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Long Term Update 2: 2011 Nissan Quest LE

A Breath of Fresh Air

Ron Kiino
Jan 6, 2012
Photographers: Motor Trend Staff
After several months with the Quest, I've found it to be a breath of fresh air in the minivan segment, both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, its JDM design and made-in-Japan construction make it unique in the class, resulting in standout styling (love it or hate it) and top-notch build quality. Literally, the top-of-the-line LE's standard advanced climate control system sports a Plasmacluster air purifier and a grape polyphenol filter. I know, sounds very scientific. The Plasmacluster purifier basically gets rid of unwanted odors - whether they emanate from a big rig outside or foul flatulence inside -- by creating ions that essentially clean the cabin air. As for the grape polyphenol filter, it helps trap harmful allergens, thus keeping them from entering the vehicle. Further, the LE's climate control system also features auto recirculation control, which uses sensors to continuously monitor outside odors and then automatically prevents them from entering the interior by closing the intake port. When those nasty odors have passed, the port reopens and fresh air is again allowed inside. For about 90 percent of my driving, I keep the climate system in auto recirculation mode and I've been extremely pleased with the results - the air always seems clean and fresh, and anytime my nose has been displeased, the recirculation mode turns on quickly and remedies the situation automatically.
Photo 2/8   |   2011 Nissan Quest LE Front Three Quarter
Speaking of fresh air, the Quest's $1350 dual power sunroofs have proven a welcome addition. When it's sunny and around 75 degrees, it's nice to open those babies up and cruise around with a bright, breezy interior. My son and in-laws especially like the sunroofs when rolling along Pacific Coast Highway.
Photo 3/8   |   2011 Nissan Quest LE Front End In Motion
In terms of useful features, the Quest has many -- I've discussed the one-touch power sliding doors, the covered storage well, and fold-flat second and third rows in the past -- but there are three I'd like to mention here: the DVD entertainment system, the integrated side-window sunshades, and blind-spot monitoring system. Unlike the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, both of which offer entertainment systems with ultra-wide 16-inch split screens, the Quest comes with a single, taller 11-inch screen. There are pros and cons to both, but thus far I've been pleased with the Quest's, even if it doesn't allow two people in the second row to watch separate programs (really, how spoiled have we become?).
Photo 4/8   |   2011 Nissan Quesr LE Side In Motion
What I haven't been that pleased with, though, is the entertainment system's remote control -- it's often fussy, requiring me to hit the same button multiple times to get a response. While I don't love the remote, I do love the integrated side-window sunshades, available for the second and third rows. Well, I don't love them as much as my passengers do, especially my son, who's able to nap without getting overheated. I must say, however, that I love the LE's standard blind-spot monitoring system the most. Even though overall visibility is good, thanks to the large windows and big sideview mirrors, the Quest's a sizeable vehicle and thus has sizeable blind spots. I find it very reassuring to have a competent blind-spot helper on-board that uses lights housed in the sideview mirrors to alert me when a vehicle is sitting in my blind spot. It's an especially useful feature when hauling around a full load of passengers, when a lot of interior noise and action can be very distracting.
Photo 5/8   |   2011 Nissan Quest LE Front Threeq Quarters In Motion
Our Car
Months/miles in service 4/10,373
Avg econ/CO2 20.0 mpg/0.97 lb/mi
Energy cons 169 kW-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $53.27 (oil change, tire rotation, inspection)
Normal-wear cost $0



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