By on February 24, 2017

2015 Nissan Quest profile – Image: Nissan USA

Skeptical of the Nissan Quest’s future in the latter portion of 2016, we demanded — on more than one occasion — to know whether there would even be a Nissan Quest in the 2017 model year.

Despite all the signs that pointed to a discontinued product, Nissan eventually confirmed that there would, in fact, be a 2017 Nissan Quest in the United States. Much rejoicing was heard among enthusiasts of JDM vans.

Yet nearly two months into 2017, Nissan still isn’t displaying the 2017 Quest on its consumer website and has only just added the Quest to the list of 2017 models on its media website. With only a handful of vans at dealers at the beginning of the year, Nissan somehow managed to reported an 11-month high in Quest sales in January 2017.

You didn’t buy a 2017 Quest. Your neighbour didn’t buy a 2017 Quest. There aren’t any 2017 Quests available at your local Nissan dealer. The 2015 and 2016 Quests are very nearly gone. Yet Nissan sold nearly 1,900 Quests in January. How curious.

Sure, the 2017 Nissan Quest exists, but it doesn’t exist for you. Instead, it’s apparently a fleet special for consumers named Enterprise, Budget, and Hertz.

We were suspicious of the Quest’s future late last year for a number of reasons.

First, the Quest had already been killed off north of the border, in more minivan-hungry Canada.

Second, during a four-month span between August and November, Quest volume had slowed to a crawl, sliding 73 percent to only 805 units.

Finally, inventory was virtually nonexistent.

NissanUSA.com 2016 Quest screenshot - Image: NissanUSA.com screenshot

Yet Nissan assured us there would be a 2017 Quest, so we were surprised when an industry insider tipped us off, saying that there wouldn’t be a 2017 Quest for retail customers.

We decided to inquire with Nissan anew while once again prowling for available 2017s.

Inventory levels at Nissan dealers across America haven’t changed. According to Cars.com and AutoTrader — which won’t show the inventory for all dealers but provide a fairly accurate depiction — there are fewer than 125 Quests in stock. None of the Quests listed by AutoTrader are 2017 models. The one 2017 Quest listed on Cars.com is photo-less and isn’t actually featured in the dealer’s own inventory.

On behalf of Nissan, spokesperson Dan Passe told TTAC, “Unfortunately we cannot comment on 2017 Quest at this time as to its status regarding fleet sales only.” It seems as though, in this case, cryptically not commenting speaks quite loudly.

Nissan also encourages “interested customers to visit www.nissanusa.com to see what Quest vehicles are available in their local areas.” Of course, a search through Nissan’s own inventory listings likewise reveals no new 2017s, although you’ll find a few new 2014 models still unsold.

The soap opera-like twists and turns of this dramatic minivan story could yet take another turn. The Quests Nissan is currently steering away from retail customers and toward fleet buyers could, in theory, end up at a dealer near you.

But the fourth-generation Nissan Quest, like the Quests before it, won’t soon become a success. Over the last decade, only 2 percent of the minivans sold in the United States were Nissan Quests.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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53 Comments on “You Can’t Buy A 2017 Nissan Quest At A Nissan Store, But It Exists...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    My neighbor Hadji bought a Quest. He named it Jonny.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s about who buys Quests…

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        At the risk of engaging in prejudice, my impression is that Indian folks go big for Toyotas and Hondas. And let’s hope whoever tries to sell them one has a PhD in negotiation.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          This, at least in my area the folks from the Indian continent go for Toyota and then Honda, the Japanese stay loyal to Honda and the Koreans have been shifting towards hyundai as they are still not fans of the Japanese. The recent immigrants from war torn countries and South of the border seem to be huge fans of Nissan.. Me? I can’t seem to find a reason to buy one.. If you have credit there are better options

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Honda and BMW for the Cincinnati resident Indian people I see.

          All Indian restaurants on a Friday night have lots filled with Accords/Odysseys/3-Series.

          • 0 avatar
            CincyDavid

            My personal experience is that these families also like silver, champagne gold, and platinum gray cars…no wild colors.

            I see lots of Toyotas and Hondas, and a few Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Yes, almost entirely variants of silver. Sometimes you’ll see a GX or perhaps a younger person in an IS there. I pass three different Indian places on my way to the grocery, and if I go at dinner time, all three lots are like mirror images of one another.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I’m sure Bandit loves the space inside the van.

  • avatar
    Mike N.

    Could it be because this so-called family car is a deathtrap in an accident?
    http://jalopnik.com/watch-the-minivan-crash-test-an-expert-calls-among-the-1661069442

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Deathtrap? Okey dokey…aside from this one test, the Quest did quite well according to IIHS.

      http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/nissan/quest-minivan?print-view

      Hint: never use Jalopnik as a source for anything.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    You can still find “new” ’14’s?!?!?!?! Is that a mistake, or is there ACTUALLY the ability to show up at a dealership and haggle over something that’s been sitting on the lot for well over two years? Would the dealer PAY you to get that thing off his hands? Give you a $150/mo lease? (Which is more than he’s getting for it now.)

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      For practically every vehicle sold in the US, there are a literal handful of seriously aged examples sitting around on some dealer’s lot. Either they’re too stubborn to deal on it, they forgot they had it, it’s a ridiculously unpopular option or color package, or it’s a sweetheart arrangement for a friend or relative.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I’m stuck on how not selling a car until it is more than 1 model year old would be a sweetheart arrangement for a friend or relative.

        The reality is that for every day a vehicle sits on the lot it gets more expensive for the dealer as they pay their floor plan. It also eats up selling/storage space that costs money and some labor to keep shuffling it around the lot.

        So if your plan is to give someone a deal you want it to go right off the truck and into their hands as that will result in the lowest total cost of the vehicle to the dealer.

        If you are just stuck with one make sure you cut your losses and move it before the mfg stops giving incentives to help you clear out the previous model year inventory.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          The dealer can just hand the keys and a set of plates to a friend in return for a “free” membership at the country club, a deal on orthodontic work for their kids, etc. Or they give the car to their mother-in-law for a year or two until she wants something new.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Of course it could be a lazy dealer that didn’t properly update their inventory.

      Otherwise when the 16’s start rolling in any remaining 14 that you couldn’t fire sale by then should go into the loaner fleet then try again as a low mile used car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If a vehicle is unloved, there are examples that will sit around. I’ve been looking at Lincoln MKT EcoBoosts, and there are a fair number of new and demo (<1000 mi) 2014s and 2015s available for sale. They're not as good a deal as used examples with 20-30kmi, but they're out there.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’d take an Ecoboost MKT.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to try to squeeze two kids and all the gear into the LS460 for our summer road trips or buy a bigger box, but if I get a bigger box it’ll probably be the MKT. The only real competitor is the Audi Q7 with the stronger 3.0″T” and that’s more expensive to both buy and maintain used. MDX and Durango are a bit too small inside, Flex is (my wife says) too ugly, most other three-rows have the appeal of moldy bread.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        My local Jaguar dealer had a 2 model year old X-type wagon glued to their lot

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    A year is just a number.

    Who cares if you can get a ’17? A ’17 is the same as a ’16 is as same as a ’15 and virtually the same as a ’14 (although they did tweak the CVT logic for ’15 for feel and MPG).

    My wife and I just got a never-before-registered holdover 2015 Quest SV with a couple thousand miles on it for $23K OTD. It’s an excellent van with great NVH qualities, a nice interior, good power and fuel economy, just all around well-mannered, especially for the price.

    I think that the Quest is a superb buy if you don’t mind looking outside the usual suspects. Especially if you’ve gotta have a J VIN vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My understanding is that model year has a lot to do with leasing. So there’s that.

      • 0 avatar
        GermanReliabilityMyth

        Do they even have lease deals on the Quest? I popped onto Nissan’s site and there’s not a whole lot of anything on the hoods of those fine, fine kiddie-machines.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, if they don’t have any ’17s, then probably no lease deals.

          Leasing is based on residual value, and the residual on a ’16 is already too low by now.

          But if anyone knows different, let me know.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My 02 Passat had been sitting on the dealer’s lot for 9 months before I bought it. The brake rotors were so rusty they warped in the first week I had it, and the dealer had to replace them all.

      So I would have some concerns about a car that just sat around for a couple years, from an aging perspective, but not regarding features.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I don’t see a whole lot of these, maybe one a month. It’s hasn’t really caught on. I call them Elgrands, as that’s the JDM name.

    If you really wanted one of these, could you get one through a bank or credit union’s fleet program?

    • 0 avatar
      GermanReliabilityMyth

      I tried to convince my wife to get an “ELGRAND” vanity plate, but she wasn’t interested. She said it’d be too obscure and no one but us would get it. I explained that’s the beauty of it.

      Instead, she wants me to find Space Wagon badges knowing full well it’s a JDM/overseas Mitsubishi thing because she loves how it looks like a space shuttle.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I honestly think it’s the best looking of the minivans even though it struggles with market share.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You know, I kinda agree with you. The Quest is a box, and doesn’t apologize for it. On the other hand, I find Honda’s Flash Gordon styling on the Odyssey to be incredibly silly.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I still like the last Villager best.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          As did I, especially in Sport or Estate trims.

          I do like the current Quest, kinda. It looks better than the Sienna but not nearly as stylish as the far-newer Pacifica.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I think the interior on the Quest in upper trims is about tops for a minivan available in the US today. But the crash test ratings are poor, and just kill it for family duty. And the 3.5 VQ means it won’t get great MPG. And it has a CVT.

            Meh.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Nautica Edition, baby.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I was really hot on them until the small overlap ratings came out. I still like the shape and the interior is really nice in top trims. The seat configuration was kind of a letdown though because unlike every other minivan for sale today, the seats just bend at the waist, but do not fold flat into the floor. I’m sure it’s not a huge deal for most, but it seems like an easy reason to say no and move on.
        The cvt wasn’t great but it’s a box on wheels, if you are looking for sporty perhaps don’t look at a minivan.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          Yes, that alone is a dealbreaker for me. It’s not just that they fold down above the floor rather than into it, but that the cargo area floor is *raised* to meet up flat with the folded seats whereas every other consumer-oriented minivan has a deep well behind the 3rd row with a *lowered* floor when the seats are in use, that the 3rd row seat folds into. The usable behind-the-3rd-row space in the Quest is about half that of other minivans as a result.

          Nissan points out that their arrangement gives you a little storage bin below the floor and you don’t need to remove odd items in the cargo space to fold down the seat. But if you want underfloor space to store odds and ends, you can get it in either of FCA’s vans between the first and second rows and still have the deep well behind the 3rd row. Of course you’ll need to remove anything stored in the Stow-and-Go storage if you fold down the 2nd row, but it gets folded much less frequently than the 3rd row does. And Chrysler offers a handy carrying bin that perfectly fits the underfloor space to make it easy to remove your stuff before folding the 2nd row seats.

    • 0 avatar
      GermanReliabilityMyth

      @Corey: The small overlap crash thing has been done to death, but it’s just one type of accident. The rest of the test results are good. I don’t think that a small overlap is going to make or break whether you family walks away from a crash at least 90% of the time or however often it statistically occurs. Having never had an accident, I find that defensive driving and vigilance is the best safety feature installed in every car I drive.

      Please refer to this for clarification (if you care to): http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/nissan/quest/2015

      Also, the Quest has the best fuel economy of its peers, with a 20 city MPG and 27 highway MPG rating. The only thing that gets close to that is the Sienna with the new fangled 8 speed automatic. Lastly, having driven the Quest I can verify the acceleration is damn nice with a CVT. It provides prompt acceleration and a nice slathering of torque throughout the powerband. A good CVT is, in my opinion, better than a majority of regular X speed transmissions out there. No rubberbanding. Unless your commute involves stretches of Autocross, a CVT is fine.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        “The rest of the test results are good. I don’t think that a small overlap is going to make or break whether you family walks away from a crash at least 90% of the time or however often it statistically occurs.”

        So in your opinion, 10% risk of crippling injury is OK, if you get to drive a Quest. If you want to play that game, go right ahead. I’d never recommend one to a friend or family member.

        • 0 avatar
          GermanReliabilityMyth

          I think the IIHS is due a lot of respect for their marketing. They’ve done an excellent job justifying their existence by implementing new and interesting tests that have a marginal chance of occurring in the real world. This, of course, is accomplished in the spirit of fear-mongering, thinly veiled as a public service. My decisions are made independently of that sway and I sleep like a baby at night knowing it.

          Before the small overlap test was conceived, plenty of people recommended this or that car because it was safer than the rest. All the while we had no clue it was actually a coffin on wheels. So that Sienna or Odyssey you recommend today might actually be more apt to kill friends and family than a Quest in a specific scenario. It’s just that the IIHS hasn’t figured out that scenario yet. And that is why I take the IIHS with a grain of salt. Although they’ve established a good reference for safety between vehicles (within reason), their modus operandi is not dissimilar to smashing a Swiss-made watch with a mallet and then complaining about what a piece of junk it is.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            “If I don’t use the information available to me, then the event which happens relevant to that information will not happen.”

            Also, see cognitive dissonance.

        • 0 avatar
          GermanReliabilityMyth

          Until the IIHS can break down the percentage of deaths caused by a certain type of collision and tell me the approximate likelihood of it killing me or my occupants, it’s not particularly helpful to say how a vehicle fares in a certain test.

          And again, the sword cuts both ways. Any current IIHS top safety pick can be given a black eye under a new test until the manufacturer teaches to it in a refresh. Regardless, I don’t feel the need to defend my decision to buy a Quest, I just have a problem with the dissemination of misinformation.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Audi 5000s had an INSANE IIHS rating.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      It’s always been my favorite too. I remember when Edmunds had one in their long term test fleet. The editors loved it for the unusual styling and premium driving characteristics and it racked up the miles fast. There were a couple of magazine tests too, including Consumer Reports, where it did well and earned the nickname Infiniti of Minivans. The 4th gen Quest is an obscure cult classic that could have reached the level of quirky hit, with perhaps a more descriptive name and focus on the upper trims. The design is timeless so maybe they are going to freshen it and sell it at a competitive price like the Frontier and QX50. All it needs really is a more modern front end.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Edmunds were very positive on Q’s driving dynamics. The musical chairs lacked melody.

    I can hear Niss NA saying: okay, H & T can have the shrinking pie and eat it. We have Rogue and squashi.

    Me thinks Carlos is trying to duck MX way putting a cost-cutter in place. Dangerous things can happen.

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