2004 Quest New Car Test Drive
Sexy is not a word normally associated with minivans. Whether that word can be used to describe the new Nissan Quest is open to discussion, but Nissan has certainly given it a good shot with the 2004 model.
Fans like to point out that minivans are much more comfortable and far more practical than SUVs. But minivans have suffered from the 'soccer mom' image, an image many, including soccer moms, prefer to avoid. Despite this they are still a popular category and several recently introduced models on the market are causing naysayers to rethink their views on minivans.
Of all the new minivans, the Nissan Quest is arguably the most radical and therefore the one that deserves a serious look for those who want a vehicle they can be proud to own and enjoy for its various attributes. It's now the largest minivan on the market, it has the most versatility and it's one of the most fun ones to drive.
We found the new Quest enjoyable to drive. It's fitted with a powerful V6 engine, taken from the 350Z sports car, and is available with a smooth five-speed automatic that would be perfectly at home in an expensive luxury car. Quest has crisp steering and feels more stable in corners than an SUV. Its radical styling carries through inside with jetliner seats, Skyview roof panels and a centrally located instrument panel. It also comes with the latest curtain-style airbags and active safety features.
Nissan Quest is offered in three different models: S, SL, and SE. All are the same length and all are powered by Nissan's superb 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is found in the Maxima, 350Z, and a variety of Infiniti models.
All Quest models get side curtain airbags, which cover all three rows of seats, along with the required front airbags. Traction control is standard on all three models along with anti-lock brakes (ABS).
The base 3.5 S ($24,590) includes air conditioning, dual sliding doors, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, and a 150-watt AM/FM/CD stereo system with eight speakers. It comes with a four-speed automatic transmission and 16-inch steel wheels. An upgrade package adds 16-inch alloy wheels and the rear sonar system ($700).
SL ($27,090) comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat, and adjustable foot pedals. The SL also comes with a power sliding door on the right, a power rear lift gate, and power rear vent windows. An upgrade package adds side-impact air bags, heated front seats and the rear sonar system ($750). The SL Leather Package ($1,500) adds leather-trimmed interior and a four-way power front-passenger seat.
SE ($32,990) comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a Vehicle Dynamic Control anti-skid system. Inside, it gets leather-appointed seats, a four-way power passenger seat, 265-watt Bose audio system with 10 speakers, front supplemental side airbag system, full-length rear overhead console, power sunroof, Skyview rear roof panels, power left side door, a rear sonar system for parking, and dual-zone climate control.
Standard on all models is a Seat Package that includes the folding rear bench seat with grocery bag hooks and the folding center captain chairs with cupholders and easy entry system.
The DVD Entertainment Package ($1,500) includes a DVD drive mounted under the front passenger seat, a seven-inch color screen, remote control, auxiliary inputs and two wireless headphones. A dual-screen version of the system ($1,900) is available for the SE. A GPS navigation system ($2,000) with DVD storage is available for the SE and features a seven-inch display mounted in the center meter cluster. The navigation system and a six-disc CD changer are available as a bundle ($2,300) for the SL.