Used Car Review

2012 Nissan Quest: Used Car Review

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Used 2011 Nissan Quest LE
Used 2011 Nissan Quest
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author photo by Joe Tralongo March 2016

For those who need the hauling capability of a big family van yet yearn for the style, power and features of an upscale SUV, a pre-owned 2012 Nissan Quest minivan makes a very livable compromise. Growing families will discover that there really is no better mode of transport. But for many young adults, the soccer-mom stigma can be a bit too much to bear. Thankfully, Nissan's Quest is cool enough to alleviate this stigma by offering a radical exterior design, a modern interior and lots of cool stuff to impress the kids -- and your minivan-owning friends.

Powered by Nissan's legendary 3.5-liter V6, the Quest has more than enough power, even when fully loaded. Its unique and versatile interior includes flat-folding second- and third-row seats, plus a covered cargo well for maximum storage and an available dual panoramic moonroof. A bit more fuel-thirsty than its rivals from Chrysler, Toyota and Honda, the Quest nonetheless is a competitor worthy of a good look.

What We Like

Bold styling; luxurious interior; cool features; strong V6; small turning radius; better-than-expected handling

What We Don't

Average fuel economy; small third-row seat; rear suspension gets bouncy when loaded; large proportions make maneuvering somewhat difficult

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2012 Quest is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combination is good for 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, all of which is required to move this 4,400-lb van.

Fuel economy is listed as 19 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Standard Features & Options

The 2012 Quest comes in four trims: S, SV, SL and LE.

The base S trim features cruise control, power mirrors and door locks, two 12-volt outlets, sun visors with vanity mirrors and extensions, power windows in the sliding doors, Intelligent Key with push-button starting, 16-inch wheels with full covers, fold-flat second- and third-row seats, an AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers and an auxiliary input jack, a 6-way manual driver's seat, cloth seating, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, sliding and reclining second-row captain's chair seating with a removable center console and flush-folding second- and third-row seating.

The SV adds 1-touch power-sliding side doors, Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, rear privacy glass, 16-in alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 6-speaker stereo with a USB port and iPod control, SiriusXM radio (requires subscription), fog lights, a front conversation mirror, a 4.3-in color audio display and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The SL brings leather seating surfaces, 18-in alloy wheels, a power rear lift gate, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, HomeLink, auto-dimming rearview mirrors with compasses, roof rails, heated outside mirrors, auto on/off headlights and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

The top-of-the-line LE adds navigation, a 4-way power front passenger seat, a power return third-row seat, 13-speaker Bose audio, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, auto tilt-in-reverse side mirrors, manual side-window blinds, a dash-mounted 8-in VGA color display, a DVD rear-seat entertainment system with an 11-in 16:9 view screen, an advanced climate-control and air-filter system, a blind spot monitoring system and HID headlights.

The SL offers the option of a DVD entertainment system and Bose audio. A dual panoramic power moonroof was offered on the SL and LE.


The 2012 Nissan Quest holds slightly above-average resale value, better than the Chrysler Town & Country and Kia Sedona but far short of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. To get a good idea of the Quest's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recall for Nissan's 2012 Quest minivan:

A recall was issued regarding a possible programming error that can result in the vehicle stalling when parked or idling on a decline when there's less than a quarter-tank of fuel.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website, where you simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

Standard safety equipment on every Nissan Quest minivan includes front, front-side and full-length side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitor.

The Nissan Quest earned the highest possible ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its moderate-overlap, side-impact and head-restraint and seat tests. In the roof-strength test, the Quest earned an Acceptable rating, but it scored a Poor rating in the front small-overlap test. NHTSA did not test the 2012 Quest.

The Nissan Quest entered service backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you can find a 2012 Quest through Nissan's certified pre-owned (CPO) program, the vehicle will not only have gone through an extensive 150-point check but will also come with a 7-year/100,000-mile extended factory warranty from the original date the vehicle entered service. Other advantages of the program include a free Carfax report, 24-hour roadside assistance, rental-car reimbursement, towing benefits and a free 3-month trial subscription to SiriusXM radio. To qualify for the Nissan CPO program, vehicles are typically less than 5 years old and must have fewer than 80,000 miles.

Other Cars to Consider

2012 Chrysler Town & Country -- The Town & Country isn't as refined as the Quest, although it does come with standard leather seating, a rear DVD entertainment system and a more powerful V6. However, a spotty reliability record works against the Chrysler.

2012 Honda Odyssey -- The Honda Odyssey has more cargo space and a more comfortable third-row seat, plus a better resale record. However, the Odyssey's styling isn't as dramatic, and its interior is not as upscale. A comparably equipped model is likely to cost more than the Quest.

2012 Toyota Sienna -- The Sienna's interior isn't as well appointed or executed, but this model is not as expensive as the Quest, and it offers the option of all-wheel drive. It can also seat eight people.

2012 Kia Sedona -- The Sedona offers a lot of features at a good price, including a more powerful V6 engine and a better warranty. However, the Sedona's interior is not well put together, and its resale value lags behind the Quest.

Autotrader's Advice

The best value for the money is probably a low-mileage SL, which gives you most of the features that are desired in a minivan for a lot less than a top-line LE. If you have kids who bore easily, try to find a model with the optional rear-seat entertainment system.

Find a Nissan Quest for sale

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Used 2011 Nissan Quest LE
Used 2011 Nissan Quest
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Nissan Quest: Used Car Review - Autotrader