2014 Nissan Quest Review

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3.5 LE
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Starting At: $37,175
3.5 S
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Starting At: $20,995
3.5 SL
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Starting At: $25,999
3.5 SV
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Starting At: $23,370

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2014 Nissan Quest Overview

Now technically overdue for a refresh, just a pair of paint colors separate the 2014 Nissan Quest from last year's model. Meaning, this Quest is the very same smooth operator it has been since this generation's opening—and that's a good sign.

Like the conversion van it dethroned, the minivan is losing ground with the recent debut and meteoric popularity of its crossover rival. As such, Nissan is choosing a strategy that has kept some conversion vans going decades after minivans like the Quest captured the flag; namely, not fixing what isn't broken. Realizing the Quest may well be the best minivan among an ever-smaller pack, Nissan left the 2014 edition yet again largely unchanged since its 2011 arrival in this present form—even though most models customarily get a makeover right about now.

The Quest is not the largest minivan, with just shy of 26 cubes behind 7 upright seats, nor the most fuel-efficient, boasting 19 mpg city/25 highway. The Quest simply can't be called a true utilitarian even before considering its front-wheel drive, relatively narrow doorways and upscale interior. Rather, the Quest stands out as a fashion-forward minivan with a uniquely enjoyable ride quality. Smooth and satisfying comfort are its hallmarks across the board, and putting a little more on the table to fetch the top-shelf LE comes with the added bonus of the most advanced air filtration system in its class.

Its 3.5-liter V6 might not be the most frugal, but those 260 horses and 240 lb-ft of torque quietly power the Quest to 60 mph in an impressive (for a minivan) 8.3 seconds, and smoothly so given its advanced and widely praised continuously variable transmission (CVT). Interior materials are quite refined, even if functionality isn't necessarily up to par with its Honda or Toyota rivals, but even so the passenger rows roll forward in order to fold flat rather than requiring an empty hatch or total seat removal to open up all the available 108 cubic feet—and you can still access any folded row's storage cubbies.

At the LE pinnacle, the Quest's ease-of-use is highlighted by powered sliding doors, a powered liftgate and power-folding seats, though drivers comment everything is just as single-handedly easy without the push-button electronics. The base S is still well-equipped with all the expected modernity like full power accessories, cruise control and even keyless entry, but the next-up SV offers those power-sliding doors with alloy wheels, tri-zone climate control, a rear-view camera and so much more with just a relatively tiny price gap between the two. Moving up to the SL just misses out on the LE's power-return on the third row, 360-degree camera, rear-seat entertainment system with Bose Surround Sound and a few similar ultra-luxe amenities.

The only standing complaints are minor: folks would like a touch more storage here, a bit more armrest there, and maybe an exterior style that doesn't look so odd—but we'll surely have plenty of opportunity to warm up to Nissan's genius for designing this Quest so far ahead of its time with such a conservative, time-tested strategy. Otherwise, feature content, dash layout, reliability, luxuriousness and overall usefulness are just a few reasons current drivers say they picked the Quest over any other.

Updated

Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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