2008 Nissan Quest
Click image to enlarge


Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Nissan Quest:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

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By Dave and Carolyn;
edited by Paul Williams

Dave and Carolyn continue to appreciate the exterior styling of the Nissan Quest; if anything, it is growing on them more as time passes. However, the interior is not as clever or pleasing as the exterior, report Dave and Carolyn. It’s different, that’s for sure, with its cockpit-style instruments and protruding centre stack, but it’s not particularly functional. The result is that even though there’s a lot of space in the Quest, occupants feel cramped, in their opinion.

Handling, visibility and braking continue to be high points, although both report the engine is slow to respond when you take your foot off the accelerator.

But the Quest is definitely a fashion statement with its sleek sheet metal and aerodynamic profile.

Dave’s Week Three comments: 2008 Nissan Quest

Interestingly, Carolyn and I have noticed that our Quest test minivan only costs $60.00 (max) to fill with gas when the gas gauge indicates empty, due, we thought, to its comparatively small gas tank (we have been paying $1.00 per litre of gas as of late). We mentioned this to Paul Williams of www.Autos.ca and he thought something was amuck in this regard. Paul explored this issue further and much to our surprise it turns out that the Quest has a 76 litre gas tank. Thus, when the gas gauge indicates empty, and when that little warning light comes on, and when the trip computer indicates that there are only 40 kms to bone-dry, there are actually16 litres of gas left in the tank! That’s about 150 km of driving, which is a big difference from 40.

2008 Nissan Quest
2008 Nissan Quest. Click image to enlarge

Obviously, something needs recalibrating. Based on the trip computer, our test vehicle is apparently averaging between 11.3 and 13.7 L/100 kms, depending, of course, on the degree of highway versus city driving.

I am not growing tired of this minivan’s exterior styling, and I still find this minivan very pleasurable to drive. It continues to remind me of the Toyota Sienna in this regard. It handles and stops very well. However, not unlike the Hyundai Entourage, the Quest does not slow down immediately when you lift your foot off the accelerator – it’s as if it glides along at the exact same speed for a few seconds. This is an odd and occasionally unnerving experience.

The more time I spend inside this van the more I am reminded of the Mazda5. It’s not because the Quest is particularly small inside; rather, it’s because of its interior configuration. Aesthetically speaking, the interior is anticlimactic compared with its sleek, modern exterior. This might be due, in part, to the interior colour scheme (shades of grey) in our test vehicle. To be fair, there is an abundance of brushed chrome accents in this minivan, but unfortunately these accents seem to disappear in the dull grey interior. One thing I find appealing inside this van is the comfortable suede armrests. Further, all of the controls inside this van are easy to reach and easy to use, although the ignition switch is placed in an awkward position.

Lastly, regarding visibility from the driver’s seat, because of this minivan’s slanting front end, it is often difficult to judge how close you are to something in front of you because you have no real sense of where the front is located.

2008 Nissan Quest
2008 Nissan Quest. Click image to enlarge

Carolyn’s Week Three comments: 2008 Nissan Quest

I have to admit that the Nissan Quest represents a very interesting and unique minivan and I think this is largely owing to its original exterior styling. Recall that Dave and I began this minivan challenge by expressing a less than favourable opinion about minivans in general: we believed that the exterior and interior styling of today’s minivans were very plain and functional. In this regard, the unique exterior styling of the Nissan Quest has won me over and ranks as my favorite – no contest.

This vehicle accelerates and handles really well and is a pleasure to drive. Like Dave, I have only one real complaint in this regard and that is that this minivan seems to want to continue accelerating when you have depressed the brake (it is almost as though it is revving too quickly), which can be unsettling. Otherwise, I enjoy driving the Quest.

The visibility from the front driver and passenger seats is excellent. The front driver and passenger seats are fairly comfortable as well, but the Quest interior is rather plain, and leaves me feeling somewhat disappointed.

For example, I wish there were more cup holders and storage compartments, as well as a conversation mirror. The interior dashboard could be more stylish and should be redesigned so that one does not feel claustrophobic (see last week’s comments). I also did not find the second row seating arrangement all that comfortable on a recent drive; it was like I was sitting too low to the ground, looking up at the second row window. Kind of a return to childhood! And I also felt very distant from my front row driver and passenger companions.

2008 Nissan Quest
2008 Nissan Quest. Click image to enlarge

Overall, I find the interior of the Quest is more crowded than I expected, and I am wondering if it is smaller inside in comparison to the other minivans we have tested so far; it feels much smaller than the Chrysler Town & Country, for example (but I am told that they are the same size on the inside). This must have to do with interior “packaging.”

Nevertheless, when I am parking this vehicle I am reminded that it is still every bit as long and big as the other minivans. For example, I find myself trying not to hit the front bumper when I am parking this vehicle – the front end feels shorter than it really is. Proximity sensors would be most appreciated.

The Quest DVD system is very easy to operate, as are the stereo, heating and air conditioning and seating controls. While the Quest is not the least fuel efficient minivan we have tested so far, it doesn’t consume fuel excessively.


Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Nissan Quest:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
Read all the articles in the Minivan Challenge

Photo Gallery: 2008 Nissan Quest

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