2006 Quest New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Quest is the minivan for people who can't bear to own a minivan. Its powerful 3.5-liter V6, the same engine used in the Nissan 350Z, outperforms any other minivan on the road. Its smooth five-speed automatic would be perfectly at home in an expensive luxury car. With crisp steering, responsive handling and good high-speed stability, the Quest is a kick to drive, something that can't be said of many minivans.
The Quest is radically styled, with looks that Buck Rogers would have admired. Its space-age styling carries through inside with jetliner-style seats, and optional Skyview glass roof panels. The centrally located instrument cluster is equally radical, often surprising shoppers the first time they sit in the driver's seat. An oval pod in the middle houses the shifter and secondary controls. The cabin is comfortable and innovative. Its back seats are roomier, more comfortable, more functional and more interesting than those in other minivans.
The Quest has a longer wheelbase, and is higher and longer than other minivans. It's also one of the most versatile, with a radically arching roofline that contributes to its practicality. Its sliding doors open wider than those on other minivans. It boasts all the latest features, including power sliding doors and a power liftgate, power rear-quarter windows, a sonar park-assist system and overhead mood lighting. With the towing package, it's capable of towing up to 3500 pounds.
Quest comes with the latest in safety features, including curtain airbags for all three rows (for head protection), the required frontal airbags, active head restraints, electronic stability control (VDC), traction control (TCS), and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, plus a tire-pressure monitor. Side-impact airbags (for torso protection) are optional.
Nissan introduced the Quest as an all-new model for 2004. There are no significant changes for 2006, though new options and improved quality add to its value.
The 2006 Nissan Quest is offered in four trim levels: base 3.5, 3.5 S Special Edition, SL, and SE. All are the same length. All are powered by Nissan's superb 3.5-liter V6 engine, all are front-wheel drive.
The Quest 3.5 ($24,000) comes with a four-speed automatic transmission, cloth upholstery, eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, cruise control with switches on the steering wheel, AM/FM/CD audio with eight speakers and RDS, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, two 12-volt power points, cornering lights, dual sliding doors, and P225/65HR16 Goodyear Eagle LS all-season tires on 16-inch steel wheels.
The 3.5 S Special Edition ($25,300) adds a power right-side sliding door, a power liftgate, power third-row vent windows, in-dash six-disc CD autochanger, upgraded audio speakers, rear sonar back-up warning system, and illuminated steering wheel audio switches.
SL ($26,900) substitutes a five-speed automatic transmission and adds an eight-way power driver's seat, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise control and illuminated audio switches, rear-seat audio controls, upgraded stereo speakers, electrochromic rear-view mirror, HomeLink transmitter, front-row folding center tray table with cup holders, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. The SL can be upgraded with a Special Edition package ($1,150), which adds some of the features of the SE, including a power left-side sliding door, RearView Monitor, rear sonar back-up warning system, and the in-dash six-disc CD autochanger. The Leather/Bose package ($2,500) upgrades the SL with leather trim in first and second row seats, heated front seats, and 265-watt Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a six-CD in-dash changer.
SE ($33,500) adds the RearView Monitor with a seven-inch screen, plus leather seats in the first and second rows, heated front seats, four-way power for the front passenger seat, memory function for the driver's seat and pedals, front-seat side-impact airbags, dual power sliding doors, 265-watt Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a six-CD changer, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), automatic headlights, fog lights, and P225/60HR17 Goodyear Eagles on machine-finished 17-inch aluminum rims.
The Seat Package, which nearly every Quest has, features fold-flat captain's chairs in the second row, with cupholders and an easy-entry feature, a fold-flat bench in third row with grocery-bag hooks, 3-point seat belts, and LATCH-style child safety seat anchors.
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, rear-seat audio controls and two wireless headphones. A dual-screen version of the system ($1,900) is available exclusively for the SE. A GPS navigation system ($1,800) with DVD is available for the SL and for SE models with Bose audio. It features a seven-inch display mounted in the center instrument cluster.
The Skyview Roof is available on the SL and SE ($1500). It consists of a power glass sunroof over the first row plus panoramic glass panels over the second and third rows; the package includes sunshades and a full-length overhead console.
A Michelin PAX run-flat tire package that provides a 125-mile driving range on flat tires is available for the SL ($1,200) and SE ($850).
Other factory-installed options include satellite radio with XM or Sirius receiver ($350), and a tow package that gives Quest a towing capacity of 3500 pounds (adequate for a small boat, wave runners or snow mobiles).
Eight port- or dealer-installed accessories are available, including running boards ($560), roof rack cross bars ($240), and cargo organizer ($210).