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Nissan Quest 2004+

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,007
    Maybe Kmead was planning on cross-posting in here, but is still working on part two. Good review:

    kmead "2004 Nissan Quest vs 2004 Toyota Sienna" Jul 20, 2003 7:45pm

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  • vmaturovmaturo Posts: 71
    The Person Driving.
  • niceguyniceguy Posts: 20
    I've just test drove the Quest04 model S last weekend and here are what I noticed compared with the Toyota CE model:

    1. The curtain airbag is standard on the Quest.
    2. Quest uses chain-timing-belt instead of the conventional belt that we have to replace every 60K miles.
    3. Quest has In-glass-antena.
    4. There's a sensor in the passenger seat to sensor your weight to trigger the airbag on the Quest. According to the saleman, this idea was for the safety of small child when seating in the front seat.

    We still have not decided on which van that we'll get yet. Please keep adding more ideas, opinions, suggestions that you know or have.

    Hope you all have a good day !!!
  • marsh1nmarsh1n Posts: 1
    I went to look at the Quest last night. The power hatch button in the back can be disabled from the drivers seat. Next to the button that opens the hatch is an "On/Off" button that turns off the power to the button. It's the equivalent to the window lock on my Maxima.

    I agree the interior of the car looks pretty cheap. I was planning on using the car with one of the 2nd row seats down at all times. After looking at the quality of the fabric, I think the fabric will wear very badly.

    Nice car, but it looks unpolished.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think that the Quest will look more attractive once the prices come down while Sienna prices are still at MSRP+. Plus, by the time Sienna prices come down, the new Odyssey will be here.
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    Yeah .. Can you justify paying top dollar for a NICE exterior looking vehicle with an UN-polished interior ? (At least, that seems to be the popular opinion here) Maybe I should pop over to the local dealer and check one out myself ...
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I checked out a quest and think the interior is better than any other mini except for the 04 sienna. I owned a 03 odyssey and that had one of the drabest and spartan interiors I have ever owened even my old '92 lumina was better. There is nothing wrong with the quest interior except for the "unique" center arrangement.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The Odyssey doesn't have a dull interior. I own one, and the interior isn't spartan, it's just not fancy and plain, just like all Honda dashboards. (That's what I like about Honda. It's simple and straightforward) Okay, back to the Quest:
        The Quest is just kinda odd for the class, so that's why we should go out and buy one, because everyone wants a Sienna right now. By the time Sienna prices come down, you might as well pay sticker to buy an 05' Odyssey.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    You have to understand I am not a honda fan. The Oddyssey interior is functional nothing more. I owned the honda for 4 months just couldn't get used to how utterly boring it was in all major ways. Don't get me wrong it was capable and I made money on it in the trade in but I would never buy another honda product they are just not my type of vehicles.
  • FEHarperFEHarper Posts: 70
    I just picked up our 2004 Quest SE with DVD and navigation and would like to share the experience. Interior - nicely done, good fit and finish, nice leather. Driver's view - expansive and confident. Power doors and hatch - quiet, convenient. Navigation - I was amazed at how accurate this thing is. Relatively new roads in my area were pictured. All cars SHOULD have navigation! Back seats - comfy, roomy. Cabin is quiet. I must admit, there is a learning curve for all the electronics on the console. I have been studying my owners manual like my college organic chemistry text. Drive is very nice. This car has been engineered to handle like a sedan - little lean in turns, good, quiet acceleration, fat tires. Cubby holes abound for all. My son wants to live in the van - amazing. I still love the styling personally and found people coming across the parking lot to have a look today.
  • xbzzxbzz Posts: 4
    From reading through the specs & the discussions, I know the 2nd row chairs could be fold down to the floor. However, I'm not sure how flat it would be and if the chairs are removable.

    Here is my situation:

    We like to have opened space in the middle row (limo style for kids) so one of the chairs will be in the "down" position for a long period of time. To protect the chair from kids who might step on it while going in & out of the van, the chair need to be able to fold down completly flat with the floor so I can cover it with something or to remove it until the day we need to carry more passengers.

    Thanks
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    there's nothing wrong with plain and functional. The Quest's Navigation system sounds great, but Nissan tells me that I have to buy a backseat DVD Entertainment system, which I don't want or need.
  • ronoboy2ronoboy2 Posts: 6
    My wife and I peeked at the new Quest and she immediately said it looked like a hearse. Not sure about that, but it is a really long vehicle. We'd probably go for a smaller minivan like the MPV should we go the minivan route, but we're happy with our 2002 Altima for now. I'd just helped my stepdaughter purchase a used Sentra and the salesman seemed dubious about how popular the new Quests would be, it was too "space-agy" in his view. Will be interesting to see how sales go....
  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    I drove an 04 Quest SE yesterday. My two boys chose to ride in the rear most seat using their large boosters side by side, its wide enough to have had a third of the same size or our daughters Britax. I chose a mix of parking lots, local streets and highway along with our driveway :) The ride was quiet, smooth and very competent. Overall it is a very relaxed vehicle to drive. The engine is more than adequate for any situation (being new I didn't give it red line shifts or really get on it) I encountered in 30 minutes of driving and never seemed stressed. In corners the body stays flat and suffered some tire howl on the one turn I took fast, the understeer was manageable and the steering gave good feedback. The view of the road is very good with the low dashboard, but you cannot see any of the front of the vehicle itself. The front pillars are quite far away and relatively thick (as many modern cars have become for structural reasons), the outside rear view mirrors are good sized but have a odd shape that removes some of the possible view, not creating a blind spot as the area cut off is nearest the door glass. The view out the sides is excellent as is the quarter views over your shoulder. As for the view out the rear, it sure is a small window and the head rests exacerbate the limited opening further, not its best feature. The rear pillars are very thick and the self opening mechanism for the rear hatch reduces the view a little more, all of this contributes to a fairly large blind spot I found bothersome.
     

    Being the SE it had every option and widget imaginable, in my short ride I didn't try to use the DVD or Nav system. I did use the stereo and AC system, the radio was pleasant and easy to use with convenient rotary knobs for making adjustments. The station and other information is displayed on the same flat screen along with the Nav system and AC info. It was a Bose system and was quite adequate, I just used the radio portion. The CD player is separate and lives below the primary controls on the center control "barrel", it isn't in the best position for the driver as you cannot see it without ducking down. The DVD player is in the side of the passengers seat facing the driver with controls the driver could manipulate if you care to reach while stopped at a light, the passenger will be looking at the labels upside down, there is a remote. There are a couple of storage bins on the "barrel", one slides out quite far and has some reconfigure ability, the second is a bin that isn't very deep. The AC system was not as easy to deal with, at least without reading the manual or getting some instruction from the sales person ( I got none on that subject), the rear AC was easier to decipher as it had separate knobs that replicate the controls on the ceiling behind the passenger. There are separate temp displays in the four corners of the screen showing outside ambient, driver, passenger and rear temp settings. It was easy to see even in bright sunlight (it was @130pm), I don't know what it might be like with direct low angle sun. For all the functions that this vehicle has it had a surprisingly small number of buttons, most on the top surface of the barrel, you cannot read the labels without looking down at them and there are few landmarks to orient/learn which button to push. The buttons are all in two sets of double rows one set going between the two radio knobs and the other set between the radio and the AC controls. Perhaps once you get used to it there won't be problem, but if you lend it to someone you need to give a primer on its use, which is not really a good thing for a vehicle in motion.
     

    As for the location of the instruments, they did require an effort to see, especially the engine temp and fuel level which are back lit LCDs that tend to wash out. As I am very familiar with the roads I drove, I found myself only rarely needing to look at the speedo and when I did it took as much effort as looking at a normally positioned speedo so putting it in the center is of little value from that perspective. (They didn't put it there for so much for overseas ease of conversion as the molding of the main part of the dash needs to change anyway due to other features, I think it was another ploy to differentiate the Quest from other vans). The hand controls for turn signals, wipers and so on are interesting to look at and have a quality feel. The shifter on top of the barrel is an odd thing, not so much its position but its lack of choices. There is a primary unlock you squeeze as you change from park to R or D and a overdrive button on the left. What is odd is that it gives you drive and low, which seems bit limiting given that it has 5 speeds, in a mountainous area or an area with snow I would like more control. The wheel controls for audio and cruise were easy to use, I don't know if they are backlit which would make them much more convenient. There are other controls at knee level on the left side for the outside mirrors, stability control, door shut off and rear sonar system shut off. The mirror control cannot be reached from my at normal seated position making me look at the mirror and then lean forward to adjust, look and adjust in stages, this is not a good design and should have been on the door with the window controls. The overhead has controls for the doors, rear hatch, and sunroof. The sunroof has two controls, one for pop up and one for opening, both allow you to set a position and take your hand away while the mechanism moves (the VW rotary control is better). The rear view mirror has the Homelink system integrated and was self dimming. Overall the design of the drivers area is clean and uncluttered, but at the expense of needless control complexity some areas.
     

    The seat were leather covered and upholstered in a home furniture style. They have little side support for cornering but are very comfortable. Both front seats were power operated with the drivers having two memory settings. There was manual lumbar support with a control in a rather difficult to reach spot on the left side of the seat back, it tended to move a large section of the back forward which may not satisfy some as adequate. This vehicle also had adjustable foot pedals which are an excellent feature that allow you to move your body as far as possible from the steering wheel if you are short (which I and most women are). The steering wheel is adjustable for angle, but is hinged fairly close to the wheel which moves it through a tight arc that doesn't correspond to the way your arms and wrist joints do making it hard to find a good position (my wife also commented on this). Overall the drivers position was comfortable and gave me lots of ways to get comfortable or adjust a bit during a trip. The second row seats had a similar appearance with a single piece rear bench.
     Continued in next post
  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    The second row seats folded nicely into the floor in a two step process, first the seatback folds onto the squab and then the whole seat goes moves forward and down on a parallelogram linkage. It is slick but does need the front seats moved forward to accomplish it. When the seats are up, they are quite far back and can only be moved further back with the adjusting mechanism dropping the seat as it goes back. The seat bases are draped like a couch cover with fabric and carpet, this all seems rather fussy and I wonder about its general longevity as there were already a couple of velcro elastic straps adrift already. The floor around the middle row seats is very complex with lots of nooks and crannies to catch the detritus of children and trips to the home center, not a good situation in my view. The rear bench is very similar to the Honda/Mazda system but seemed a bit more awkward to do. The head rests have to be removed and Nissan provides a cloth sack to put them in that takes up room in the trunk area, it seemed like an afterthought compared to the net well on an Ody. The head rests are large and provide good support (unlike the Sienna's) but are somewhat awkward to install as the rods tended to bend inward. The rear seat was extemely heavy and difficult to pull back into the well when folded flat and just as difficult to put back up. The Ody and MPV are easier and better, the Sienna is alot better. The overhead has lots of little cubbys and in this case the glassed roof openings with roller shades that required a bit of coordination to use by a child and a surprising amount of force, sliding covers might have been a better choice. This has to be the only minivan not competing in the cupholder wars, in some ways to its detriment as it doesn't have enough in some of the right places. In particular up front, there is only one (that I could find) on the SE mounted to the side of the drivers seat, in a flip open pod and it didn't seem very secure as its not very deep. There were holders molded into the sides of the two middle row seats and two molded into the rear side panels for the third row. There may have been more but I didn't note them. In regards to other storage it was adequate if not voluminous with lots of shallow spots in front of the driver (including a nifty one in the dash thats rather shallow) and passenger. There is a nice little clip for holding a piece of paper in front of the steering wheel for directions or your shopping list nicely visible through the steering wheel, nice touch. The trunk is deep but the vertical area is compromised by the pronounced styling of the vehicle's rear, adequate but not huge. Given the massive difference in interior room between the the Quest and the Sienna and Odyssey, the trunk seems a bit small.
     

    The sliders work nicely, requiring just lifting the exterior handle to get the motor running, on the SE there are two as well as a power rear hatch (complete with flashing lights and annoying beeper). The inside power door button on the B pillar is rather small and too close to the door opening. There is a rear hatch button in the rear area as well that can be reached by a 3rd row seat passenger which my 6 year old promptly demonstrated, this should be somewhere else as I would rather a child not be able to reach it. I didn't try to overcome the closer mechanisms or shut off the mechanisms to operate them manually. The front doors have nice heft and don't feel too light and tinny like the Altima's doors did. There was one door rattle in the drivers side slider, but beyond that it was tight and quiet. Wind and road noise was subdued and the engine note was pleasant but not intrusive. I like to know there is an internal combustion engine under the hood and this vehicle doesn't disappoint but isn't overbearing.
     

    Styling is clearly a subjective issue. I think overall its nicely styled in and out. There are some really nice things in the interior in particular the front door handles and the barrel. My wife wasn't taken with its "face" (the front end) or the overall design, but it is a box after all. I do feel Nissan chose styling over function in many areas as a means of differentiating its box from the others so in all likelyhood you will like it or hate it, it is definitely not pablum so they have done what they set out to do.
     

    All of the Quests come with side curtain airbags which is an excellent feature, side airbags for the driver and front passenger are optional on the S and standard on the SE. Three point harnesses are at each seating position and there are at least 3 latch positions in the rear (2 in second row and one in the rear bench).
     

    So in summation the Quest is a good minivan with some unusual features and compromises (as all things are). Compared to its direct competition the Odyssey and the Sienna (the Mazda is much smaller) its a good alternative. The Quest has some options the others just don't offer which is nice but also lacks some features that I think are needed as a baseline especially with the introduction of the 04 Sienna. Specifically the split rear seat, roll down slider windows (thank you Mazda) and 5 speed on all models. I do applaud Nissan for offering side curtain airbags on all models as safety is important to all people regardless of economic position (shame Toyota). I think that anyone who wants a medium sized minivan with 7 seats would be well served by the Quest and it will further erode sales of the Odyssey (mainly due to its age) but will likely not take much away from Sienna sales as I suspect the Sienna buyer is just more conservative. It will provide another avenue and will cause downward price pressure on the Sienna which will be good for all of us.
     

    As for me, its still a Sienna, eight seats with a split rear bench and a 5 speed tranny are major selling points in my case, which Nissan is not delivering.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,007
    Lots of good info.

    I'm confused about your tranny comment. We show the SE as having a 5 speed transmission. Unless you are talking about the shifter that only offers 5 positions?

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  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    Sorry for the confusion.

    Yes the van I drove had the five speed, but the shifter itself actually offers only "D" and "L" for selecting gears. There is also the Overdrive button giving in effect 3 selections. To me this is an inadequate set of selections given the number of gears available. In mountainous and cold weather areas (usually one and the same) there are times when you want to be able to use the engine braking ability to hold the vehicle back without using brakes only. This would all be part of having control of the vehicle, something automatics deprive the driver of in any case, but this further limits your control choices.

    I understand that most drivers just dump it into drive and go, so for most people this is not an issue but I commented on it because I haven't seen such limited selection since the old3 speed autos. In my case, moving from a manual transmission to an automatic, further losing this level of control is an issue that is extremely offputting and in my view is a safety issue.

    This is one of the many things about the new Quest that I found extremely bothersome. For a vehicle that touts being for drivers, it has many elements that take away from being a driver or add more load on the driver for no good reason beyond interesting design (all the buttons on the barrel and the LCD display for all ventilation etc.) It is clear that this van is for moving people around and not stuff: the stepped floor which provides low entry height creates alot of nooks and crannies to clean after a trip to the homecenter or nursery. In addition the carpet on the back of the 2nd row seats is rather ticky tacky, I can see ground in stuff being impossible to remove, giving the third row passengers a permanent inkblot test to think about (dirty carpet on the back of the 3rd row seat is much less of an issue given that you see it when its down or the hatch open).

    This is a good van and many people will be extremely satisfied with it. I think Nissan is selling itself short with its remarkably sexist "this is a van for a sexy mom" statements as more than just women drive them and presumeably not sexy women won't want it? Wierd. (I know where this came from, designers prepare trend/lifestyle boards to document the proposed demographic. This was likely a heading that marketing glommed onto and we now get to suffer. That was fine for a working document, but not really appropriate for real use in my view.)

    In regards to value, I too question Nissan's pricing to value relationship but at the same time applaud them for including important safety features in all of the Quests. Toyota charges alot for those safety features, effectively raising the price to more than the Quest just to get to the same baseline price. A Quest S optioned is 26700, a similarly equipped Sienna (package 6) is 27400. These are not exact matches but pretty close. Many people I think will choose the Toyota over the Nissan for the roll down windows, split rear seat, 5spd tranny and the brand reputation. Nissan has said it will work hard to gain market share with this vehicle which I suspect will translate into a soft price by way of incentives, dealer money or whatever. Some people do not value the added safety features and won't pay for them on the Sienna so they see the Sienna as being less expensive and the Quest being too expensive with no way to be competitive. You can see this on the Sienna compared to Quest board here.

    I also applaud Nissan (and Honda) for making reasonable packages without so many options that allow you to get what you want. In Toyota's case, they have a ton of packages for each level and there isn't quite one that has what I want. Go to any board about the Sienna and you can see the buyer frustration with the system. Nissan has demarcated the market quite well as Entry, Major market (Entry Plus) with leather, and Premium. They then give you entertainment choices, navigation and so on appropriate to the price level you chose (few base level owners want dual screens or nav etc).
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,007
    And speaking of trim levels, I find it a bit odd that Nissan fools with two transmissions on the Quest. I don't think most people decide to go up a trim level to get a 5 speed tranny, but they would for leather and nav. Seems easier just to stick a 5 speed in all of them.

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  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    In the brochure I got from Nissan (before the vehicle was released) it says one of the options "adjustable front seats armrests". But I don't see nothing in the one I tried last week.

    Also, did you noticed that the Quest does not offer a storage drawer below the front passenger seat, as most other are?
  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    The Quest has fold down arm rests on both front and middle row seats.

    They also have a storage drawer that is deleted on models with DVD/Nav systems as the DVD player occupies the space the drawer uses normally.

    The SE I drove had armrests.
  • juliziojulizio Posts: 18
    It looks like FEHarper is the only poster to have made a purchase of the 2004 Quest so far.

    Has anyone heard of the actual purchase pricing people are paying?

    I was at a dealer on Friday evening and the salesperson offered me an SE with seat package and floor mats for ~$31,000, sticker of $33,680.

    What does everyone think, is that a good deal?

    I suspect these aren't moving like the new Sienna. The dealer had 7 on the lot and there wasn't exactly a stampede of people trying to buy them.

    I also saw a dealer on ebay selling an S with DVD for $24,250. That's over $2,000 less than MSRP.

    Thanks.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I know it have armrests. But the booklet says "ADJUSTABLE" armrests, sounds like you could adjust it to your needs, move it lower & higher when needed.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,007
    Anyone else driving a new Quest? If there's enough interest, we can start a Prices Paid discussion and point out where the deals are.

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  • sljbfamsljbfam Posts: 15
    Just stopped in to take a quick look at the new Quest at Rt 22 Nissan in Hillside. First thing I noticed was the control knobs look very cheap and easy to break. The interior looked very plastic. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to fold the third row bench and boy was it heavy to open and close it. I'm no weakling but you have to put some muscle to pull it flat and use your back and that much pressure on that handle doesn't seem like the handle will last. Every seat seamed roomy enough. Now a real funny disturbing thing was next to the msrp sticker a dealer mark up price of $10,000 so the Quest SL with DVD package made the price over $40,000 now if someone is stupid enough to pay that, their nuts. Now this new redesign, low availibity, hight demand vans like Sienna, price guageing has to stop the craze must end soon hopefully in a few months so I can look at the Sienna.
  • juliziojulizio Posts: 18
    Steve,
    As you can tell from my post, I'm definitely interested in a Prices Paid Discussion.

    I follow the Sienna and Odyessy Prices Paid Discussion, however I'm interested in the 2004 Quest.

    Have they crash tested the Quest yet?

    If it doesn't do well, I may go for the Sienna.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Maybe Nissan has a supply problem with the 5 speed transmission. They are doing the same 4/5 speed based on trim on the maxima. Give them a year or two and all nissan models will probably be 5 speed.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,007
    Got one! (thanks Walter).

    It'll get linked to Vans sometime soon - lots of housekeeping going on with a new Prices Paid sub-board over in Smart Shopper. Meanwhile, here's the link:

    walterchan "Nissan Quest: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" Jul 28, 2003 1:00pm

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  • kmeadkmead Posts: 232
    I know it have armrests. But the booklet says "ADJUSTABLE" armrests, sounds like you could adjust it to your needs, move it lower & higher when needed.
     
    By adjustable they apparently mean they can be moved up or down. They are not adjustable in increments, my VW Golf has an adjustable armrest with multiple positions, the Quest's are not that type.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    A $10K markup?! Who's buying from them?
  • mlherczegmlherczeg Posts: 2
    On Monday, July 28th 2003...Me and a friend test drove both the 2004 Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna vans within 1 hour or so of each other on the same road course and same exact environmental conditions, especially over some rough roads and highway driving. Both the Nissan and Toyota dealerships are across from each other in the auto-mall, so this gave us the opportunity to test the models in the same environment. The Nissan beats the Toyota hands-down IMHO, especially in driving dynamics...Nissan did a great job in the independent suspension design and a way longer wheelbase, while the Toyota is down-right cheap in the rear suspension design IMHO "cost-cutting for Toyota for it did not want to put the effort into designing a new suspension design to beat the competition ("Toyota trying to maximize profits at the detriment of consumers...IMHO") I am sure that I might get some flack from Toyota faithfulls...but this is true IMHO...I am sure it is not a problem to have technical discussions elsewhere in townhall in regards to suspension design and engineering, only for those who actually know what they are talking about...

    Exterior-wise the Nissan wins again, especially with style and grace and functionality.

    Interior-wise I like the Quests new dash layout and greater interior space then that of the Sienna, I am six feet one in height...The Toyota looks really small inside...note my friend drives a 1997 Grand Caravan/Voyager. I was shocked after being in the new Quest, how seemingly the 1997 Grand Caravan/Voyager felt so cramped inside while going home...that was an amazing experience in itself.

    The rearmost headrest in the Toyota are for kids-only size while in the Quest has all headrests that are appropriate size for adult-size use.

    Both vans exhibit excellent fit and finish IMHO.

    Now the biggest kicker of-all...PRICE...and real take home PRICE potential.

    I went to the Richmond Automall, British Columbia, Canada. Currently this is the price gap between the following...in Canadian funds

    Fully loaded Nissan Quest 3.5SE with all options and extra cost white pearl paint and dual DVD & NAV $50,380.00 with PDI and freight

    Toyota XLE FWD with extra cost white pearl paint is $45,007.00 with PDI and freight

    The Toyota dealerships here in Canada have fixed Access Pricing so you can not negotiate nothing at all. But I am sure that a couple of grand off the New Quest is available with a cash purchase.

    Last but not least look at all the features for the full-load Quest versus just a Toyota XLE FWD...Again the Nissan wins...especially when you include the real take-home pricing potential.
    Anyone is welcome to check out the Canadian websites for verification of my information.

    www.nissan.ca www.toyota.ca

    Thus, to conclude the Nissan Quest really beats the Sienna for every penny invested, when you reach the REAL-BOTTOM-LINE.

    thanks Michael.
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