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Average User Score
4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 1 review
2011 Nissan Quest Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 1 review
Obviously going for the offbeat look, the Nissan Quest is reprised for 2011 to look remarkably like a stretched Cube. Some major redesign work has blunted the nose of this seven-passenger, four-door minivan, while the rear now resembles a 1960’s-vintage washing machine with a square, instead of round, window. This minivan turns heads, some toward it, some away from it, but it nonetheless packs some decent performance numbers, as well as a roomy cabin with three rows of seating, 108.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded and a tolerably plush ride. Nissan is alleged to be pursuing comfort and driving excitement, not to mention Odyssey owners, with the re-worked Quest, but according to a number of reviewers, it still has some way to go. Nonetheless, four trims, the base 3.5 S, lower midlevel 3.5 SV, higher-end 3.5 SE, and top-shelf 3.5 LE constitute this minivan’s lineup. All feature a continuously variable-speed transmission (CVT) that provides a suitable mate to its standard V6 engine, while a cushy-yet-tight suspension eats up bumps, and the steering wheel's precise feel allows a bit of sportiness for driving on back-country roads.
Of course, the king of the minivan hill remains Honda’s awesome Odyssey. Toyota’s Sienna, however, and Chrysler’s up-and-coming Town & Country, along with its Dodge Grand Caravan cousin, all put pressure on the boxy Quest to find its niche. Both the Odyssey and the Sienna are marginally more refined and therefore a bit pricier than Nissan’s blocky entry, while both Chrysler Corp. products offer more cargo room as well as Stow N’ Go rear seats, but haven’t quite reached the level of Japanese build quality.
As may be deduced from the trim names, all 2011 Quests are powered by a standard 3.5-liter V6 with CVT, which work together to put out 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Gas mileage is a tolerably decent 19/24 mpg, and with the proper equipment, these ponies will pull up to 3,500 pounds of trailer.
Now, say what you will about the 2011 Quest’s exterior design, but this squared-off minivan does pack a pretty impressive load of standard features. The base 3.5 S, for instance, boasts 16-inch steel wheels and an integrated rear spoiler on the outside, while inside, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, reclining, split-folding second-row seats and split-folding third-row bench seats are complemented by simulated wood trim on doors and dash. Standard cabin gizmos include cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, remote power door locks and power windows and mirrors, as well as front and rear air conditioning and a trip computer. Entertainment is provided by an MP3-capable 6-CD changer with four speakers and auxiliary MP3 input.
The 3.5 SV adds standard 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, three-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, six speakers, a USB connection, and Bluetooth technology. The higher-end 3.5 SL, meanwhile, throws 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear power liftgate, heated outside mirrors and a roof rack into the exterior mix, while adding leather upholstery, a leather-trimmed shift knob, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a universal remote garage door opener and an electrochromatic rear-view mirror onto the heap of cabin amenities.
Finally, the flagship Quest 3.5 LE tops off the list of standard features with power-adjustable front seats, power-folding third-row seats, reverse-tilt outside mirrors and memory for two drivers' settings. Standard entertainment equipment is upgraded significantly with 13 Bose premium speakers, XM satellite radio with NavTraffic, a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic and, finally, rear-seat DVD entertainment with what Nissan claims is the largest video screen in the business.
Options for all trims, meantime, include various cargo protection devices and organizers, while side roof rails are available for the 3.5 SL and 3.5 LE trims. Both the 3.5 SL and 3.5 LE also can be delivered with an optional dual-panel power moonroof, while the 3.5 SL is available with rear-seat DVD entertainment.
Safety-wise, all 2011 Quest trims are equipped with four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), as well as traction and stability control. Occupant protection includes front side-mounted airbags, three-row head airbags, and front head-restraint whiplash protection, while a remote antitheft alarm is also standard across the lineup. The 3.5 SV and higher trims come with front fog/driving lights, while the 3.5 SE adds turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and the 3.5 LE is delivered with standard high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and Blind Spot Warning sensors.
Owners of the 2011 Quest are polarized by its radical styling. Many enjoy its boxy shape, claiming it maximizes interior space, while others ask what Nissan was thinking. Handling could be sportier, according to a number of Quest owners, while others bemoan the lack of standard floormats, and still others gripe about the delicate hatch leading to the in-floor rear storage bin. Many owners, however, praise this unique minivan’s roomy cabin and standard high-tech features, especially in the upper trim levels. Comfy seats and a nearly plush ride also draw kudos from owners.
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.