- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2007

The folks at Nissan have taken a perfectly good minivan and made it a great minivan for the 2007 model year. The interior has undergone a complete revision, while the exterior has been refined and enhanced.

On the outside, the Quest features a newly designed grille and front bumper fascia, a new rear combination light treatment, a revised roof rack design, side sills (on 3.5 SE models) and new 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Moving to the inside, the Quest’s interior boasts a completely new instrument panel, with gauges repositioned directly in front of the driver (they were formerly located in the center of the dash), and a new center console design is available with Nissan’s Technology Package. Interior flexibility continues with fold-down second- and third-row seats and the third-row seat now features integrated auto-folding headrests and spring assist for easier operation.

Power for the Quest is provided by a 3.5-liter DOHC, 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers 235 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque. The engine’s power is geared to the front wheels via an improved, electronically controlled five-speed overdrive automatic transmission.

There are four trim levels available for the 2007 model Quest: the base 3.5; a 3.5S; a 3.5SL; and the top-of-the-line 3.5SE. All share a dramatic streamlined design form with a flowing, arched belt line and well-defined wheel wells, and all feature an easy step-in height for comfortable ingress and egress through the widest-opening sliding doors in the FWD minivan segment.

The tested 2007 Quest from Nissan came in the top 3.5SE trim. The base price was set at $33,900, while extras such as the Technology Package that includes the front-row center console, Sirius satellite radio with receiver and body-color antenna and a Bluetooth Hands-Free phone system; floor mats; roof rack cross bars; Fold-Away Seat Package; Navigation and PAX (Michelin Run-Flat Tire) Package; Rear DVD dual-screen Entertainment System; and destination charges bumped the final tally to $41,105. The unique Sky View glass panel roof feature, dual power sliding side doors and rear liftgate and rear sonar system came as standard equipment.The 2007 Nissan Quest 3.5SE is a superb minivan — even for those individuals who generally shun the so-called “soccer-mom” vehicle genre.

The step-in height is ideal, and once inside, comfort and convenience features abound, which suggests to me that soccer moms (or dads for that matter) may be a lot smarter than those who hold disdain for the minivan. Hey, let’s face it, minivans are more flexible and provide a heightened level of functionality and versatility than your average sedan, and in the case of the 3.5SE Quest, the performance and handling is equal to, or better than many sedan examples.

Speaking of performance, the 3.5-liter V-6 powering the Quest is quick to respond to throttle input, and it will even spin the front tires off the line when prodded in a spirited manner. The Quest corners well, too, with agility and confidence.

Seating is comfortable enough, but I would have preferred more of a cushion angle adjustment. Bottom line, the Nissan Quest 3.5SE is a minivan to be reckoned with.

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