Minivans may be the least talked about car segment. They arenít sexy like coupes, sporty like convertibles or controversial like SUVs.

But this year and next may be a milestone for the minivan with an onslaught of new versions headed to the market. Each seems bigger and better. And they all seem to be moving further and further away from the soccer mom image.

Among the new intro" />

Issue: Jun 2003


Cars Worth Noting - 2004 Nissan Quest



by Andrea Wielgat

Minivans may be the least talked about car segment. They arenít sexy like coupes, sporty like convertibles or controversial like SUVs.

But this year and next may be a milestone for the minivan with an onslaught of new versions headed to the market. Each seems bigger and better. And they all seem to be moving further and further away from the soccer mom image.

Among the new introductions, the Quest and the Toyota Sienna) seemed to be the most anticipated. I understand why after driving the Sienna a couple of months ago and the Quest last week.

It was very easy to forget you are in a minivan in the Quest thanks to a more than adequate 3.5L V-6 engine that sees 240 hp. and 242 ft.-lbs. of torque. It is based on the companyís VQ engine series and mated to either a 4-speed or 5-speed automatic transmission.

Nissan told us they designed the interior of the Quest to have an ďurban loftĒ feel which I translated into marketing mumbo jumbo. But I was wrong. Itís hard to believe but the Quest does actually feel like an urban loft on the inside. Itís open and roomy and Nissan used colors and materials that feel and look very trendy. Itís clear, with the brushed silver look on the door handles, the oval center control stack and the Skyview glass windows, that Nissan has a winner with the interior of the minivan.

My only criticism of this vehicle comes in its third row seating. The Siennaís can be folded down and opened with one hand. The Questís third row seat was so heavy I could barely do it with two. Not good for momís holding a baby or urban dwellers hanging onto a dog.

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