By on June 27, 2014

quest exterior

Reader Nicholas Naylor submits his review of the Nissan Quest

Minivans are overdue for an image makeover.  Crossovers are less comfortable, less spacious, more thirsty, and absolutely zero percent cooler than a minivan (except for maybe the Flex). Yet it seems the majority of attractive MILF’s (Maternal, Image-Loving Females?) that I speak to would still never want to be caught dead driving a minivan.  What gives?  There’s an opportunity for a gifted designer to embrace what a minivan can do, and make it cool again, via good design, an accommodating interior, and affordability for young families.   No one is doing this quite yet—but who is the closest?

After 14 years of driving body-on-frame SUV’s, I found myself with a growing family and a wife who wanted to drive the “big” car despite 20k miles + a year of driving for work.   This means no more 16mpg truck, or 16.5mpg Crossover with a sticker on the window that says it should get 20mpg but you’re obviously driving it wrong.

Thankfully, my wife and I are both comfortable with being somewhat anti-cool.  Yet I’m still an enthusiast; I still want something with at least a hint of interest about it.  In other words, I look at a Town & Country, and despite the B&B’s love for the Pentastar motor, I don’t want to be that anti-cool.  You only live once—and the T&C looks like a Wikipedia description of ‘Minivan’, or….a rental car.  Chrysler practically is the reason minivans went out of fashion.  They can fix that with a proper redesign—and history tells us they’re capable of doing it (although whether or not the Chrysler brand is the right one is arguable).

The Odyssey is suburbia’s default minivan choice, and although more socially acceptable, thus also bores me, despite its competence otherwise.   Toyota seems to be the only company that can build a heavy FWD vehicle that doesn’t explode its transmission early, which, after having transmissions replaced in my last three cars in a row, really appealed to me.  We rented a Sienna for a week, and for the most part loved it, but it had cheap interior materials, an expensive price tag, and it still was a pretty boring choice.  The current Kia Sedona looks like it’s for people who buy discounted expired meat (I used to do that, btw), and is the last vestige of the old, miserable Kia.  There’s a new one on the way that looks better, to their credit, although I was hoping Schreyer would do something more bold and embracing of the VAN, rather than the SUV-derivative style it looks to have.

I went to a Ford dealer as soon as the Transit Connect Wagon came out and sat in the spacious, economical, quirky, Spanish-built euro-van.  I liked it—it had character.  It was unique and affordable, despite fearful reliability concerns.   But I couldn’t get my wife to even go near the dealer…she deemed it to be a “Pet Cremation Services Vehicle.”  She didn’t want quirky & commercial.

So then we went to a Nissan dealer, and sat in the one, the only current Nissan that I had any sort of positive connotations for—the Quest.  Unlike almost all other modern Nissan’s, the Quest is not a victim of bottom-dollar cost cutting, fleet sales, and sub-prime volume.  It is still made in Japan, and has a Lexus-like level of craftsmanship to show for it.  The Quest sells at only a little over 1/10 the volume of the Odyssey or Sienna, and I think it’s largely because the value-spec models look pretty awful.  However, if you can swing an SL or LE, with the chromed out window trim and sharp 5 spoke 18” alloys, the aesthetics improve dramatically.

quest interior 1

And then you get inside.

The Quest LE is an Infiniti minivan.  I’m not kidding.  It has deep, supple leather.  Beautiful interior materials and craftsmanship–everywhere.  Soft, leather padded armrests on the doors.  Large 8” in dash nav, an 11” wide LCD for back seat DVD viewing, and two large moonroofs.  The seats in the back are as nicely appointed as the rest of the vehicle.  The interior of this car blows away not only any other minivan on the market, but most other large vehicles, period.  There are no signs of cost cutting, and the level of comfort is immense.  My wife immediately loved it, and I did, too.

The 3.5L V6 is potent as always, and the CVT isn’t anywhere near as transparent or weird in this application as it is in the rental Altima’s I’ve driven in the past.  In fact, I prefer the smoothness of this CVT to many of the 6 speed automatics I’ve driven, which are constantly shifting around, and not always smoothly.  Reliability on the CVT is an unknown, but at this point Nissan’s been at this for 10 years.   Since this world-market Japanese-made version (2011-now) hasn’t sold well, it’s hard to find actual data on record of its reliability (previous version was built in Nissan’s problem-plagued new Mississippi factory, with earlier generation CVT, for North-American market only).  2011 is really still too early to determine much, anyways.  For what it’s worth, the dealer told me it is amongst the best Nissans, reliability-wise.  I got 24mpg on my first highway trip, A/C on, 70+mph, children enjoying movies in the back.  And the ride…I don’t know if it is just that the ride is so smooth, the seats are so good, or the interior is so grand, but when behind the wheel of this Quest, the roads are paved with cream.  This is by far the most comfortable vehicle I’ve ever driven.

quest interior 4

There is one huge problem with the Quest LE…a $45k sticker.  That’s a lot for a family van, but at least it feels like it’s worth it.  Thankfully, depreciation is awful, so I swang a 2013 CPO LE for 2/3 the sticker price with less than 20k on the odometer.  I’m sure I could have purchased a fully loaded new Town & Country at that price, but I wanted to not succumb to my cheapness for once, and enjoy what I think is a much better crafted and more interesting product.   Plus, what you save up front on a discounted Chrysler will largely go away on the back end when you go to resell it.

Due to the price and the styling that only works on $35k plus models, Nissan still doesn’t accomplish the three objectives I suggest to make minivans more socially acceptable –good design, an accommodating interior, and affordability.  VW’s Bulli concept, if made into a real 3-row spacious vehicle, is more along the lines of what I’m thinking—with Bauhaus styling that is clean and universally accepted.  But for my family, at this time, the Nissan Quest LE is that rare beast—a minivan we’re proud to own and drive.

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56 Comments on “Reader Review: 2014 Nissan Quest LE...”


  • avatar
    319583076

    I rented a lower-trim Quest last Fall to ferry a group on a short road trip to a college football game. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed drving the Quest and it was certainly more spacious and higher-quality than the Town and Country, in which I rode two to three times a week carpooling to work. I think you made solid choice here.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    I love the Quest’s unapologetic Japanese styling. It looks like a breadloaf mixed with a spaceship and I am quite ok with that. It’s on my shortlist when it comes time to upgrade from our Forester.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I just rented one of these for a 1000+k mile trip (each way). I was underwhelmed with the exterior styling, but the interior was wonderful, the drive exeprience was excellent, and the gas mileage never dropped below 24 mpg (not bad for a machine fully loaded with me, wife, her parents, our dog, and lots, lots of luggage. Agree also with the CVT…it was responsive and really didn’t feel like a CVT at all.

    Nissan has produced a very good van.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    “Ride the magic bus…”

    I like the way the Quest looks, but my prefer for the van segment goes to Sienna AWD.

    Funny- I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a Quest…?

  • avatar
    chainyanker

    The utility and luxury could really make you forget how uncool minivans are but then there’s that dash-mounted shifter leaning in, whispering in your ear “Psst, don’t forget you’re still a dork.” If it can’t be column-mounted then at least do push buttons, rotary knob or some unique kind of slider deal.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The problem I had with the Quest is the same one I have with the Montana I’m currently afflicted with: it just isn’t as space-efficient as the competition.

    Chrysler, Toyota and Honda have this nailed, with rear seats that fold into a large bin in the floor, and (in some cases) a second row that does the same. Plus, they seem less constrained width-wise; the Quest seems cramped inside by comparison.

    Nissan did a better job with the last-generation Quest. Despite the weird interior and abysmal reliability, it was really well-packages. This one is less so; I agree, it seems really JDM in it’s design, and not really meant for North America at all.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      That’s my only real beef with the design as well. The seats fold flat as they would in an SUV, not into the floor and not removable entirely as in other vans. Total cargo capacity suffers as a result. The flip side is that the seats are probably more comfortable to sit in. I love the look of the interior and the quality of materials, I could see myself in one of these once fatherhood sets in. I think a loaded up Odyssey would still be my top pick however, just for superior packaging.

      • 0 avatar
        beanbear

        The Quest was a top contender when we bought our T&C “S” last September. But the T&C “S” seemed to keep most of the highway smoothness, while giving back a lot more responsive around town. We really didn’t think we’d stow the 2nd row Stow ‘n Go all that much (especially since we only have 1 kid), but once you have it, you find all sorts of reasons to use it. Our town has a lot of fully-loaded Odyssey’s. Every time I think of the price tag, I keep thinking of what else I can get for $45K…

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      +1 I would have gotten a Quest if it had the ability to stow/remove the seats. The drivetrain of the Quest is so much better than the T&C, but the Stow and Go makes the T&C so much better.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Wrong definition of MILF. The correct one is Mother I’d Like to F#ck.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    This is interesting. Previous generations of Quests have been flimsy rattletraps; who wants to hear sliding door clatter in a brand-new, $30K-plus vehicle? If Nissan has finally started taking this product seriously, then here’s hoping they can overcome all the damage they’ve done to the Quest name with their previous weak efforts.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I want to like this van and give up our CUV, but there’s no compelling reason to do so aside from interior volume and ease of seating.
    I just did a feature compare against our current CX9, and the Quest LE comes up short against the GT. No remote start, no rain sensing wipers, similar fuel economy, no AWD on the Quest, etc.
    The reason that people go to CUVs (at least from this narrow comparison) is that manufacturers seem to pack the CUVs with more features. When a 2007 model can exceed the content level of a much newer competitor, I’m not sure what the benefit is.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Our family went from an AWD Previa to a Saab wagon (as the family got smaller) then back to a crossover (Pilot). Of the three, the Previa was most comfortable on long trips and was the best snow vehicle. (We had a vacation home in the highest part of West Virginia that has its own micro-climate and gets something like 140 inches of snow a year. The Saab was the most fun to drive, but the seats, while comfortable initially produced “sore butt” on 3-hour plus drives, probably because of the low seating position. The Pilot is more comfortable because of its more chair-like seating but rides and handles no better than a B-O-F SUV. In the snow, it’s inferior to the other two cars, mostly because of its mass. While the Previa and the Pilot have similar AWD systems (with a viscous coupling (Previa) or clutch pack (Pilot) between the axles, the Previa’s default RWD mode or the viscous coupling system seemed to work better in the snow than the Pilot’s default FWD mode. All cars were fitted with true snow tires in winter.

    I think the appeal of the crossover is primarily having AWD and a somewhat higher driving position. My wife and perhaps other women feel uncomfortable in a low-riding vehicle.

    But, you’re absolutely right: for practicality, the minivan beats the crossover by a substantial margin. 24 mpg is what our Previa achieved on the highway, too. The Pilot might do 21, lightly loaded.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    When my wife was ready to trade in her old pseudo-SUV, I put this and the Odyssey on our shortlist (the Sienna was out because the cheap dash material reminds me of a basketball). She, however, wanted nothing to do with minivans, and I pretty much had to shove her into a Honda dealer to test an Odyssey. She was sold on the Ody by the day’s end and remains happy very with it, but on the rare occasion that I see a Quest on the road, I have a touch of buyer’s remorse.

    Sure like the dash panel in these, even though it looks so similar to what Infiniti has been doing for 10+ years.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Well written review, I like reading about how people come to choose their vehicles.

    This van shows how inconsistent Nissan is in product purpose and execution. The Versa is a cheappo value play and makes no apology for it. The Cube was an attempt at personality. The Sentra is mushy and anodyne compact with interior quality that attempts to punch above its price tag, unlike the Versa or Altima. The Altima attempts to be sporty even though the Rogue, Sentra and Versa aren’t, and now it too apparently fails badly at it. Then you have genuinely sporty cars like the Juke and 350Z. And then whatever the Maxima is now.

    And apparently Nissan has chosen to make the Quest the near-luxury meticulously-assembled high-quality minivan, which doesn’t square with anything else in their lineup.

    Mazda has their brand narrative figured out, and so does Ford. Nissan is all over the board.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      author here…thanks for the comment and I agree with you 100%. Nissan’s brand message is as confusing as it gets. I will say the showroom at the dealer was extremely busy, so it seems to be working for them now. Chevrolet has been doing the same thing for ages (Corvettes, Suburbans, and Korean cars??). Doesn’t seem like a good long term strategy.

  • avatar
    diaclone

    It’s interesting see what other cars the owner had considered. I would have threw in the distant cousin FWD pathfinder for comparison at a small premium. Not that van’s are uncool, but other than having 2+ kids and occasion to lug around 4x8s, seems a small price to pay. But I do dream about the endless utility of a minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      what could possibly be better about a FWD Pathfinder?

      • 0 avatar
        diaclone

        I’m not saying its necessarily better, all car purchases involves compromise. Depends on your needs. A car is a tool. The right tool for the job makes the task easier. If you don’t have 2+ kids and car seats to go along with it, sliding doors wouldn’t be on the top of your list of must have features.

        Just out of curiosity I ran the specs for both vehicles. Sharing platform, engine and purpose. I thought it to be good comparison. There is no LE Pathfinder trim so I selected the platinum trim. The FWD pathfinder worked out to be a lower MSRP, but of course losing cargo capacity to the quest. I was going to suggest the advantage of ground clearance but actually the quest beats out the pathfinder on that too. This is just purely academic, since I have not checked them out first hand.

        When I was shopping for my all purpose car/family car/beater car, I compared platform mates odyssey and pilot. Ended up with the pilot and appreciate the ground clearance in changing oil. Cleaning and washing the car is chore, but I would imagine more so with the odyssey. Being able to haul a full sheet of 4×8 plywood is definitely appealing but when i did my garage self, had the guy at home depot rip them down to 2x8s which the pilot had no problem carting around along with the 2×4 studs I used as legs. Worked out for me as the footprint of my shelf was 2×8.

  • avatar
    JMII

    My brother had a Sienna and now has a Quest. We joking call it the Maxi-Van (instead of Mini-Van) because the thing is HUGE. And ugly. But cost wise he claims once you get all the features it undercuts the competition for what is basically the same stuff. All I know is the darn thing is HUGE and ugly. The few times I’ve been onboard I couldn’t figure out how to play a selected track from the audio system which seems odd since otherwise the standard Infinti setup is pretty logically. I don’t have kids so thankfully I’ve never been forced to consider such a vehicle.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It has a nice interior, but to me it makes sense to spend a little more and get a Suburban.

    I don’t think gas millage would be very different.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Unless you need to tow something, why on Earth would you prefer a Suburban over a van? No sliding doors, third row is extremely uncomfortable, massively less space efficient due to BoF construction, and the real world fuel economy is terrible.

      Vans are the best thing there is for moving people around in comfort. This is a very nice one, but I can’t see spending this kind of money on one. It just isn’t THAT much nicer than a Caravan, and the sprogs are going to ruin all that nice interior anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      No way, a minivan will murder a suburban on cargo and MPG. Our 012 Routan (AKA Chrysler T&C) has broken 30mpg highway and easily gets 28ish with the cruise set at 80mph in ECO mode. I can also get full 4×8 sheet stock in the back or 6x10’s up between the seats with the removable console out of the way, all this with the rear hatch closed. It blew me away how much crap this will hold without issue. Unless you need the “truck towing” part, forget it.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I test drove a new Toyota Sequoia a couple years ago. It had the most comfortable third row I have ever sat in. I imagine a 2015 Suburban would be about the same.

        A Suburban or similar large SUV is better in many ways. It has a real 4×4 system with low range. I like the way RWD trucks (4×4 disengaged) handle better than a heavy front engine FWD vehicle.

        The drivetrains of pretty much all large SUVs are hardy. It’s nice to have a big V8 under the hood connected to a solid tranny.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          You imagine wrongly. In the third row of a Suburban, your legs want to be where that great big live axle and driveshaft and diff live. And since the seat is sitting up on top of a big rugged frame, there is not nearly as much headroom, and the seat is practically on the floor compared to a FWD van. Fine for kids, even teens, but not comfortable at all for adults of any size. And that frame means that interior space is not nearly as big as you would think. They are great trucks for many things, my family had a succession of them, but a minivan hauls people FAR better.

    • 0 avatar
      Andy

      A bit late to this thread, but a Suburban is not just a little more than a van. New ones with decent features (LT, captain chairs otherwise getting to the third row is a pain) are $60K. Lightly used are $40. I love a Suburban, had one for 9 years (got it new for under $40), didn’t mind the fuel cost, loved the ride and capability. But simply could not bring myself to spend so much when new vans and CUVs give all the capability you need in the suburbs for $25k less.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    I helped a friend move cross-country recently, and because of the cost of a rental truck, we did it with a rented minivan. Those of you who are claiming that a CUV or SUV accomplishes the same thing as a minivan have clearly never selected a vehicle with the sole purpose of getting as much stuff as possible into it. The useable cargo volume of the T & C at Avis was very obviously greater than the Suburban parked next to it. The numbers for area behind the first row back me up: 143 ft3 for the Chrysler, 121 ft3 for the Suburban. During the entire trip, my friend, a mother of multiple small children, kept marveling at how great the minivan was for families, how much she liked the features, how great the ride was, how much space there was, etc. I finally asked her if she would be interested in one. “Oh, hell no!” she said. “I haven’t, like, given up on life.” I mean, good luck, minivan market.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Swang? Is that right?

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    It’s nice to see, on occasion, a Quest. In Chicago it seems just about every other vehicle is a Sienna or Odyssey. Both are nice but way too common. Japan has some very nice, some weird even, minivans that deserve the American market.

    Nice review on a rare ride!

  • avatar
    johnxyz

    Great, insightful review on the Nissan minivan. Also the B&B comments are very informative, re: minivan vs. SUV. Nice job!

  • avatar
    mkirk

    No vacuum cleaner option = NO SALE!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    sastexan

    Great review and thanks for sharing. I admire Nissan for going on a limb and being different to appeal to a specific niche market – even if I’m not part of that niche. I shopped the Quest when we bought our Odyssey back when it was a brand new model – did not even bother to drive it after checking it out on the dealer lot. I agree the interior is luxury car quality with the higher trims. However, the amount of space and utility it offers compared to the Ody / Sienna / ChryCo competitors is pathetic. It has less usable space than many of the CUVs that people too proud to drive vans have. Yes, the third row is a real seat but the back is cramped, the seats don’t fold all the way down or come out, and there isn’t a bunch of room behind the 3rd row. I just couldn’t imagine what the target market is for this vehicle – people who need seating but don’t like luxury CUVs?

  • avatar
    akbarfit

    Look, I’m just an Asian region reader, and I know you will be in love deeply to your Quest’s. Find the Nissan Elgrand. It’s the Quest’s twin brothers back in Japan.

    Just like you said, It’s an JDM-ish Infiniti quality.
    If you’re thinking to get a face swap to make it cooler, just go for it, but It will be a problem for the headlights. You can try to search a swap from Hongkong or LHD market instead. As this minivan is fairly popular, it might to be hard finding a such LHD headlights. But no worry about that, the simpler option is always try to find a headlamp retrofitter in US soil. Unless if there’s an option for AFS/adaptive light projection, so maybe when you retrofitted it will be gone as the mechanism is a bit rather complex.

    Remember, Quest is wider and taller a bit than Elgrand but its chassis and interior are completely the same. Only exterior, only the wider exterior you need to fit with, go for a body shop to make the swap from Elgrand results match to the width of your Quest.

    Sincerely,
    Nissan enthusiast, and I know you’ll be part of it later. :)

  • avatar
    kingofgix

    “Minivans are overdue for an image makeover. Crossovers are less comfortable, less spacious, more thirsty, and absolutely zero percent cooler than a minivan (except for maybe the Flex). Yet it seems the majority of attractive MILF’s (Maternal, Image-Loving Females?) that I speak to would still never want to be caught dead driving a minivan. What gives? ”

    What gives is that your entire premise regarding CUV’s a) complete rubbish and b) totally predictable. What is it with people on this website and CUV’s? There is probably a viable reason that CUV’s are one of the hottest niches in the automotive world. And there is probably a viable reason that CUV’s outsell minivans by about 100:1. And despite what you and many others on TTAC might think, the reason isn’t that everyone else is stupid.

    I am currently in the process of looking for a new vehicle, and about the only things worth considering that meet my criteria are CUV’s. At least some are EXTREMELY comfortable and quiet (Volvo XC60, Lexus RX) and quite are few are way less thirsty than any minivan (Lexus RX 400h, The various German diesels).

    My wife, who is utterly not a car person gets a vote. One of the only cars on the road she recognizes is the Flex, to which she always comments -What an ugly car! She likes the Volvo and the Lexus, which are both extremely capable and fine automobiles.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The definition of capable may vary, as both minivan and CUV are similar in design and nature. Neither are towing anything very heavy or going off-road, and both guzzle as much or more gas than a comparable car. The minivan has a larger footprint and can haul more cargo and/or more than five total passengers more efficiently. The minivan is aimed at the 2.2 child American family who may need additional passenger room for family members or cargo space. The CUV is not, the CUV is aimed at people who enjoy unnatural seating positions, whom ideally are hauling no more than five passengers at any given time, and who enjoy paying more than a contemporary sedan for something similar which drives and acts like a contemporary sedan. In the end its a reinvented station wagon marketed as not being a station wagon for more money than a station wagon would cost if it did exist.

      • 0 avatar
        kingofgix

        Which explains why CUVs sell in the millions and minivans sell hardly at all…..oh wait, that doesn’t add up.

        A CUV is capable for me because it does what I need it to do. All wheel drive, ground clearance, comfortable for 4 adults plus a lot of luggage, adequate towing capacity, very comfortable and easy to drive, quiet, easy to load/unload. There is no station wagon that checks all those boxes for me. A true SUV is thirstier and rougher riding. A sedan doesn’t have the cargo capacity I need. Minivans are too big and oriented to carrying more people than I need to carry.

        it turns out I am not that unusually. There are a lot of people who have those criteria for a car.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree the definition of capable is open for interpretation and I also agree thew few SUVs left out there can be very thirsty. The only basic criteria that can arguably not be met by your definition vs a car, since CUVs are built on the same car platforms and all, is cargo capacity. You’d have to pick some models in order to compare cubic space, but for the sake of argument let’s say I agree. I don’t know what sort of cargo you are hauling but both cars and CUVs for the most part are both smaller than minivans/vans and trucks. The amount of cargo you gain over a car, say even 50% cubic foot better, really isn’t so much more vs something minivan/van or truck size. If you’re really concerned about cargo, car nor CUV should really be on your radar. In my view you get a slight bump in cargo capacity. If I was a homeowner and hauling stuff around were a concern of mine, I’m already looking at used small trucks or new trucks, overly large as they may be.

          For S&G, two large models:

          The crampt D3 MY12 Taurus:
          EPA INTERIOR VOLUME 122.4 cu.ft
          CARGO CAPACITY, ALL SEATS IN PLACE: 20.1 cu.ft
          EPA MILEAGE EST. (CTY/HWY) 18/28 mpg

          Taurus MSRP:$25,555 – $38,155

          The larger D4 MY12 Explorer:
          CARGO CAPACITY, ALL SEATS IN PLACE 21.0 cu.ft.
          MAXIMUM CARGO CAPACITY 80.7 cu.ft
          EPA MILEAGE EST. (CTY/HWY) 17/23 mpg

          Explorer MSRP:$28,280 – $39,855

          So with all Explorer seats in place you gain a whopping 0.9 cu.ft over the smaller and more crampt Taurus. If you take the seats out (I assume two rows) you gain about 30cu.ft per row. So a conventional one row Explorer will give me roughly 50cu.ft of room vs the 20cu.ft of the Taurus trunk. For this privilege I get to pay a minimum of $3,000 more on msrp (assuming base Taurus sold on msrp, I know Explorer did). I also get to pay one mpg more for city driving, and five more on highway jaunts, and this assumes FWD I’m sure.

          I’m not really sold on this, 50cu ft over 20cu ft of Taurus’ trunk doesn’t seem like a huge gain for the additional costs I run into, and this is just using msrp and epa figures, both of which are fungible in the real world.

          http://www.edmunds.com/ford/taurus/2012/features-specs.html?style=101394899

          http://www.edmunds.com/ford/explorer/2012/features-specs.html?style=101395109

          http://autos.aol.com/ford-explorer/
          http://autos.aol.com/ford-taurus/

          • 0 avatar
            kingofgix

            Well, your entire premise is flawed. Here is the flaw. You think you know what someone else needs better than they do. In this assumption, you are completely wrong.

            I need a vehicle with AWD and ground clearance. And cargo space, and comfort for or 5 adults while carrying more than a trunk full of stuff, a comfortable ride at at least somewhat reasonable fuel economy. There is no vehicle sold in the US or Europe that I am aware of that meets my needs, EXCEPT for about 20 different CUVs. There is no station wagon that meets my criteria.

            My point is, the constant railing against CUVs on this website is laughable, pompous and just plain wrong. There is place for these things. They make some sense. They may not work for you, and they may not always be purchased for the “right” reasons, but your dislike of the them is irrelevant for everyone but you.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      People ARE fundamentally stupid – after all, by definition 1/2 of the population is below average. CUVs simply are a stupid concept. They are no different than the fancy shoes that women love that hurt their feet. All show and very little actual functionality. They are a station wagon ruined for no good reason other to look like a big and butch SUV, but without any of the SUV capability (but with more of the SUVs profit to the maker). So you get a vehicle that can’t haul people and stuff as well as a minivan, and doesn’t drive as well as a station wagon. And costs more than either one. But it is in fashion, so it is all good!

      • 0 avatar
        kingofgix

        Since you are so very smart and know what people need even more than they do themselves (wow), can you please tell me what station wagon fulfills the criteria I am looking for in a vehicle? I would really hate to buy something that is ruined for no good reason and has so little functionality. Sounds dreadful. If only there was something else as…….functional, as a CUV. hmm…..

        Really guys, your self righteous superiority on the subject is embarrassing. I am no great fan of CUVs, and just like you, would probably rather have a station wagon. But the station wagon I need doesn’t exist. However, there are many CUVs that check all of my boxes. That is because they are very flexible and capable vehicles. That is one of the reasons they are a huge sales success.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The station wagon you need doesn’t exist in the US because the masses are fashion victims. Again, see lady’s shoes. Many people are easily led by marketing – that is why marketing EXISTS. The automakers LOVE that they can sell a CUV for more than a sedan or wagon -it is almost pure profit. So once the bug bit, they leaned on it HARD. And stopped selling wagons in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            kingofgix

            The station wagon I need is a CUV. There has never been a station wagon made that meets my needs or has the complete functionality of a CUV for my purposes,and I am far from alone. Your comment that CUVs are stupid is, well, stupid. And wrong. And pompous.

            May be stupid for you, and that’s fine. But your opinions and needs are not completely representative of the entirety of the rest of the world, despite what you may think.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I seem to have hit a nerve. Glad you love your CUV so much. Ultimately, opinions are like anuses, everyone has one and they usually stink. I still think that for 95% of the CUV buying population, they are a stupid choice. If it is a perfect fit for you, more power to you. As they say, there is an ass for every seat.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        +1. You articulate things well KRhodes.

      • 0 avatar
        Andy

        By definition, half are below the median, not the average :P

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      You’re comparing 2 row cuvs, which don’t compete with minivans. I agree that they are much more capable than mid sized sedans and rightly deserve their popularity. But if you’re hauling a family and need a third row then it’s another story.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Those really ARE Infiniti buttons and such in there. I think this is the last JDM minivan on sale in North America.

  • avatar
    Andy

    I could not talk my wife into the Quest. She loved her Suburban and would have nothing less. Sticker shock convinced her to look at smaller three-row vehicles and we eventually drove and loved the Pathfinder. Not door-slider roomy, but the first and second rows are great, and for us row three will be occasional use only. I assume Quest and Mallfinder share a lot of platform, so I echo your comments about interior richness, ride smoothness, and VQ/CVT sweetness. There is an Infiniti JX/Qsomething and I can’t imagine it being worth $15-20 more given how nice the Nissan is. Glad you’re enjoying the Quest. If I get a van, I want it to be the one that not everybody else has.


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