By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2008 Nissan Quest. It competes with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. I'm going to be 25 this month. That makes me about a third of the age of the average minivan buyer.
Okay, not really, but the segment is shrinking as shoppers move away from these and towards sleeker looking crossovers. Nissan hopes through woo some of those who remain with the Quest, which was redesigned earlier this decade and substantially upgraded for 2007. Let's check it out. This generation has always been about being different from competitors like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, so it's got this sort of slab sided look it carries all the way over from the headlights to the tail. The adventurous look carries over inside. There's a display screen that's high in the center of the dash. Overall quality of materials is actually pretty good. There's a soft touch wrap around area on top of the dash. A lot of the interiors, even in the Honda Odyssey, the Chrysler Town and Country have hard plastics around here. It's nice to see Nissan stayed on the softer side. The buttons and dials have a high quality precise feel. But if you look closely, the gaps start to show, literally. In our test car, there's an unsightly uneven seam along the left side of the dash here, the steering wheel has these gaps between the left and the right spokes. Very inconsistent, not great. The automatic transmission is really sloppy as you shift it into gear. The seat heaters are mounted all the way over to the sides of the seats. They don't have a weight sensor, so if your passenger leaves theirs on and gets out, it's going to keep working. If you want to turn theirs off, you have to reach all the way over here and kind of reach around for it. Don't try this at home kids, you might sprain something. Our test car has a moon roof, but even without it, there isn't a conversation mirror or sunglass holder. Instead, you're gonna have to put your stuff in cubbies, kind of at knee level here, here, here, everywhere. It's pretty basic minivan stuff, lots of storage areas. There's plenty of room in the second row. The seats move forward and backward. Although there's only two possible positions, they kind of move to. The second row windows actually don't go down either. A lot of minivans offer that now. Getting into the third row should be easy enough for kids through the center aisle. There's an optional tilt forward feature for the seats. If grandpa needs to get back here, oh wait, grandpa probably owns this thing, so I bet he's driving. Room in the third row is good for adults, I have plenty of headroom. This is with the seat all the way back. With it forward, room is even better, and I might mention room in the second row, is decent enough to. Most minivans have fold into the floor third rows. The Quest is no different. It's third row comes down pretty easily, a couple latches, and you're all set. What the Quest doesn't offer is a split folding third row, which allows you to seat someone back here and put more cargo in. That's a convenient feature that a lot of competitors have. The second row seats fold down. Optionally, they fold even flatter. They don't fold completely into the floor like Chrysler's Stow n' Go seats, but they're only a few inches off the ground, and really they're much easier to stow than Stow n' Go. With all the seats down maximum cargo volume is just short of 150 cubic feet. And that's competitive for this segment. Here's why the Quest really isn't total cargo versatility just isn't up there with some of the competition. The ride can get noisy on the highway and stability control, which is offered standard on just about every major competitor, isn't even offered on three out of four trim levels here. The final nail in the coffin might just be reliability. Consumer report scores have been well below average for this vehicle. If you want a minivan, there are plenty of solid choices out there, and unfortunately, this is one Quest you might just not want to go on. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other go to cars.com and our blog kicking tires.
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