2012 Nissan Quest
Starting MSRP $25,990–$42,350
Even before my family of four became minivan lovers, the Nissan Quest, which was redesigned for the 2011 model year, caught my eye with its boxy exterior, sleek wrap-around rear windows and bold styling.
The 2012 Nissan Quest embraces its minivan ways by not blending in to the world of rounded crossovers and minivans.
This family-hauler seats seven and has a surprising amount of power for a mom-mobile. It has a 260-horsepower V-6 engine that's paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. It offered a smooth ride whether I was toting my brood off to preschool or merging onto the freeway.
Thanks to its luxurious leather- and faux-wood-trimmed interior, I was the envy of the drop-off lane. While that last part might be slightly imagined on my part, the Quest's interior is right up there with any luxury cars I've driven. That's unexpected in this family-friendly segment that's geared toward juice boxes and Goldfish crackers.
The 2012 Quest S base model has a starting MSRP of $25,990, but the top-of-the-line LE that I tested had a sticker price of $41,350.
While it took me a while to jump on the minivan bandwagon, the edgy Quest was the first one I could picture myself driving. It has just enough style and quirk to it to make it stand out.
There is no denying the Quest is a minivan, but I've embraced the dual power-sliding rear doors that open with the push of a button. The minivan's step-in height is the perfect compromise between a sedan and an SUV. My preschooler could easily climb in, and buckling up my toddler didn't send my back into spasms.
After loading groceries into the cargo area, I was thankful to find that the higher-level trims, SL and LE, come with a standard one-touch power liftgate. The cargo area is split into two levels, with a deep under-floor storage bin. This is handy if there are a few must-have items that you always keep in the cargo area but don't want them squashed by groceries or a stroller. However, I found that accessing or loading anything into that lower storage bin to be somewhat frustrating since the cover doesn't stay open on its own. Other than that minor issue, I appreciated the size and versatility of the cargo area. Both the second row's captain's chairs and third-row bench seat fold flat to create a flat cargo floor, leaving the deep storage well for additional items.
The front-wheel-drive Quest comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 260 hp. It gets an EPA-estimated 19/24 mpg city/highway. With gas prices climbing, it was a relief to learn that the Quest only requires regular fuel.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times
The Quest's interior looks luxurious, especially for a vehicle that can fit four munchkins in child-safety seats.
With gleaming faux wood trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, there was a noticeable lack of utilitarian-looking plastic trim in the Quest. I appreciated the niceties, but by the end of my test drive the trim showed every fingerprint and lots of dust. Maybe there's a method to the utilitarian plastic madness used in other family cars.
The Quest LE came equipped with standard leather seating and an easy-to-use touch-screen with navigation and a backup camera. It also had a standard rear entertainment system with two sets of wireless headphones for my little ones.
My family of four had enough legroom to spread out in the Quest — even with a second row full of child-safety seats. The second row's captain chair's slide forward and back to create more legroom where it's needed. For any adult sitting in the third row, they'll want the second-row occupants to share the legroom wealth as the third row is lacking in that regard.
The Quest's storage was sufficient, but it didn't knock my socks off as other minivans have. While it had a fair amount of cubbies, one of the main storage compartments — a low console between the second row's captain's chairs — needs to be removed to access the third row. This is only necessary if you have child-safety seats in the captain's chairs, which makes it difficult to slide them out of the way. That's disappointing considering that most people interested in a minivan are going to want to access that third row easily and often. The storage console is easily removed; however, doing so also removes two cupholders. I must note that even without said cupholders there's still more than enough cup- and bottleholders to go around.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
The 2012 Quest has received the top score of Good in frontal-offset, side-impact and rear crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It received the second-best score of Acceptable in the roof-strength crash test. The Quest hasn't been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There are three sets of lower Latch anchors in the 2012 Quest, with two sets in the second row and a third set in the third row. All three sets are difficult to use because they're buried between the back and bottom seat cushions. Both my rear- and forward-facing car seats fit well in the second row. My husband and I also were able to fit our forward-facing convertible in the third row. A booster seat would easily fit into any of the rear seats.
The 2012 Quest LE has standard front-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, a backup camera, a blind spot monitoring system, active front head restraints, an electronic stability system with traction control, and six airbags, including side curtains for all three rows.
Get more safety information about the 2012 Nissan Quest here.
People Who Viewed This Car Also Viewed
Closest Dealers Listing this Car
Featured Services for the Nissan Quest
- Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.