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2009 Nissan Quest ReviewThe Good
As one of the largest minivans available, the 2009 Nissan Quest boasts roominess, comfort, and surprising performance and handling agility.The Bad
A less-than-stellar design, as well as a lack of versatility, and the curious decision to offer rear seating only as an option in the 2009 Quest are among factors that may lead to its demise.
The CarGurus View
Declining sales, fierce competition, and pricey options place the 2009 Nissan Quest well below the competition. The Quest does, however, have some notable safety, performance, comfort, and convenience features that recommend it as a solid family minivan that’s worth a look.
At a Glance
Once a dominant force in the minivan segment, the 2009 Nissan Quest is now an aging design with its best years behind it. Sinking sales, even after a significant redesign in ’07, have fueled rumors that Nissan will either drop or replace the Quest in 2010. Most reviewers note that the ’09 Quest lags a fair distance behind the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Toyota Sienna in functionality and versatility.
All that being said, however, the Quest is not without its merits. Roominess, performance, agility, and safety features still abound in the ’09 Quest. And its styling, both exterior and interior, though dated, still has its admirers.
The ’09 Nissan Quest is delivered in four trim levels: the base 3.5, 3.5 S, 3.5 SL, and the top-shelf 3.5 SE. The Quest is a seven-passenger, front-wheel-drive minivan that, curiously, comes with only front seats standard. Second- and third-row seating is optional across the line. A sizable cargo area (148 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat) dwindles rapidly when the third-row bench seat is upright (32 cubic feet).
One of the largest minivans on the market, the ‘09 Quest is powered well by its sole engine and transmission offering, and the front and rear independent suspension gives a smooth and responsive ride, whether to a favorite vacation spot, the mall, or the office.
A 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission is the only drivetrain offering for the front-wheel-drive-only 2009 Nissan Quest. This combination powers out 230 hp at 5,800 RPM and 236 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 RPM. The EPA estimates the ’09 Quest will get 16/24 mpg.
Nissan recommends using premium gas with the ’09 Quest, claiming that the 3.5-liter V6 will run on regular fuel, but will drop about 10 hp burning regular as opposed to premium gas. The 3.5-liter will handle 3,500 pounds of towing when the Quest is properly equipped.
Virtually all professional reviewers note that the ’09 Quest jumps off the line and has plenty of power to handle passing and merging. At least one reviewer praises the Quest as one of the speediest minivans available. The standard five-speed automatic is described as “prompt” and quiet up-shifting and accurate and responsive when downshifting for that extra burst of power when needed.
Ride & Handling
For 2009, the Nissan Quest is equipped with a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson front struts, as well as front and rear stabilizer bars, and a multi-link rear suspension. The Quest also comes with speed-proportional power steering and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Reviewers and owners alike are impressed with the Quest's ability to come to a stop quickly and safely.
The three lower trims of the ’09 Quest - 3.5, 3.5 S, and 3.5 SL - roll on standard 16-inch wheels, while the top-of-the-line 3.5 SE is delivered with standard 17-inch wheels. A few professional reviewers find the 3.5 SE takes road bumps and divots with considerably less civility than the lower-end trims with their smaller tires.
Virtually all professional reviewers find the ’09 Quest gives a smooth and comfortable ride, with little lean and a firm grab in sharp cornering. Though the size of the Quest doesn’t lend itself to sedan-like handling, it does show surprising agility and a responsiveness that comes as a pleasant surprise. Road noise is noted as a bit intrusive, but wind noise is kept to a minimum.
Cabin & Comfort
As well as a massive windshield and sloping hood that allow for magnificent forward and side vision, the 2009 Nissan Quest boasts easy-to-read gauges, and well-labeled, reasonably accessible audio and climate controls. A unique dashboard-mounted shifter arrangement is a matter of some contention between both owners and reviewers, with most appreciating its style and others claiming it interferes with some dashboard controls.
The 2009 Nissan Quest base 3.5 offers such standard comfort and convenience features as height-adjustable, cloth front bucket seats, power windows, doors, and mirrors with remote locking and unlocking, and the new-for-’09 speed-sensitive locking system, tilt-wheel steering, cruise control, overhead console storage, front and rear air-conditioning, a tachometer, clock, trip computer, and a 180-watt, single-CD player with auxiliary audio input and radio data.
The Quest 3.5 S adds driver and passenger-side one-touch power windows, remote window operation, a roof rack, and steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls. The 3.5 SL features alloy wheels, power rear-quarter windows, power-sliding doors and liftgate, an eight-way power driver’s seat, height-adjustable pedals, a rear-view backup camera system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, and a 6-CD changer with rear audio controls.
Standard styling and convenience features for the high-end ’09 Quest 3.5 SE trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, the Bose Premium Sound System with 265 watts, 10 speakers, a subwoofer, and XM satellite radio, and Bluetooth hands-free communications technology.
Options for the ’09 Quest include second- and third-row seating, rear-seat DVD entertainment systems with either single or dual screens depending on trim level, the Skyview Package, including a glass panel over the rear seats and a power sunroof, upgraded leather, and a Navigation Package with a 7-inch screen and DVD-based GPS system.
The Nissan Quest carries an impressive list of safety features for 2009, including four-wheel disc ABS with emergency braking assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, front, rear, and third-row head airbags, dual front side impact airbags, a remote anti-theft alarm, dusk-sensing headlights, an engine immobilizer, driver and passenger head restraint whiplash protection, foglights, and cornering headlights. A stability control system comes standard only with the top-of-the-line 3.5 SE trim.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the ’09 Quest five stars in front and side impact testing and a four-star rollover rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the 2009 Quest as “good,” their highest rating.
Though all professional reviewers laud the safety features packed into the ’09 Quest, many wonder why stability control is standard only in the high-end SE trim and not across the line. Most professional reviewers concede, however, that the Quest is one of the safer minivans available today.
What Owners Think
Contrary to some professional opinions, owners note the styling inside and out as among their favorite features of the 2009 Nissan Quest. Virtually all, however, find the lack of a split third-row seat to be a nuisance. Non-opening side windows are a disappointment to a number of owners, as is the Quest's poor fuel economy.
A few owners complain about the ride quality of the ’09 Quest, as well as its reliability and the customer service they’ve received, or failed to receive, from Nissan. At least one owner feels that the Quest is not the most value-laden minivan on the market.
The majority of owners praise the Quest for its performance and safety features, braking ability, center console, and dashboard. Nearly all owners laud, as well, the Quest's roominess and comfort.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.