Last post on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM
You are in the Nissan Quest
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Nissan Quest, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Car Comparisons, Van
Mar 03, 2011 (4:46 pm)
My husband and I drove the new Quest (SV) last weekend. We were stunned by the silence inside the cab, the tasteful interior, the quiet, smooth power. It is the only minivan with permanent storage which I need. Simply can't stand stuff rolling and shifting. It makes a flat bed without removing seats: we need the seats when we get to our destination. We haven't driven the Dodge/Chrysler for 2011, but we will; however, we are smitten by this new Nissan Quest. Bummer, though, how the double moonroof is ONLY available with the optional entertainment and sound packages (you HAVE to buy all three to get any one). That stinks!
#18 of 111 Re: Transmission? [sellmorehondas]
Mar 14, 2011 (8:13 pm)
It all depends on what you like. If you like things in the same way people did in the 1930's then you dont mind that every body drives cars that look the same and the selection of color is limited to black and black. What im saying is their value doesnt always apeal to every buyer. If you like horse power and easy merging on the interstate with great comfort and styling buy a Nissan. But if you want an appliance that is kind of boring to drive, but will be dependable buy a Toyota. If you listen to what the critics say is the best value and you would rather a consumer report pick out your your van like your momy picked out your shoes when you were ten years old buy a Honda. Its all what your used to; buy what YOU like.
#19 of 111 2011 Quest Owner
Mar 15, 2011 (10:10 am)
My wife and I have owned (leased) the 2011 Quest SL for about 4 weeks now. The SL is the middle tier package and we did not opt for the DVD package, although that is what we test drove.
The DVD package does make a difference however in more ways than the obvious (which were not known by our salesman until the one we bought arrived): the DVD package also adds a much nicer 7" screen and control wheel to the dash (similar to an Volvo, or upscale Murano). It also adds a 12v plug that is supposed to work in connection with the AV plugs in the rear of the center console for game systems.
I was a little disappointed because our 08 Pathfinder had a nice 7" screen without any entertainment package, so this was the only real downgrade we made. It still has the back-up camera and everything, but it's not quite as nice and all the controls and info, like tire pressure and trip info is now located in the gauge area. It also takes away the nice control wheel, although it still has the USB port and you can fully control your iPod from the dash or steering wheel; including selecting playlists, etc.
I ended up taking a couple 2GB thumb drives, dumping kids music on one, my wife's music on another, labeling them and just leaving them in the car. Now, instead of worrying about her phone, all she's gotta do it pop in a thumb drive and it starts playing whatever is on it...pretty much like a 21st century CD. I'm a technology guy, and Nissan always seems to have the latest stuff (without the premium package).
The car it self is awesome. It drives wonderfully and is very quiet. We had been used to our truck-framed Pathfinder which road like a truck (rigid and bulky). This drives like a dream and the steering assist at lower speeds works very nicely. The ride in the back is smooth as well, as opposed to the 3rd row of a Pathfinder which would really throw you around.
The SL comes with leather standard and the seats are very plush and comfortable. I'm fairly big at 6'2"/215 and the driver's chair is very comfortable and cozy for the longer rides. Obviously, the perks of the keyless key are very convenient. The push-to-lock/unlock and push-to-start mean you pretty much never take the key out of your pocket or purse, although for me it's easily accessible enough to use it to open doors and the back hatch (in a purse it's probably not worth it).
The cargo area seems very roomy. I haven't folded down the center seats yet but the 3rd row folds down with the push of a button and isn't hard to pull back up manually. The "trunk"/well compartment is very spacious, enough to fit an umbrella stroller or a cart of groceries. My biggest grip is the covers over the storage compartment. I wouldn't say they're cheap or flimsy, they'll hold as much weight as you would probably put on them, but the design is unthoughtful. They're attached with little straps that snap on, and there's no real system to keep them in the "up" position, so as you load grocery bags with on hand, you're lifting the lid with another. There is a clip on the under side that maybe might be used to slide the rear seatbelt through to hold them up, but it barely works because the hinge area is basically held together by a single 3inch strap. It's hard to explain, but if you see one, you'll know what I'm saying. I think a sturdier hinge combined with some sort of strap or even velcro could make the lids a non-issue for minimal cost. I see this being something that is fixed in later models.
The backs seats are also roomy as opposed to the Pathfinder where the fron passenger seat had to be almost completely forward to fit a baby carrier. I've had people sit behind me with my seat 90% back and have gotten no complaints. The 3rd row is almost roomier than the 2nd, although not quite as comfortable, as expected.
Overall we love it. It took about 3 weeks to get our floor mats because they were on back order but they're nice as well...they fit in the car like a puzzle. They're designed to tuck under the molding, with a velcro like bottom to keep them in place and cover the majority of the floor space. There are tons of cup holders (there are actually 8 within reaching distance of the front seats). Storage is good too: the center row has it's own console and storage, and the lack of the DVD system adds an extra drawer to the bottom of the front console.
Overall we are very pleased. I don't mind being a "van-dad", I could really care less. Most cross-overs look like old station wagons nowadays anyway, but mine has much more convenient sliding doors and it's the window design is similar to a Ford Flex. Most people don't realize it's a van at first, until they see the doors slide.
#20 of 111 NHTSA ratings
Mar 21, 2011 (12:35 am)
Is there a way to find out when the 2011 Quest will be tested by the NHTSA?
#21 of 111 Quest vs. Sienna: back-to-back comparison
Mar 22, 2011 (2:34 pm)
Wow! I visited the Honolulu Auto Show this past weekend. The new 100% Japan-made Quest and Toyota Sienna were directly across the aisle from eachother, so comparing the two was very easy. I learned that there are glaring differences in quality.
The quality of the Quest's interior materials & design felt and looked far superior to the Sienna's. The $43,800 Sienna's leather seat stitching (below the front seat headrests in the rear) were crooked and wavy--very visible to rear seat occupants. Not very good quality control there....The front seats on the Quest were almost LaZBoy-like in comfort compared to the hard, shallow uncomfortable front seats in the Sienna. The front door elbow rests on the Sienna had a thin layer of cushioning on cheapish vinyl, while the Quest's had much more padding and a thicker, plusher feel to it--very Infiniti-ish. The soft pad dash on the Quest contrasted greatly to the Sienna's hard plastic dash pieces, which sounded cheap when tapped with the fingernail.
The Sienna's electronic auto-folding rear seats--although appearing novel--partially crushed a cardboard oil change box I put in the rear bay where the seats fold into. Although the mechanism stopped, it didn't reverse like auto windows do to avoid pinching fingers. What if that was a baby stuck down there? I really like the fact that the Quest's permanent storage coves in back don't require you to move stuff out of the way to fold the seats down. Even the tall roof sills allowed for easier ingress/egress than both the Sienna and Odyssey. Lastly, the one-touch open/close sliding doors were fantastic!!!! The Sienna requires you tug and pull the handle for the door to auto-slide.
I was not a fan of previous-generation US-made Quests. But now with this new generation Quest--the first to be manufactured in Japan (Fukuoka)--the quality difference is so obvious. The design & materials felt and looked better than even Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi--especially the lower-end models.
Other car show observations: Even the Hyundai Sonata's interior was much nicer in design and quality than the C & E-Class Benz and BMW 3 series. The Canadian-made VW Routan exuded Chrysler Caravan cheap everywhere. The hard plastic non-variable-adjustable rear armrests were hard and pathetic. There were even stickers on the driver's door and in the engine bay prominently displaying 'Chrysler Group'. Very cheap and not very comfortable inside too...and overpriced. The Honda Odyssey appeared to be better in quality than the Sienna, but fell short in design, in my own perspective. Great job Nissan!
Mar 22, 2011 (3:14 pm)
How well will the CVT in this 2011 Quest standup against other Japanese/Koren/European/American historic ATs?
#23 of 111 Ford Flexquest
Mar 23, 2011 (3:30 pm)
Sorry, but that is what this thing looks like. BTW...at first I didn't care so much for the exterior of the Odyssey, but it sure grows on you. We still haven't made our decision yet, but we are leaning to the Honda.
#24 of 111 Re: Quest CVT [autowrite]
Mar 23, 2011 (10:17 pm)
Nissan has a long history of engineering and manufacturing Constant Variable Transmissions (CVT) for their vehicles. I believe the early to mid '90s is when they first started using them in their vehicles outside of the US. It appears every single US-market Nissan model (except US-made trucks and SUVs) comes solely with, or has an option for, a CVT transmission. Durability-wise, I think the CVT has proven itself in the Murano, Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Versa, Cube and Rogue (and now Juke). It has been the only transmission available in the Murano and Rogue since their introductions to the US in 2003 and 2008, respectively. Later, CVTs became the sole transmission available in the Maxima and Altimas. The majority of Sentras have it, as well as many of the Cubes, Versas and Jukes. In fact, in Japan, the V35 Nissan Skyline (aka Infiniti G35) came equipped with an 8-speed CVT back in the mid-2000s. I have heretofore not heard of any glaring, recurring massive problems with Nissan's CVTs. And I'm sure Nissan would take care any engineering or durability problems expeditiously.
Nissan was even considering installing a 9-speed CVT in the mighty GT-R in its early engineering stages. I guess that's how much Nissan believes in this type of transmission.
Nissan seems to be the company with the highest degree of dedication to the CVT and its apparent benefits in efficiency.
#25 of 111 Re: Quest CVT [808speedcruzr]
Mar 25, 2011 (9:46 am)
How can there be a CVT with a specific gear count (8/9 speed in your example)? That looks like a marketing gimmick to me as CVT has infinite gears. Why not then have a CVT with 100 gears? That will surely be better than 8 or 9 speed.
I do agree with your general thought on Nissan's investment in CVT.
#26 of 111 Re: Quest CVT [coupedncal]
Mar 25, 2011 (11:28 pm)
Yes, I understand your point. However, Nissan has been dabbling in the "variable speed" CVTs for sometime now. I remember reading a US car magazine road test a couple of years ago, wherein the author praised Nissan's ability to create the appearance of shifting gears via the steering wheel shift paddles on a CVT-equipped model. I forget whether it was the Maxima, Sentra or Rogue. Whatever the case may be, he was delighted at the ultra-smooth transitions.
Check out these links about the Nissan's Extroid CVTs and the JDM V35 Nissan Skyline 350 GT-8 (aka Infiniti G35), which was equipped with Nissan's 8-speed Extroid CVT, back in 2002:
Hope this helps!