2012 Quest New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Quest is a versatile seven-passenger vehicle. An excellent choice for families with teenagers, Quest transports four adults in comfort in the front two rows plus three more little ones in the third row. Powered by Nissan's superb V6, the Quest rides smoothly yet feels light and agile.
The 2012 Nissan Quest is essentially unchanged because it was redesigned and re-introduced for the 2011 year. This latest-generation Quest employs styling inside and out that is neither controversial nor conventional, and it merges performance and efficiency well.
All Quests come with Nissan's superb V6 engine, shared with the Z and many other models. Quest's V6 produces a 253 horsepower and is EPA-rated at 19/24 mpg City/Highway. Nissan is a leader in CVT technology and the Quest's continuously variable transmission helps with fuel efficiency.
The 2012 Quest comes in four trim levels, topping out with piped leather, a host of electronic conveniences, a screen as large as some laptops, and rear-seat entertainment options.
The Quest cabin is set up with roomy second row. The third row is smaller than most but more than adequate for small children. The forward four seats are genuinely adult-roomy. There is no eight-passenger, middle-row bench seat version.
Cargo versatility is another Quest strength. The cargo area has a trunk beneath a floor level with a hatch opening. This design will be appreciated by anyone who has had to lift an expedition-size suitcase or big-box store case of drinks out of an 18-inch-deep well.
Quest and its competitors, the Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, Hyundai Entourage, Volkswagen Routan are large vehicles. Roughly the same outside dimensions as full-size SUVs, the minivans are generally superior people movers.
The 2012 Nissan Quest comes in four trim levels all with a 3.5-liter V6, continuously variable transmission, front-wheel drive and seven-seat configuration.
Quest S ($27,750) includes air conditioning, cloth upholstery, power windows/locks/mirrors, manual front seats, second-row reclining captain's chairs, 60/40-split third row, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, fold-flat second and third-row seats, quick-release third-row seat. wood-grain trim, fixed front and removable second-row consoles, intelligent key/pushbutton start, AM/FM/6CD/MP3/WMA with four speakers and aux port, cruise control, rear privacy glass, 16-inch steel wheels, and rear spoiler.
Quest SV ($31,050) upgrades with three-zone climate control; power sliding doors; a more sophisticated six-speaker stereo with iPod/USB input, RDS, XM Satellite Radio and steering wheel controls; 4.3-inch screen (audio and rearview monitor); leather-wrapped steering wheel; Bluetooth telephony; alloy wheels, fog lights; auto-dimming mirror; and conversation mirror. Roof rails ($300) are the sole factory option on S or SV, although a port-installed towing package ($550) is available on all models.
Quest SL ($34,500) features leather upholstery and heated front seats,18-inch alloy wheels, power liftgate, power driver's seat with power lumbar support, HomeLink, heated outside mirrors with signal repeaters, auto on/off headlamps, and roof rails. Options expand to include 11-inch DVD entertainment ($2,100), Bose audio system ($1,150), and dual-opening glass moonroofs ($1,350).
Quest LE ($41,350) adds navigation with 8-inch screen, 9.3GB MusicBox hard drive, 13-speaker Bose audio and DVD entertainment, driver memory system, reverse-tilt mirrors, rear window shades, advanced climate control with air purification, blind-spot warning, HID low-beam headlamps, audio/video inputs and 120-VAC outlet. Only the moonroof is optional.
Safety features include dual front, front-side and three-row side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints, three LATCH anchors among 2nd/3rd rows, rear child door locks, electronic stability control incorporating antilock brakes, brake assist, traction control. Rearview camera is standard on all but Quest SE, and a blind-spot warning system comes on the Quest LE.