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Questioning the Nissan Quest

So you’ve finally lost the battle huh? If you’re reading this, most likely you’ve surrendered to the fact that it’s time to accept that you are in the market for a minivan. It’s okay – we all start out saying “I’ll never drive one of those” and then 2.5 kids, one dog and one mortgage later – here we are. Hey, think about it – “mom-jeans” came back in style for a few months last year, maybe minivans aren’t far behind.

And clearly you aren’t alone in your minivan mission. There are dozens on the market, models from just about every car manufacturer out there. One model you’ll undoubtedly come across is the 2017 Nissan Quest. Since your weekends are probably jam-packed with baseball games and math homework (and because wandering around a car dealership with a few rugrats in tow is a literal nightmare), we’ve gone ahead and done some of the legwork regarding research on the 2017 Nissan Quest for you.

Minivan, Max-style

The first thing you should know about the 2017 Nissan Quest is: this ain’t your mother’s minivan. The Quest has a funky boxy design that looks more square SUV than minivan. It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but it’s unique and adds a little something something to what could otherwise be described as the most boring class of vehicle.

The Quest has only has room for seven passengers, while most of its competitors seat eight. This is awesome if you don’t want to have make an additional after-school drop-off, but lousy considering it is a minivan, which by extension means you should be able to pack it full of kids* and cargo. Plus, if you’re a reality TV star looking to make a buck off your fertility, well, you should just take the Quest off your list right now. But for the rest of us, the seats are comfortable, and while it would be a stretch to call the Quest roomy, it’s not uncomfortably cramped either. Even the third row has pretty decent legroom (*Pro tip – put your least favorite kid back there… it’s harder to hear them with all the distance between you).

The good news is that even if you’ve got a full house, you still have room behind the third row seats to transport all those oranges and Gatorades to the soccer match. The Quest offers 37.1 cubic feet behind the third row, which is pretty much on par with the other models in its class. However, the Quest suffers when the third row seats are collapsed, gaining only 63.4 cubic feet – a substantially smaller amount when compared to minivans like the Chrysler Pacifica, which gets 87.5 cubic feet when the back seats are collapsed. It’s a design flaw with the Quest: the backseats don’t fold completely flat, so the cargo space suffers. Is it a huge dealbreaker? Probably not, but given that you’re probably looking for a minivan in order to have more room to cart around more stuff, it’s certainly worth noting.

Short on Safety

This is where the problem lies. The 2017 Nissan Quest is just not as safe as other minivans out there. U.S. News and World Report just comes right out and states, “Of the current models in our rankings of the best minivans, the Nissan Quest’s crash test performance is the worst.”

And really, that’s a huge problem, because you’ll most likely be filling the Quest with your most precious cargo, your kids.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to rate the 2017 Nissan Quest, but given that little has changed in the model since 2016, it’s fair to assume the results will be similar – and that’s not good, considering the 2016 Nissan Quest’s small overlap front crash test earned a rating of Poor. Overall, the minivan is rated Acceptable, but when you have the option of buying a minivan rated “Good,” is “Acceptable” really… acceptable?

As if poor construction wasn’t enough, the Quest also offers little in the way of safety features. You’ll be paying extra for things that come standard on some other models, such as the now seemingly ubiquitous rearview camera and blind spot monitoring. You can get them, but you’re going to need to skip over the base model and jump into the SV trim. The base model Quest is just that… basic.

Van Value

Let’s be blunt: the Nissan Quest is one of the cheaper models in its class. And you’re going to know it. Although the interior styling of the Quest is actually quite nice, you won’t be getting any of the little luxuries that you may have come to take for granted. Standard features include a proximity key, a four-speaker stereo, a CD player and manually sliding doors. The good news here is that you can make great use of the $4 CD bin at CVS. The bad news is, we’re not even sure they are still releasing CDs.

The problem the Quest has is that its competitors just offer better bang for your buck. Other brands, such as the Honda Oddessy and Toyota Sienna offer Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and a USB port in their standard model minivans. Again, you can certainly upgrade your trim model and start realizing those features in the Quest, but you’ll be paying for something that comes on the other manufacturers’ base models.

So while the Nissan Quest certainly starts out wallet friendly, if you want to make your minivan more than just four wheels and seven seats, you’re going to go beyond the base model S, which has an MSRP of about $27,500. A fully-loaded Quest Platinum will set you back $45,000, which is a lot of dough for a car that still suffers from sub-par crash testing.

Move on Past this Minivan

Look, we’re not here to tell you what to do. There are certainly some great things about the 2017 Nissan Quest and if your budget allows, move up the trim levels and get yourself into something nice and luxurious. But we would be remiss in actually recommending this minivan, and that’s because of the safety factor. Until Nissan addresses the poor crash ratings that have plagued the Quest, we think there are better options out there.

Plus – you don’t really want to have a bunch of CDs floating around your car, do you?