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William Maley

Interactive Review: 2012 Nissan Quest LE

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 19, 2012

Updated: July 25, 2012

Well, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC and Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE have left the Garage and in their place is this; the 2012 Nissan Quest LE.

The Quest LE comes with a 3.5L V6 producing 260 HP and 240 lb-ft of torque, and is equipped with a CVT.

First Impressions:

  • Woah, this is very distinctive. I feel that the Quest's design is a love it or hate it. I like it myself.
  • I've been in houses that aren't as nice as the Quest's interior.
  • V6 and CVT combination is a surprise. Really can get the Quest moving at a surprising rate.
  • Don't like the Quest's transmission gate. Think I'm in Drive when I'm actually in Low. Very annoying.

I'll have some updates on the Quest as the week goes on. In the meantime, drop off your questions for the Quest.

Update: Sorry for the lack of updates on the Quest, I've been busy with some other work. But after spending a week and close to 550 miles on this van, I can say the Quest does make a good case for itself as a contender. Yes, you can't fold the seats into the floor or remove them to increase cargo room. But if you're main goal is to transport family members or people, the Quest fills that need perfectly.

Fuel economy wise, the Quest did ok. 21.2 MPG was the test average, and on the highway run I got 22.3 MPG. Not bad for a van that weighs closely to 4500 lbs.

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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More Pictures please so we can see the front, 3/4 view, interior.

In regards to the car, do they still have that terrible shifter as part of the dash?

Fit and finish both inside and out, I expect it to be good, but does it have anoying form? Some rear doors I see coming have these huge long flares that will cause door dings and be hard to get in and out of in tight parking. So are the front door normal van like with sliding rear or what?

Road noise when driving, how does it compare to a buick?

Blind spots?

What type of Nanny devices did it come with?

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The interior is really pleasant, overall design not so much.

Question for W.M.....given the choice between this and the Odyssey, whoich do you prefer?

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I'm a fan of the exterior look. I think it looks much more upscale than its competitors. I haven't spent any time inside one to know much about the interior.

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I'm a fan of the exterior look. I think it looks much more upscale than its competitors. I haven't spent any time inside one to know much about the interior.

I'm really surprised you like this...I thought this would be one of your least favorite new vehicles.

But then again, you always did like wagons....

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I tend to like well styled cars that are different in their class from the mainstream somehow. There isn't a lot you can do with a minivan to make it look different and special, but I think Nissan hits closest to that mark here.

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ugly....my aztek was a peach in comparison

If your Aztec was a Peach...this explains why I no longer live in Georgia....

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ugly....my aztek was a peach in comparison

About the Aztec it seems like eveyone of them ever sold is still on the road.

  • Upvote 2

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The Quest definitely has a JDM look to it. Totally different from the yam that came before it.

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Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been busy working on some other items.

More Pictures please so we can see the front, 3/4 view, interior.

I will have some more pictures tomorrow..

In regards to the car, do they still have that terrible shifter as part of the dash?

Fit and finish both inside and out, I expect it to be good, but does it have anoying form?

Road noise when driving, how does it compare to a buick?

Blind spots?

What type of Nanny devices did it come with?

If you mean the shifter right next to the HVAC and Radio controls then yes.

Fit and Finish is very good.

For a van, wind and road noise is kept to a minimum. It won't rival Buick for quietness though.

Yes, but the Quest does have a blind spot warning mounted in the side view mirrors that alert you when a car is in your blind spot. The rear is a bit tough as well, thankfully Nissan has fitted a backup camera as standard equipment.

Some rear doors I see coming have these huge long flares that will cause door dings and be hard to get in and out of in tight parking. So are the front door normal van like with sliding rear or what?

Uh, What?

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The interior is really pleasant, overall design not so much.

Question for W.M.....given the choice between this and the Odyssey, whoich do you prefer?

Hmm, design and driving wise.. Quest by a mile.

As for carrying cargo.. Odyssey. The reason is I can remove all of the seats from the Odyssey, thus giving me a large amount of cargo space.

With the Quest, you cannot remove any of the seats. You can only fold them which means less cargo space.

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Quest is supposed to have a nice interior but lacks cargo space due to the seats.

Odyssey, what is nice, not so much glass. Interior doesn't feel quite so much like a bus then.

  • Upvote 1

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ugly....my aztek was a peach in comparison

About the Aztec it seems like eveyone of them ever sold is still on the road.

There was a row of about 12 or 15 of them in an Insurance impound lot I pass regularly....so...maybe not all of them.

Actually compared with the abominations from BMW, The Aztec ain't that bad....

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The Aztek was GM daring to be different and being punished for it. Once they lost the cladding, I didn't mind them so much and actually considered them as a work/light construction vehicle to beat around in.

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Thanks, Great to see the updates.

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Friggin "mini"vans have turned into such PIGS. I bought a maxed out Dodge Grand Caravan LE back in '89 and it weighed 3250-lbs. Had loads of interior space and the rear cargo floor was flat. Loved that car.

At 4500-lbs., The Quest is probably on the low end of current minivan weights. Think I saw that the Odyssey is up around 4800 lbs, as are the Mopars and undoubtedly the Toyota. This is as much as--or more than--my '72 Olds 98 Regency weighed!!! That thing had a wheelbase of 127", was 225" long and 80" wide. Guess the new crop of "mini"vans aren't that far off from those dimensions...

Edited by NeonLX

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      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

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      Nearly a decade ago, Nissan launched an ambitious assault on the U.S. commercial van market with the launch of their NV vans. It started with the Titan-dervived, body-on-frame NV1500/2500/3500 vans. This was followed by the unibody NV200 van, which was for a time the "Taxi of Tommorow" in New York City. But Nissan is reportedly throwing in the towel.
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      When the NV lineup was launched in 2009, Nissan was hoping to steal away sales from the Detroit Three. At the time, Ford and GM had 97 percent of the large van segment. The NV was positioned as being a more modern option compared to the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana. It was more comfortable with adjustable seats, taller ceiling for easier access to the cargo area, and pre-drilled holes in the body to allow owners to add interior racks easily. But Nissan wasn't able to make decent inroads into this market, only achieving around an eight percent share in the marketplace.
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      If Nissan does go forward with dropping the NV family, this will be a major blow to about a forth of Nissan dealers in the U.S. They made various investments such as installing heavy-duty lifts capable of lifting fully-loaded vans and having a dedicated sales staff to handle specific fleet issues.
      "Dealers now have serious concerns about their investments in commercial vehicles," said Slade.
      There is also the question as to whether Nissan may try again. Automotive News notes that in the new business strategy outlined last month, Nissan is wanting more global cooperation with its alliance partner Renault. The French automaker already has a number of vans in its lineup and is quite successful in various markets. Nissan already sells a version of the Renault Traffic, called the NV300 in Europe.
      But getting a Renault van into the U.S. as a Nissan will be difficult and costly in terms of homologation. Also, Nissan would still need to figure out how to appeal to larger fleet buyers that go with Ford or GM.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Drive
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      Nissan isn't quite ready to show off the next-generation Frontier, but they have decided to drop the new engine and transmission destined for the new model into the outgoing Frontier.
      Revealed on the eve of the Chicago Auto Show yesterday, the new 3.8L V6 produces 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque - an increase of 49 hp over the outgoing 4.0L V6, but torque remains the same. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic that is similar to the one used in the recently refreshed Titan. The introduction of this new powertain does mean the base 2.5L four-cylinder and manual transmission have been dropped for 2020.
      Why is Nissan releasing this new powertrain in a model that is destined to be replaced in a year's time? Most likely Nissan sees it as a way to get some real-world mileage before being dropped into the next-generation Frontier.
      Nissan is also giving all 2020 Frontiers push-button start, power windows and locks; and tilt-telescoping steering wheel. 
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2020 Nissan Frontier debuts with ‘heart of the next-generation Frontier’
      All-new 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine, 9-speed transmission help set the stage for all-new truck to come next year CHICAGO – As one successful era ends, another is just beginning in the heart of the 2020 Nissan Frontier.
      At a media reception tonight, Nissan revealed the 2020 Frontier which features an all-new, powerful 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine and all-new 9-speed automatic transmission – both of which will be key elements in the next-generation, all-new Frontier coming soon.
      The 2020 Frontier, which marks the last model year of the current generation, will feature best-in-class horsepower1 while also providing improved fuel economy and emissions performance. It will go on sale in spring 2020.
      Helping celebrate the transition to the next-generation Frontier was Brian Murphy and his 2007 Frontier, which just last week crossed the 1 million mile mark – a true testament to the durability and reliability of the Nissan Frontier.
      "The 2020 Frontier lays the groundwork for the exciting, next-generation Frontier – an all-new pickup truck slated to arrive soon," said Tiago Castro, director, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Nissan North America, Inc. "While looking ahead, we're also celebrating our strong heritage – including the innovations, versatility and reliability of past models, such as the 2007 Frontier that Chicago resident Brian Murphy has driven for more than one million miles."
      2020 Nissan Frontier
      The 2020 Frontier, with its standard 3.8-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission, focuses on the needs and demands of truck owners in the U.S. Nissan's all-new engine is using 93 percent new or redesigned parts, and the powerplant underwent extensive testing in North America. The engine will be assembled at Nissan's advanced engine facility in Decherd, Tenn., next to the full-size TITAN pickup's 5.6-liter Endurance® V8.
      Along with the 49-horsepower improvement over the previous Frontier V6, fuel economy is expected to increase2. Also contributing to the 2020 Frontier's improved acceleration and fuel economy is the all-new 9-speed automatic transmission designed to maximize powertrain efficiency and provide an enhanced acceleration feel.
      "From its roots tracing back more than 60 years, to the current model, Frontier has had a lasting impact on the compact and mid-size truck segments in North America. As Nissan transitions to the next chapter, we celebrate both a proud past and a bright future with the heart of the next Frontier," added Castro.
      The "Million-Mile" 2007 Frontier
      Chicagoland delivery man Brian Murphy bought his two-wheel-drive, 4-cylinder 5-speed manual Frontier King Cab pickup in June 2007 with one goal: to put 1 million miles on it3. The red Frontier passed the million-mile mark on January 27, 2020.
      According to Murphy, the original clutch lasted 801,000 miles, the timing chain was replaced as a preventative measure at 700,000 miles, and the radiator and alternator lasted about 450,000 miles each. Even the driver's seat lasted a half-million miles but has also been replaced. 
      To celebrate Murphy's incredible accomplishment and loyalty, Nissan announced it would give Murphy a new Frontier once the 2020 model begins production later this year. 
      "I never imagined I'd be given a new truck, especially since my Frontier is still running strong. It will be a real treat to have an efficient V6 engine, but I guess I'll have to find another way to exercise now that I'll have an automatic transmission and power windows," said Murphy. 
      For regular maintenance, the truck has been serviced at M'Lady Nissan in Crystal Lake, Illinois, the same dealership where Murphy purchased the vehicle new in June 2007. Murphy insists on doing his own oil changes every 10,000 miles.

      View full article
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