Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LA Show 2010: Nissan introduces the 2011 Quest Minivan

Joining the Allure sedan concept and the oddball Murano CrossCabriolet at Nissan's LA Show stand today is the family-oriented 2011 Quest minivan. Built on Nissan's D-platform and motivated by a 3.5-liter 253 hp V6 engine, the fourth generation Quest has a more eye-catching design, improved interior and power sliding side doors. Sales in the US are scheduled to start in early 2011.

Measuring 200.8 inches (5.1 meters) in length, the new Quest has an 118.1-inch long (2.99 meters) wheelbase, which should be more than adequate to comfortably accommodate 7 passengers. Access to the interior has been made easier by the power sliding side doors and power rear lift-gate (on SL and LE models), also controllable with the standard Nissan Intelligent Key.

Large windows and two moonroofs improve the sense of space, while the quick release fold-flat 2nd and 3rd row seats increase functionality, transforming the Quest into a Jack-of-all-trades. The boot area is independent of the third row seats, so you'll always have some storage space, even when there's a "full house".

Minivans are associated with comfort and practicality and the Quest is no exception. The front seats, depending on trim level, can be heated and have multiple adjustments while there are plenty of cup and bottle holders, coat hangers and 12-volt DC outlets. For those really long trips, there's also an entertainment system featuring an 11-inch WVGA display.

Up front, the wide instrument panel can incorporate a 4.3- or 8-inch display, the latter with touch screen capabilities.

At the heart of the Quest is the 3.5-liter V6 unit delivering 253 hp and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque, mated to a Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) transmission. No performance figures have been released, but there's enough power and torque – at least on paper – to presume that the Quest will be at least a decent drive.

The Japanese minivan also features an independent suspension all around with a stabilizer bar in front, while ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and BA (Brake Assist) will come as standard on all models.

Standard wheels are 16-inch alloys, shod in 225/65 all-season tires, while better-equipped models will feature 18-inch rims with sportier rubber (235/65).

The Quest will be offered in four trim levels (S, SV, SL and LE), with seven exterior colors and two interior tones. More details including pricing should become available in the following weeks.

By Csaba Daradics