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.
My overall impressions: eager powertrain, good steering, weird styling. This just does not hang together as a whole nearly as well as the other minivans. I'm really put off by the way-too-tall body sides and the chunkiness of the front and rear. Seems like another weak attempt to make the minivan more masculine. I guess my colleagues disagree with me on this front. Let's hope for Nissan's sake that lots of buyers do, too.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor