Since the Quest is now built in Japan, rather than Mississippi, it has lost some of its flexibility as a large fold-down van in favor of better comfort for its passengers.
Since the seats no longer tuck into the floor, as they did in the old Quest, cargo volume is reduced. In all, the Quest has 35 cubic feet behind its third row seats, 64 cubic feet with the third row folded down and 108 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The next Kia Sedona has folding second row seats like the Quest, but still offers up to 32 cubic feet, 80 cubic feet and 142 cubic feet of space. Chryslers have their folding seats in the first-class floor on some models – and with them, they can boast 33 cubic feet, 83 cubic feet, and 144 cubic feet, respectively. The huge Sienna has 39 cubic feet, 87 cubic feet, and up to 150 cubic feet of space with the second row seats folded down and the third row folded down, respectively. The Odyssey has 38 cubic feet, a vast 93 cubic feet and 149 cubic feet of space behind the respective rows.
The Quest has few faults, from the front seats. There’s ample leg and head room, and tall adults will fit comfortably in its plush-padded buckets. The view in front is very reminiscent of the first Japanese MPVs that arrived in the United States in the 1980s, with a flat dash structure that makes entry and exit easier, as well as wide doors.
The problem starts in the second row, where the Quest’s sliding side doors don’t retract enough for adults to climb up and sit down easily. It can be difficult to maneuver a car seat through the opening, let alone a child with a mind of their own. The Quest lacks a mid-seat, which means other eight-passenger MPVs have an advantage over this one. The Quest’s third row seat is cramped for adults, acceptable for children.
Whether in the second or third row, the seats themselves are well reclined and provide good support, but they don’t move – the seatbacks simply fold down when more cargo space is needed. More than anything, the Quest feels as small as the inside, that and its relatively high cargo floor. The seats fold up quite easily, thanks to levers and pull straps. However, if you are ordering power assist for the third row seat, be aware that it will stop before you lift the seat fully. Oddly enough, it drops in an upright position, leaving the owners to use a fabric strap to finish the job.
In terms of overall length and wheelbase, the Quest isn’t much smaller than the Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna, or Honda Odyssey. At 200.8 inches long, on a 118.1-inch wheelbase, it’s reasonably close to those competitors in almost every dimension. Where it loses is interior volume: its fixed seats take up space where a good folding third-row seat would leave a flatter cargo floor – and where the folding second-row seats in Chrysler vans would gain the benefits. feature wars, every time.
Other compromises are less noticeable, but they are there. There’s no telescoping steering wheel with the Quest, although the elevated seating position makes the most of the situation. It offers up to 16 cup holders and bottle holders, although the pop-out pair under the radio is only large enough for cans.
The review continues below