Nissan’s On A Quest–the 2011 Nissan Quest

7 Jul 2010 | 4,277 views | No Comment
One of the biggest surprises of  this model season has been the return of life  to the minivan market. After the minivan was all but given up for dead by Ford and General Motors, and after sales either stagnated or disappeared from view for many other makes, it would have taken a prognosticator of the first order to suggest that there was life yet to come in that market. But sure enough, in rapid succession, Toyota (Sienna), Honda (Odyssey) and Mazda ( Mazda5) are all either introducing or soon will introduce all new models of their minivans. Chrysler is upping the content and look of their Town & Country dramatically, and Dodge is likely to redo the Caravan in a way that makes further distinction between it and the Chrysler model. Meanwhile, Ford and Chevy are expected to  field new small minivans,  though reports are now claiming Chevy has dropped the idea for now to concentrate on its popular Equinox. Now comes Nissan, ready to unveil its all-new Quest to consumers at the upcoming Los Angeles International Auto Show in November.  In the meantime, Nissan’s set up a special micro site to keep consumers and current Quest owners abreast of developments until cover is broken on the new Quest. Consumers can go onto that site and register now at  www.nissanusa.com/microsite/quest. Consumers will also get a look at a limited series of photographs of the car, and from the looks of it, Nissan’s going with a totally distinctive look that certainly sets it apart from everything else.   It clearly shares a family resemblance with the other Nissan models like Rogue, Murano and others with the more expressive exterior,  suggestions of fender blisters, and an aggressive-looking rear end. Around back, there’s a much sleeker roofline and a more squared off back end. Altogether, we can say at this early point that you will never mistake a Quest for anything else, and as our regular readers know, we think that’s a good thing.  We’re all for distinctiveness no matter how uncomfortable that might sometimes seem. And we’re  especially happy that, at a time when it’s getting harder to do something that few others haven’t already done,  Nissan is retaining its much-needed, more expressive, and daring design voice, despite the difficulties it had selling the unusual current generation Quest model.      Another hint came from a picture of the new dashboard, a far more substantial, sporty, yet luxurious design that consumers will probably like quite a bit more than the current design. It looks rich, and the materials look a lot nicer than the current generation version. The picture of that rich looking dash also makes us wonder: Is Nissan heading for the more upscale end of the minivan market with the new Quest? It sure looks that way. Maybe Dodge, Kia and perhaps some models of Toyota will hold down the mainstream end while Honda and Nissan duke it out for the more upscale buyer looking for something more unique and elegant.  We emphasize that this is only our speculation--we won’t really know until November when the new Quest hits the show floor in L.A. That’s also when we are likely to get all the technical, safety and content information we need regarding the new model. Meanwhile, you’ll see the Quest at dealers in Winter, 2011.

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