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2016 Nissan Quest: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2016

The 2016 Nissan Quest minivan can be called many things, but boring is definitely not one of them. In the Quest, Nissan meets all the needs the average family expects of a minivan, then tosses in numerous nifty features and some pretty eclectic styling. The result is a roomy and safe family transport that might actually be considered cool in certain circles.

The first thing you'll notice about the Quest is its mammoth size. The Quest is only a few inches shy of the Cadillac Escalade in every exterior dimension, but once you look past the size and start looking at the styling, it's obvious that the Quest's designers really wanted it to stand out from the competition. While some rivals are sticking with the familiar shapes and forms of a minivan, the Quest offers bold styling that makes it just different enough without looking too youthful.

What's New for 2016?

Roof rails are now standard on the SV trim.

What We Like

Comfortable interior; exceptional turning radius; bold styling; decent acceleration; available dual power glass sunroofs; near the best in its class in terms of fuel economy

What We Don't

Massive size makes it a suburb-only affair; limited third-row space; no second-row bench seat offered; drab color selection

How Much?

$27,430-$47,000

Fuel Economy

The Quest offers only one powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a continuously variable transmission, which controls all the gear ratios without actually shifting gears. The combination is good for 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, which does a decent job of moving the nearly 4,400-lb van from a standstill.

The Environmental Protection Agency lists fuel economy at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Nissan Quest is offered in four trims: S, SV, SL and Platinum.

The base S ($27,430) features 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, cruise control, power mirrors and door locks, two 12-volt outlets, sun visors with vanity mirrors and extensions, sliding and reclining second-row captain's-chair seating with a removable center console and flush-folding second- and third-row seating.

The SV ($31,390) adds 1-touch power-sliding side doors, roof rails, 16-in alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 6-speaker stereo with USB port and iPod control, SiriusXM radio (requires subscription), fog lights, a front conversation mirror, a 5-in color audio display, Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, rear privacy glass and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The SL ($34,960) comes with leather seat 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, automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

The top-of-the-line Platinum ($44,080) adds the 360-degree Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, navigation, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, a dash-mounted 8-in VGA color display and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an 11-in 16:9 screen. Other features include memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, automatic tilt-in-reverse side mirrors, manual side window blinds, a 4-way power front passenger seat, a power-returning third-row seat, advanced climate control with an air filter system, a blind spot monitoring system and HID headlights.

The SV trim can be equipped with leather seating and the rear-seat DVD entertainment system, while the SL can be equipped with the DVD entertainment system and Bose audio. Dual power sunroofs are available on the SL and Platinum trims.

Stand-alone accessories include a cool rear-hatch tent, illuminated kick plates, Nissan's Vehicle Tracking and Recovery System, interior accent lighting, an emergency road kit and a first aid kit.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on every 2016 Nissan Quest minivan includes front, front-side and full-length side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The 2016 Nissan Quest earned the highest possible rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in all areas except for roof strength, where it received an Acceptable rating, and the small-overlap front test, where it earned a rating of Poor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to crash-test the Quest.

Behind the Wheel

While the Quest should have no problem in rural and suburban settings, driving it on busy city streets requires a lot of attention. Its width means there is little room for error on narrow streets, and it can be a tight fit in some parking lots. The good turning radius helps, but Quest drivers will likely feel more comfortable on roads that are busy and less confined.

On the highway, the Quest is stable and shows little strain. On a windy day, however, its slab-sided styling makes it susceptible to strong gusts despite its weight.

Its weight does come in handy in regard to ride comfort; nothing but the largest potholes seems to unsettle the big van. The Quest's ride is plush compared to other minivans, adding to the luxurious feel of the Platinum model.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Chrysler Town & Country -- This heavy hitter of the minivan game comes with rear-seat entertainment as an option but doesn't do it as well as the Quest. It doesn't have the Quest's interior refinement or sleek exterior, either.

2016 Honda Odyssey -- The Odyssey has gone through similar transformations as the Quest, and it is arguably the closest competitor to the Nissan. The Quest's styling is a bit more striking. If you outfit the Odyssey with a near-identical spec sheet, it will cost about the same.

2016 Toyota Sienna -- Toyota's entry also went through a major overhaul recently and now offers more storage space. The Sienna's interior isn't as well-appointed or executed, but it's also not as expensive as the Quest and offers the option of all-wheel drive.

Used Toyota Sienna -- A 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna is going to hold its value very well. It has excellent reliability and repair ratings. For less money than a new Quest, you can get a Sienna with the added security of all-wheel drive.

Autotrader's Advice

While we really liked the Quest Platinum, it does get expensive at nearly $45,000. If you can live without navigation, we suggest the one-step-down SL, which will save you about $9,000. The rear-seat entertainment system is still available as an option, and while you don't get the Around View Monitor, a backup camera is still included. The dual-panel sunroof is available on the SL, too.

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Used 2016 Nissan Quest S
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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.
2016 Nissan Quest: New Car Review - Autotrader