My 31st birthday will be one to remember, it is the day that I went to Mont Tremblant to test drive the new Nissan Quest minivan.
I am not much of a car person, ask me questions about torque or miles to the gallon and you will get that “deer in the head lights” look. What’s most important to me (as a busy Mom), is that the vehicle works and makes travelling with kids enjoyable.
It was obvious from the get go that real everyday parents were part of a focus group when the new Quest was being designed. Things like drop down rear seating, 16 cup holders and DVD players (complete with headphones) are all things that parents require for those tranquil drives through the country or in the city. I was fortunate enough to drive through the beautiful scenery of Mont Tremblant sans kiddos – what an extra special treat – “Happy Birthday Mommy”.
The Quest that I drove was a top of the line model with all the bells and whistles, GPS, camera on the rear tailgate to help with backing up and parking, 2 sunroofs, push button automatic doors, heated and leather seats (need I go on?!?). It was an absolute dream to drive. (Like I said, there were no kids, so it was quiet and the company was good too, I test drove with Jenn @ Mom Vs the Boys).
I know I said I wasn’t going to get too technical about the Quest, however there is new technology in the gear system that I feel compelled to write about. The new Quest uses Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) which means there are essentially no shifting gears. I thought this may make a difference in feeling while driving the van around, but to be honest, I could not tell any difference what -so-ever. I pushed the gas, and the van drove, I pushed the breaks and it stopped. All seemed normal to me.
The van has enough seating for 7, so great for a large family or just for the extra room in the back for camping. All the seats do fold down, but the 2 seats in the middle row easily fold forward so the people in the back can make their way to the rear seats. The seats can even be pushed down with a toddler booster seat strapped in. Although the same capability isn’t able with a 5 point harness seat, the seats still do push forward so people can sneak behind, they just do not push down. As you can see, there is plenty of room in the back for 2 full grown (although small) adults in the back.
One last feature that the new Quest has is the ability to eliminate odors, and Jenn and I had to ability to test this out. While we were driving around we ended up following this big, huge, stinky truck. I did see that the odor eliminator light came on and was “working”, however I was still able to smell the diesel (or whatever the smell was) pretty strong. I don’t even want to fathom how strong the odor would have been if that special feature was not working.
The model of the Quest that we tested out was about $50K, so you can imagine that it easily impressed me. If you want to go for a base line model with all the essentials (Air Conditioning, Cruise, Automatic), the van will probably cost around $35K which I think is a little more affordable. There is one thing however that I didn’t get to test out, which I would have liked to, and that’s filling it up with gas. I know that terms like, Miles per Gallon are suppose to help in understanding how well the vehicle does on gas, but until I literary drive the vehicle around until it’s empty and then pay to fill it up, then I can get a true feeling how much the vehicle costs to run.
Overall, this was a very nice van, there was loads of room, it was extremely comfortable and every last detail that is required for quite and enjoyable car rides has been thought of. Whether you have a large family, or are a small family that likes to travel or do some camping the Quest will suit all your needs.