EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Business

August 26, 2012

Nissan Quest a luxurious family hauler

The 2012 Nissan Quest is arguably the most luxurious minivan on the market.

It is also very versatile, capable, fun and attractive, providing what Nissan calls “Unrivaled Family Mobility.”

That’s not just marketing hype; this vehicle truly lives up to its billing. We — husband, two grandchildren, sister-in-law and I — put that to the test on a recent 10-day road trip, totaling more than 2,400 miles, including mountains, two beaches and lots of shopping.

The Quest LE we tested was the top model of four. Prices range from $25,990 for the base S model to $42,350 for the LE.

Under the hood of all models is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which produces 260 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the engine is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission.

We had plenty of power for merging, overtaking and climbing the mountain grades, even with the vehicle loaded to the max with people and enough stuff for a week at the beach.

EPA ratings are 19 mpg city/24 highway. Fully loaded, but with mostly highway driving, we averaged just 19.5 mpg.

We didn’t take a boat with us, but the Quest is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds with an optional towing package.

Everyone was comfortable, thanks to such amenities as the multi-adjustable heated front seats, reclining second-row captain seats

that fold and slide forward for easy third row entry; folding/reclining (60/40) third-row bench seat; and separate air vents, reading lights and assist handles for each seat.

There were also plenty of cupholders and more-than-adequate headroom and legroom, even for the long-legged boy.

The conversation (”spy on the kids”) mirror didn’t help much in seeing all the way back to the third row but did give a good view to the driver and front passenger of anyone in the middle seats.

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