As a mama of two energized boys, I am continuously pressed for stuff to do. I scour the papers and surf the web. I even go so far as to engage perfect strangers in lengthy chatter in an ongoing attempt to uncover fabulous activities, clandestine playgrounds and other brilliant endeavors to surprise my children with. Any suggestion is embraced with extraordinary care, as I consider its viability and potential success ratio (based on an intricate formula comprised of MI=HO² - Mommy Input = Happy Output²). At times, this quest for adventure can be downright taxing. Having recently overindulged my kids, I find solace in the 2007 Nissan Quest. This vehicle is so exceptional on its own that I can finally put adventure seeking (and formula pondering) to rest.
The kids LOVE this van, and, for me, driving around in the Quest is an activity in itself. I entertain my kids with a fold-down DVD screen (wireless headsets included) that - unlike those in most vehicles I've tested - doesn't impair my view out the rear window at all. My kids hide their various accessories in the ample storage space provided in the second and third rows. To me, compartment space is an absolute necessity with kids, and there's no shortage of it in the Quest. I can easily organize a litany of art kits, coloring books, toy cars, sippy cups and snacks. In front of the spacious center console, I come across the best cupholders I've ever seen. I can actually house my tall latte just as snuggly as my one-liter Nalgene bottle. Right below the cupholders I also have access to two crafty little storage bins, one of which doubles as a sunglass holder.
The automatic sliding doors on either side of the vehicle are noteworthy attention grabbers. My kids can't seem to get to them fast enough (leaving the house has never been so easy). Additionally, the low step-in height has them literally running right into the Quest. Speaking of rapid movement, while we're stopped in the Quest waiting to meet a friend, my kids playfully move between the captain's chairs in the second row and laughingly throw themselves into the third row. A new game has been invented!
On a safety note, I applaud Nissan for outfitting all three rows of seats with curtain airbags, which are especially crucial due to the appeal of the "way back" these days. I, myself, scoot into the third row, curious as to how well an adult will fit, and I'm pleased to report that I am surprisingly comfortable, which is not something I can say of many third rows. Now I understand why my kids clamor to get back there, and admit I'd be perfectly happy daydreaming out the fantastic paneled glass roof, sipping an ice-cold drink, a bag of cheddar bunnies in the storage bin next to me, occasionally glancing at the DVD screen to see what's playing.
What's not to love? Everything about it beats the way we used to travel as kids, when all five of us (or more, depending on who was visiting at any given moment) were crammed into a big old station wagon. As underlings we were rotated in and out of the cargo hold, subjected to Sahara Desert-like temperatures in the summers. The Quest, on the other hand, features a rear temperature control to ensure my children are always kept at a happy temperature.
The only gripe I have about the rear is that the third row doesn't split. It's an all-or-nothing proposition: third row up or third row down. Plus, the Nissan's navigation system is cumbersome to use. In order to input two cross streets, I have to use a joystick-like thing to highlight letters at a snail's pace.
Last but not least, a lovable feature I come across in the Quest is the memo pad function (accessed through the voice recognition system) that enables me to record my to-do list while motoring along. I appreciatively dictate grocery list forget-me-nots while taking care of school carpool. Additionally, the clever lounge-chair-like adjustable armrest and the seat heater add to my comfort while passing the time.
The 2007 Nissan Quest is a sure hit for family affairs, as comfort, style and function meet to keep the family fun factor at an all-time high.
*For more information on the Nissan Quest and its safety features, visit Cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 3 (2 in the second row, 1 in the center of the third)
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 7
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample - Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair (with the third row up)
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times
Base price: $27,500
Price as tested: $39,515
Engine: 235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
Fuel: 18/25 mpg
Ground Clearance: 5.8"
Turning Radius: 20.0'
Cargo space: 145.7 cu. ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: 5 Stars
Passenger's side: 5 Stars
Front occupant: 5 Stars
Rear occupant: 5 Stars
Rollover resistance: 4 Stars