The 2016 Nissan Quest has rather unconventional styling for a minivan. Underneath its skin, however, the front-wheel-drive Quest features a powerful powertrain. The Quest is offered in four trim levels -- S, SV, SL and Platinum -- all featuring a smooth 3.5L V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission. This combination is good for 260 horsepower and an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
As with most minivans, the Quest is designed to handle like a car. The 4-wheel independent suspension includes front and rear stabilizer bars to help composure in tight corners, and 4-wheel vented anti-lock disc brakes bring secure stops with a full load and included brake assist to help in panic stops.
Safety-wise, the Quest includes dual front and side-impact airbags and curtains for the rear occupants. There are traction and stability control systems as well. Tire pressure monitoring comes standard.
While the newest Quest doesn't try to be quite as quirky as its ancestors, Nissan made sure it has sacrificed none of its style. The Quest's interior is roomy and comfortable. The seats are stylish for a vehicle designed to carry up to seven. The rear seats can fold-flat and the center console can be removed completely to allow many different cargo/seating configurations. Seat-fabric is cloth on the S and SV trims, and leather on the SL and Platinum. The second-row captain's chairs fold forward to allow three third-row passengers to squeeze their way back.
All the Quest's stylishness doesn't detract from its well-engineered functionality. The Quest comes with everything expected of a minivan in 2016, including variable wipers, a six-CD changer audio system with an auxiliary audio input, a trip computer, power doors and locks, an auto-cinching rear liftgate, keyless entry and front and rear air conditioning.
The base S trim features steel wheels with covers, air conditioning, power locks, mirrors and windows, first- and second-row consoles, a 6-way adjustable driver's seat and a 4-speaker audio system with MP3/WMA/CD playback capability.
Stepping up to the SV adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, power sliding rear doors, and Bluetooth, as well as an audio system that includes a 5.0-inch display and iPod integration. The driver seat is power adjustable, while the steering wheel has integrated audio controls and is leather-wrapped. The climate control can vary temperatures for three distinct zones and there's a rearview monitor as well.
On the SL, the wheels get upgraded to the 18-inch alloy variety, a roof rack gets added on top, the upgraded mirrors include integrated turn signals, the seat trim is leather and heated in front and the third-row is so-called "quick release" for easy stowage.
On the top-of-the-line Platinum, the headlamps are xenon HID and the audio system is powered by Bose and features 12 speakers, a subwoofer and satellite radio. There is a rear entertainment system that can play DVDs and includes a 9.3 GB storage drive for digital music. On the Platinum, the power liftgate can be opened with one touch, and the 4-camera Around View Monitor is standard as well.
One especially noteworthy feature optional on the Quest remains the dual-panel moonroof, which is a step ahead of conventional sunroof designs and allows direct light into the second and third rows.