Minivans took a back seat as three-row SUVs took over the scene, offering many of the same amenities and better looks. And while the minivan segment has been on the rise in recent years, the numbers just aren’t the same as they were at its peak. Before the Nissan Quest redesign in 2011, it was just another contender in the segment, with sales numbers well below the top two dogs, the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey.
Now in its fourth generation, the 2014 Nissan Quest stands out from the rest of the minivan pack. Thanks to its redesign, it’s immediately noticeable on the road, but it remains to be seen if that’s a good thing. Sales figures have indeed jumped, thanks to the different levels of finish available. Nissan offers the Quest in four different tiers, starting with the Quest S at $ 26,220. The other three models include the Quest SV, SL, and top-of-the-line LE, which starts at $ 42,870.
We got behind the wheel of the latest Nissan Quest LE in our big minivan test drive (stay tuned for the full story), pitting it against Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna. . Each model had its pros and cons, and the Quest definitely left an impression, from its particularly unappealing design to key buying factors.
Perhaps the first thing you notice about the Quest is its square design and large mirrors that seem better suited to a heavy truck. Although other automakers have tried the box or toaster design, such as with the Ford Flex and Scion xB, Nissan brought this design to their disappointing MPV in the hopes of bringing it back to life. And it worked. It became a minivan with a minimum of unusual design, differentiating it from others. Its size alone is enough for many to give this MPV a peek, leaving the impression that it is heavy and bulky on the road. And although this is partially true, the interior is able to offer a large amount of space for passengers and cargo thanks to this width.
From the moment you get behind the wheel, you can’t help but sigh as the over-padded and comfortable seats envelop you. It’s clear that Nissan was thinking more about the driver and the experience rather than just creating a functional and spacious people carrier. The armrests are within perfect reach for the driver, which cannot be said for the majority of the segment. The quality of the materials and the execution of the design bring the Nissan Quest closer to the Chrysler Town & Country than to its Japanese counterparts.
However, while the interior layout is clean with a simple center console, the Quest lacks a modern instrument cluster display. The infotainment system could also have been better in terms of controls and distance to the driver. Our model came with second row captain’s seats that don’t fold down like some of its competitors, but slide forward to provide plenty of room for passengers needing access to the third row.
For trips where extra cargo space is needed instead of seats, the third row seats easily fold up with the push of a button, stowing completely in the floor. In addition, unlike the main competitors in the van segment, the Nissan Quest is the only model to offer hidden storage space for valuables. With sturdy panels that keep more expensive cargo out of sight, it’s easy to stow more stuff. It’s like a cabinet in the back of the van with two levels of storage to meet almost any owner’s need.
Vans usually don’t excite drivers, but the 2014 Nissan Quest is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 mated to the automaker’s CVT Xtronic. Due to its size and weight, its fuel consumption is slightly lower than that of other models in the segment, reaching 19/25/21 mpg city / highway / combined, but the average consumption observed for our time behind the wheel has reached 22.6 mpg, exceeding the EPA estimate.
With this engine configuration, the Nissan Quest was able to reach a 0-100 km / h time in 7.9 seconds and took 126 feet to go from 60 mph to a full stop, 0.1 seconds faster and 6 feet earlier than our long-range 2011 Nissan Quest. THE. Its quarter-mile time of 16.1 seconds at 90.1 mph matched that of our long-running model, but exceeded the top speed of the older version. Compared to some models in the segment, like the Kia Sedona SXL, the Quest manages to have virtually the same numbers. (The Kia outperforms the Nissan in downtime.) But compared to the Toyota Sienna SE, the Nissan Quest LE falls short in all categories.
On the road, some things stood out, the first of which was the CVT transmission. Upshifting and downshifting was smooth and barely noticeable, although we’ve heard complaints in the past about Nissan’s CVT Xtronic. The automaker did make a few changes to the 2015 model, however. The acceleration was strong, and while the throttle could be tricky, once we got used to it, pickup was quick and hitting gears was relatively easy. considering the weight of the Quest behind it.
Matching the plush comfort of the interior, the suspension was cushioned and not as jarring as in other MPVs in the segment. Some of the more obvious road imperfections created slight jerks, but the majority were imperceptible. In addition, the steering was on point, which made handling much easier for this large model. Winding roads weren’t a problem, and while the Nissan Quest felt safe on the road, it was easy to feel the weight going up and down hills.
If you are one of those customers looking for the latest and greatest performance van, we recommend that you cross-buy a few different models, such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Kia Sedona, because each offers something different in the segment. The 2014 Nissan Quest is one of the most comfortable models for passengers and drivers, but with that comfort comes a giant caveat: The Quest’s safety ratings are less than desirable. Many of its competitors are the winners of the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick + from the IIHS, and the Quest fails to win either due to low scores in the new test before small overlap. and the strength of the roof.
|2014 Nissan Quest LE|
|STARTING PRICE||$ 43,730|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$ 45,315|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front engine, front-wheel drive, 7-pass, 4-door van|
|MOTOR||260 hp / 240 lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V6|
|TRANSMISSION||Automatic variable suite|
|SIGHT WEIGHT (FRONT / REAR DIST)||4,505 lbs (55/45%)|
|Length x Width x Height||200.8 x 77.6 x 71.5 inches|
|0-60 MPH||7.9 seconds|
|QUARTER MILE||16.1 s at 90.1 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||126 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.74g (average)|
|MT NUMBER EIGHT||28.9 s at 0.60 g (average)|
|EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON||19/25/21 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / HIGHWAY||177/135 kWh / 100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.91 lb / mile|
Photos of the 2014 Nissan Quest provided by the automaker: