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Drives, Nissan — January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

2013 Nissan Quest LE: First Look

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2013 Nissan Quest LE-001Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week, the 2013 Nissan Quest LE.

Minivans get a bad rap. Critics say these vehicles are uninspired and boring, that they’re transportation appliances designed with the sole purpose of moving people. The naysayers recommend car shoppers that want engaging styling and driving dynamics look elsewhere. I disagree. After owning a couple minivans over the years – one for work and, later, one for family – I’ve become an advocate for the segment. Sure, minivans aren’t the most exciting vehicles on the road, but few affordable family-oriented vehicles are truly exciting. And today’s vans are still exceptional in terms of comfort and space. While its design may be polarizing, the Nissan Quest offers a look that’s bolder and more daring than any of its competitors’.

Along with competitors like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, the Quest occupies the top echelon of modern minivans. The base Quest 3.5 S starts at $25,990 while the top-trim Quest 3.5 LE is priced at $42,640. The test vehicle includes just one option: carpeted floor mats for all three rows costing $210. Including an $825 destination charge, the total for the text vehicle comes to $43,675.

The 2013 Nissan Quest is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and LE. All are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 and use a continuously variable transmission. According to the EPA, the Quest is good for 19 mpg in city driving, 25 mpg on the highway. While some minivans offer a second-row bench to increase seating capacity, the Quest is strictly a 7-passenger vehicle.

In top LE trim, the Quest is certainly well-equipped, if not downright luxurious. Comfort and convenience features include a proximity key with push-button start, power sliding doors and rear liftgate, leather seating with power front seats and power-folding third row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, navigation, Bluetooth hands-free and auto headlights. A rear-seat entertainment system, Bose audio and Nissan’s innovative and helpful AroundView monitor are also included on the Quest LE and are also offered as options on other trim levels.

Families that need space for more than four should consider a minivan alongside a three-row crossover vehicle. With practicality, affordability and even some style, the segment made famous by the Dodge Caravan decades ago now includes more outstanding vehicles than ever before. And the 2013 Nissan Quest is certainly among those at the front of the pack.

Quick Specs: 2013 Nissan Quest LE

body type5-door, 7-passenger minivan
as-tested price$43,675
engine size/configuration3.5-liter V6
horsepower/torque (hp/lb-ft)260/240
transmissionCVT
fuelregular unleaded
EPA city fuel economy rating (mpg)19
EPA highway fuel economy rating (mpg)25
optionscarpeted floor mats