A house full of kids and dogs and kids and dogs friends, really does need a vehicle like a minivan. However finding one that is JUST right (cargo, seats, storage) can be a bit of a challenge. The van has to fit you, and I found that the 2013 Nissan Quest did an admirable job of fitting all the needs of our family.
Granted, we were driving the LE version, which had every bell and whistle you can imagine, and that does help. However, even without, I really liked the design of the new Quest. The boxy appearance from the outside hides the roominess inside. The boxy design also belies the maneuverability of the Quest. This is a zippy and responsive vehicle.
I felt like I was driving something more like an SUV rather than a minivan. The 2013 Quest feels like a sporty SUV with the added advantage of sliding doors, and in this model push button doors and doors that you can open from the key fob. The Front-Wheel drive with the V6 engine and their Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) gave me enough pep for city and free-way driving. I managed a trip on the ferry to Victoria with the Quest and it certainly passed that ‘test.’ My passenger claimed much comfort (heated seats) and had no problem with ferries (blind spot monitoring system) and found the van great on the free-way The fuel economy is nothing terribly fancy with 11 litres per hundred kilometres in the city and 8 on the free-way, basically what I would expect for a vehicle this big.
The dash and control panel is very intuitive and I didn’t require much of a learning curve to figure it out. That includes the navigation and Bluetooth hands free telephone. The air-conditioning and is nice too allowing everyone in the vehicle to find the right temperature. Everything is pretty easy to reach without taking eyes of the road. The one thing for driving comfort that I could have wished for was a bigger storage console beside the driver’s seat. It was set back a bit too far for easy access, and I kept dropping things on the floor instead of onto the console.
The 2013 Nissan Quest is a 7-seater vehicle with 2 pilot chairs in the middle and a removable centre storage console. The LE version comes with a huge screen for DVD viewing for passengers with wireless headsets. I also liked the grocery hook right behind the front row too, easy for popping in the odd bag and avoiding spillage. However, you would hardly HAVE to keep groceries behind your seat because the cargo space in the Quest is fabulous. I have been disappointed by lack of storage in many minivan models when the third row is present. Not so with the Quest, my two dogs would happily sit back there as well as coolers, bikes, you name it.
The rear seats are very easily flipped up and down for more space with a 60/40 split. My kids found the headrests at the back a bit awkward and this style of headrest in other vehicles have caused the same complaint. They are not comfortable for kids who are out of boosters yet not quite tall enough for this style. I don’t know how comfortable the back seats would be for an adult, but apart from the headrests, my ten year old gave them the nod of approval.
All in all, I was most impressed with this third generation Quest. I think Nissan has done a great job putting together a van that has the features we all like in this type of vehicle with their own Nissan signature on it. Sure seats can’t be removed or fold down into the floor, which some people want for versatility, but as is, with all seats upright, there is lots of space for a family and their stuff. I haven’t driven other Nissan vehicles, but I can imagine that Nissan lovers would be happy to transition to this minivan. The LE version that I was test driving has a MSRP of $46, 998. It also came with a double moon roof witch the kids loved.
Disclosure: Nissan provided this vehicle to me to review it. All opinions are my own.