The 2017 Nissan Quest lacks features compared to most and lacks adequate safety results compared to all. Try before you buy.
The 2017 Nissan Quest is in search of a new mission.
Unchanged this year from last year, the minivan lags other competitors in features, safety, and comfort while it awaits a new life. Offered in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trims, the Quest may tempt buyers with its low price of less than $28,000 to start, but it ends up delivering less than competitors.
The Nissan Quest earns a 4.0 out of 10 on our overall scale, which is below average for new cars. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
We're nearing the point where the Quest's boxy and upright stance will be considered hip, but we're not quite there. The tall van leans hard on its Japanese-market roots, but the Quest hasn't inherited some of the good looks afforded to other Nissan cars these days.
The interior is the same story: boxy and rectangular. The Quest can be trimmed in nice materials such as leather, but there are bits of gray plastic around the van that make it feel less than finished.
Under the hood, a Nissan V-6 that makes 240 horsepower appropriately powers the van. It's teamed exclusively to front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Independent suspension and a direct steering box are the gifts the Quest brings to bear, but it's not enough to escape its mission (family duty, after all) nor its tall body.
The good news: The CVT has intelligent simulated "gear" programming that helps it manage still-respectable 22 mpg combined, according to the EPA. The bad news: It's still a CVT.
Comfort, safety, and features
Between the wheels, the Quest is roughly the same size as its competitors, but still somehow feels smaller comparatively. We have some quibbles with the interior packaging: the rear doors don't slide far enough back for adults to get in and out of the second row; the seats don't fold into the floor; the second- and third-row seats don't move; the power third row doesn't fully complete its task.
In all, the Quest manages to be a minivan, but lacks the versatility we'd expect from a minivan of its size. Its cargo area isn't as big, and it's not as flexible as others on dealers' lots.
The safety story isn't much better. It's too early for 2017 numbers, but the 2016 van earned a worrisome "Poor" score on the small-overlap front crash—with an even more worrisome note—and hasn't undergone a full federal battery since 2011. Minivans are family vehicles, first and foremost, and we'd like to see some improvement in Nissan's offering sooner rather than later.
Base S models start below $28,000, but don't feature many creature comforts. They start with power windows, locks, and mirrors; 16-inch wheels with caps; a four-speaker AM/FM/CD radio; front and rear climate controls; and keyless ignition. Notably missing from the rundown are Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, or any infotainment display.
One step up, to SV territory, nets some better equipment such as 16-inch alloy wheels, power sliding rear doors, an upgraded six-speaker stereo with 5.0-inch display, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and roof rails. Those models start at $31,000, which is where you might find many other competitors too.