A little over a year ago, in May 2011, I, along with photographer Brian Vance and videographer Jim Gleason, picked up our long-term 2011 Nissan Quest LE in Seattle. At the time, we were embarking on an Epic Drive in a Lotus Evora, and we needed a support vehicle (can't fit much in an Evora, after all). Since the Epic Drive would take us from Seattle to Montana to New Mexico and then back to Los Angeles, it was a great way to break in Nissan's new made-in-Japan minivan with 3000 adventurous -- and often snowy -- miles.
Some 31,000 miles later (we sent it back with over 34,000 on the odometer), the Quest's stay with us has come to an end. I'm a bit sad, as I have fond memories of the boxy beast on said Epic Drive as well as road trips to Santa Cruz, Mammoth Lakes, and Scottsdale. I will always love and respect what the Quest has to offer -- room for seven, fold-flat second and third rows, power-sliding side doors, power rear hatch, blind-spot monitor, rear DVD entertainment, navigation, dual power moonroofs, backup camera, cabin air purifier, and HID headlamps -- but I'm also ready to move on. As much as I love the Quest's great mix of space, utility, and convenience, I've had my fill of commanding 4576 pounds of mass on a day-to-day basis. Yes, the Quest delivers handling numbers that are comparable to that of its competition - 0.74 g lateral acceleration, 29.1 seconds at 0.56 g figure eight - but I'm ready for something with a center of gravity that's about three feet closer to the ground.
Before I said my good-byes to the Quest, photographer William Walker said his:
I think the Quest is the only Minivan that bridges the gap between van and luxury SUV. The interior materials feel higher-end and the overall feeling of quality is much better than that of any van I've driven. Last October, I had the pleasure of driving our long-term Infiniti QX56 to Seattle, and the Quest is every bit as comfortable and luxurious. Like its QX cousin, the Quest also has the wonderful ability to swallow massive amounts of cargo. For example, I used the Quest as a support vehicle for a photo shoot in Northern California, which meant 20 hours of travel in three days, and the Nissan's boxy hauler never once felt road weary. I do wish it was a little quicker, though -- minivans don't need to be the briskest things in the world -- as a little extra power to get up an on-ramp or pass a slow truck going up the grade out of San Luis Obispo would be nice.
The only point of debate that arose during my time with the Quest, other than the lack of power, was its styling. I will say that at first I was not a fan, but it grew on me. The more I looked at it, the more I started to appreciate it. To me it looks like a mechanical representation of some undiscovered wide-eyed smiling whale - it's happy, stylish, clean-cut but still very organic in form and looks very Japanese (although I can't really explain why I think that). Overall, it is a very handsome package and I never felt like it was in a penalty box.
|Our Car |
|Service life ||12 months/34,506 miles |
|Average fuel economy ||19.5 mpg |
|CO2 emissions ||0.99 lb/mi |
|Energy consumption ||173 kW-hr/100mi |
|Unresolved problems ||None |
|Maintenance cost ||$830.83 (3 x oil change, tire rotation, inspection; 2 x replace cabin air filter; replace engine air filter) |
|Normal-wear cost ||$720.00 (four Toyo Versado tires) |