, the styling leaves me cold. But this is a very willing powertrain, and the steering is direct. There certainly seems to have been an attempt to inject some sportiness in the vehicle. A couple ergonomic miscues: the button inside the B-pillar to close the sliding doors is tiny. Maybe Nissan did that purposely so that people wouldn't accidentally bump them, but surely there is a better solution. The front interior door handles are very thick; it was all I could do to put my left hand around the driver's-side handle, to grasp the door and pull it shut, so I would think that a woman with small hands might have a problem grabbing it.
2011 Nissan Quest Rear View
2011 Nissan Quest 3.5 SL
2011 Nissan Quest Front View
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Certified Pre-Owned 2011 Nissan Quest Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$16,875

Used 2011 Nissan Quest Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$27,750

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2011 Nissan Quest
2011 Nissan Quest
S FWD 4-Dr Minivan V6
19 MPG City | 24 MPG Hwy
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EX FWD 4-Dr Minivan V6
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2011 Nissan Quest
2011 Nissan Quest
S FWD 4-Dr Minivan V6
$27,750
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2011 Nissan Quest Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
19 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
24 MPG
Horsepower:
260 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
240 ft lb of torque @ 4400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
36,000 miles / 36 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011-2012 NISSAN QUEST VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM JULY 29, 2010, THROUGH FEBRUARY 21, 2012. DUE TO SOFTWARE PROGRAMMING, WHILE DRIVING AT SLOW SPEEDS OR IDLING ON A DECLINE WITH ¼ TANK FUEL OR LESS, THERE MAY BE AN INSUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF FUEL TO THE ENGINE. AS A RESULT, THE ENGINE MAY STALL.
Consequences
VEHICLE STALLING COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy
NISSAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPROGRAM THE FUEL PUMP CONTROL MODULE, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 2, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 1-800-647-7261.
Potential Units Affected
23,531
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: SOFTWARE
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011-2012 NISSAN QUEST VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM JULY 29, 2010, THROUGH FEBRUARY 21, 2012. DUE TO SOFTWARE PROGRAMMING, WHILE DRIVING AT SLOW SPEEDS OR IDLING ON A DECLINE WITH ¼ TANK FUEL OR LESS, THERE MAY BE AN INSUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF FUEL TO THE ENGINE. AS A RESULT, THE ENGINE MAY STALL.
Consequences
VEHICLE STALLING COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy
NISSAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPROGRAM THE FUEL PUMP CONTROL MODULE, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 2, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 1-800-647-7261.
Potential Units Affected
23,531
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Best Pick
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2011 Nissan Quest

Depreciation
24.6%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$8,948
24.6%
Insurance
$6,425
17.6%
Fuel Cost
$13,046
35.8%
Financing
$1,806
5%
Maintenance
$4,000
11%
Repair Costs
$1,858
5.1%
State Fees
$361
1%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $36,444 What's This?
Value Rating: Below Average