Complete Nissan Quest lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

2004 Nissan Quest (FF-L) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2003 - 2009 Nissan Quest MinivanQuest (FF-L)1 Trim 233 Hp 1993 Nissan Quest (DN11) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1992 - 2002 Nissan Quest MinivanQuest (DN11)1 Trim 151 Hp

The Nissan Quest was a minivan available from the 1993 to 2017 model years.

Nissan Quest Design and Introduction

The Nissan Quest was a joint venture between Nissan and Ford automakers to create an all-new minivan to compete in the popular segment of the time. Nissan was discontinuing the Prairie/Axxess compact multi-purpose vehicle and the Vanette cabover van, and wanted to fill the gap with a more conventional minivan. The agreement between Nissan and Ford started in 1987 with development starting later that same year and the anticipated release date set sometime in 1991. While prototypes were released in 1990 and tested through 1991, the first generation Nissan Quest was unveiled at the North American International Auto show in early 1992, being offered as a 1993 model year. It was sold as a Nissan Quest and as a Mercury Villager. The Quest's styling showcased a rounded design with a sloping front. The rear of the vehicle was pill-shaped, while the front end had rectangular headlights mounted next to a slim grille and color-matched bumper. It was a dramatic shift compared to Nissan's previous multi-purpose vehicles, and one that would likely result in better overall appeal in the US market.

Engine and Available Features

Many body and mechanical components, including the 3.0L VG30E V6 engine with 151 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, were sourced from Nissan's Japanese production facilities, but final assembly occurred at a plant in Ohio, United States. The engine was paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Interior parts leveraged Ford' Aerostar components, including the radio, power windows, and HVAC controls. It was a seven-seater vehicle, but the middle bench could be removed to allow for extra cargo space. The third-row rear bench could not be removed, making the rear cargo space quite cramped regardless of passenger usage.

Second Generation Nissan Quest

Nissan unveiled the 1999 model year Nissan Quest with many changes in design, ushering in the second generation for the minivan. Nissan's San Diego, CA office spearheaded the new look, featuring on increasing aerodynamics and adding a second rear sliding door to the driver's side. The engine displacement increased to 3.3L, using the VG33E V6 with 171 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, sizable improvements from the previous generation. Unfortunately, the Quest performed rather dismally in comparison to other minivans, especially due to its rigid third row seating while others incorporated fold-flat designs offering more flexibility and cargo space when needed. It also had long braking distances, a safety hazard that didn't match the safety-conscious buyers looking for a family-friendly vehicle. This led to a substantial decrease in sales of the Nissan Quest, which caused Nissan and Ford to return to the drawing board. While they initially began development of another joint venture redesign, this was quickly abandoned in favor of Nissan branching out on their own.

The Quest Becomes Fully Nissan 

The result was a 2003 release of the 2004 Nissan Quest, the first one fully developed by Nissan, constructed on the same FF-L platform used by the Altima and Maxima sedans. It was produced at a facility in Mississippi using wholly Nissan components or ones directly sourced as OEM parts. Once again, the engine displacement jumped up slightly to a 3.5L VQ35DE V6 engine, also used in the Altima and Maxima. It produced a respectable 240 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of torque, offering a 0 to 60 mph time of 8.8 seconds. All around fairly competitive figures for a sizable minivan.

Third Generation Features and Options

In a major shift from the past generations, the rear seat was finally able to fold flat, in additional to the two middle chairs offering a similar fold-flat design, creating a much better use of space and flexibility as compared to the past generations. Nissan also incorporated many available options aimed at providing an exceptional passenger experience. These included various entertainment devices such as two screens with auxiliary inputs and either VHS or DVD capability, in addition to dual rear power sliding doors. There were two moonroofs, each with their own retractable sunshades, offering more individualized experience that would fit the needs of families and sibling rivalries well. This model sold quite well throughout its era, with more than 30,000 units sold annually from 2004 to 2006, but eventually sales declined and Nissan discontinued the Quest in favor of using the Mississippi plant to produce the NV2000 concept.

The Fourth and Final Nissan Quest Generation

In 2010, Nissan revived the Nissan Quest minivan model, launching as a 2011 model year. It shared styling with the Japanese domestic market's Nissan Elgrand, offering a slightly wider body. It used the same 3.5L VQ35DE V6 engine, now producing 260 horsepower. Production shifted to Japan, making it the first Quest generation to be fully built in the automaker's home country. It was short lived in the US and Canada, ending sales in 2016, with a full discontinuation in 2017. Sales of the minivan segment began to erode significantly, seemingly surpassed by the compact crossover SUV market instead. People desired a slightly more capable vehicle that didn't hold the minivan stigma.