2008 Quest New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Quest features wild styling and better performance than most other minivans. Its powerful 3.5-liter V6 is a version of the same engine used in the 350Z sports car. And its smooth five-speed automatic would be perfectly at home in an expensive luxury car. With crisp steering, carlike ride and handling characteristics, and loads of useful space, the Quest is more fun to drive than most minivans and a better all-around choice for big families than a crossover SUV.
The space-age styling carries through inside with jetliner-style seats, and optional SkyView glass roof panels. A rounded pod juts out from the dash and houses the shifter and secondary controls. The cabin is comfortable and innovative. Its back seats are as roomy and comfortable as those of any minivan. And the rear cargo area is among the most useful, bested only by Chrysler's.
The Quest has a longer wheelbase than any minivan on the market today, and is as tall and long as its largest competitors. It's also one of the most versatile, with a radically arching roofline that contributes to its practicality. Its sliding doors open wide, and it boasts handy features such as a power liftgate, power rear-quarter windows, a sonar park-assist system, and overhead mood lighting. It's capable of towing up to 3500 pounds.
Nissan introduced the Quest as an all-new model for 2004. At the time, it featured a controversial interior design. Nissan changed to a more conventional interior for the 2007 model year, and also revised the front and rear exterior styling.
Changes for 2008 are relatively minor. Some option packages have been eliminated or reduced in content, but most trim levels now offer more standard equipment. Most significantly, front seat side-impact airbags are now standard on all models. The upper-mid-range 3.5 SL now comes standard with dual power sliding doors, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic on/off headlights, and a RearView Monitor; while the top-of-the-line 3.5 SE now comes with a Bluetooth phone system and XM Satellite Radio.
The 2008 Nissan Quest is offered in four trim levels: 3.5, 3.5 S, 3.5 SL, and 3.5 SE. All are the same length. All feature Nissan's superb 3.5-liter V6 engine, a five-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.
The Quest 3.5 ($25,640) comes with cloth upholstery, eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, front and rear air conditioning with rear controls, 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, four 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 ($26,340) adds a power right-side sliding door, a power liftgate, and power third-row vent windows. The Driver's Package ($1,400) for the S-model adds an eight-way power driver's seat, power left-side sliding door, a sonar-based system that beeps to warn of objects behind the van, and 16-inch alloy wheels
The 3.5 SL ($30,240) makes the content of the Driver's Package standard, plus power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with illuminated audio switches, 6-CD changer, rear-seat audio controls, upgraded stereo speakers, electrochromic rear-view mirror, and HomeLink transmitter. Joining the list for 2008 are automatic on/off headlights, dual zone automatic climate control, and a video-camera-based RearView Monitor. A Leather Package ($1,600) adds not just leather upholstery but heated front seats, a power four-way adjustable front passenger seat, and adjustable front seat armrests. Also optional is Nissan's SkyView Roof ($1,500), which features a power glass sunroof over the first row, panoramic glass panels over the second and third rows, and sunshades for the panoramic panels.
The 3.5 SE ($35,340) makes the content of the Leather Package standard, and adds memory function for the driver's seat, mirrors, and pedals; a 265-watt Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a six-CD changer; tilt-down backup-aid side mirrors; fog lights; Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC); the SkyView roof with a full-length overhead console; and P225/60HR17 Goodyear Eagles on machine-finished aluminum rims. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system is now standard. too, along with XM Satellite Radio (although the required subscription is sold separately).
The Seat Package ($350), an option which nearly every Quest seems to have, features fold-flat captain's chairs in the second row, with cupholders and an easy-entry feature; and a fold-flat bench in third row with automatic folding head restraints and grocery-bag hooks. The third-row seat also features 3-point seat belts, and LATCH-style child safety seat anchors. The package costs more ($750) when ordered with leather.
A DVD Entertainment Package is available on all models ($1,550) and includes a DVD drive, an eight-inch color screen, remote control, auxiliary inputs, rear-seat audio controls and two wireless headphones. When ordered at the SL level ($1,800) it includes the Bluetooth phone system as well; and a dual-screen version ($2,150) is available exclusively for the SE. DVD Navigation is available ($1,600) on SL and SE. The Towing package ($560) gives the Quest a towing capacity of 3500 pounds. Other options and accessories are also available; see a Nissan dealer for the complete list.
Standard safety features now include side-impact airbags (for torso protection) for the front seats, curtain airbags (for head protection) for all three rows, the required frontal airbags, active head restraints, a tire-pressure monitor, traction control, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Electronic stability control (VDC) is standard on the SE.