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Tucked Floor Mats Featured in New Quest

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Tucked Floor Mats Featured in New Quest

By Christie Schweinsberg

WardsAuto.com, Dec 13, 2010 9:00 AM

DEL MAR, CA – The humble vehicle floor mat came under the microscope this year, perhaps as never before.

Concern over loose floor mats in some Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles that potentially could wedge themselves under the accelerator pedal caused a recall of millions of cars.

A possible solution to migrating mats is a new type of semi-permanent floor mat found in Nissan North America Inc.’s ’11 Quest minivan, which goes on sale Jan. 28.

The floor mats partially are tucked under the rubber sill trim at the front and rear door openings.

While denying Nissan’s motivation for using the mats is related to Toyota’s recall, John Curl, senior manager-NNA product planning, tells Ward’s the mats take the latches commonly found in Nissan vehicles “one step further by integrating them into the design of the vehicle.”

The main reason Nissan is employing the semi-permanent mats is “to contribute to the overall environment of the vehicle” and for noise, vibration and harshness reasons, he says. “Not only are they smooth and lay nicely, they actually make the vehicle quieter.”

The floor mats are removable for cleaning and just one of many innovations in the new Quest, Nissan says.

Quest’s floor mats tuck under sill trim at top left, lower right.

Others include 1-touch sliding doors requiring just a fingertip to open – good for parents with armfuls of children and packages; taller-than-average side mirrors; an extra step above the Quest’s track rails to make second- and third-row entry and exit easier for kids and older adults; and extra-strong floorboards in the cargo area that support at least 220 lbs. (100 kg) of weight.

Also, via a latch, the Quest’s standard second-row bucket seats quickly and easily fold flat. This is made possible by the bottom cushions dropping down and slightly back, so the seatback can fold on top, creating a level surface.

The minivan’s third-row seats also fold forward flat, so that combined with the flat second row, a false floor is created. “It’s absolutely the easiest (way) in the industry to get a flat load floor,” Curl says.

Nissan also went its own way in not including a beverage cooler in the ’11 Quest, which he says research found to be “gimmicky.”



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