Head-turning quotient: Choose a color other than black amethyst, one that does not highlight its oh-so-formal, funereal lines. The interior is to die for.
Body style/layout: The 2011 Nissan Quest is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive compact/midsize minivan with four side doors (two rear sliding) and a rear liftgate. There are power options for the rear sliding doors and liftgate. The new Quest has four trim levels — base S and SV, mid-grade SL, and top-scale LE.
Engine: The standard engine is a 3.5-liter, 24-valve, double-overhead-cam V-6 with variable valve timing (260 horsepower, 240 foot-pounds of torque). The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission.
Capacities: There are seats for seven people. Maximum cargo capacity with second- and third-row seats folded flat is 108.4 cubic feet. With those seats raised, you get a sedanlike 25.7 feet of cargo space. The Quest LE can be outfitted to pull a trailer weighing 3,500 pounds. The fuel tank holds 20 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is recommended).
Mileage: Our real-world mileage, carrying loads of about 500 pounds, was 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway.
Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, and side and head air bags. The Quest LE also can be ordered with a blind-side driver warning system, which alerts the driver to traffic approaching left or right on the blind sides of the minivan.
Price: The base price for the 2011 Nissan Quest LE is $41,350. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $37,895. Price as tested is $43,765, including $1,605 in options (power-operated, dual-opening panoramic glass roof and aluminum roof rails) and an $810 destination charge. The LE is fully loaded, including onboard navigation with backup camera, premium sound system and leather-covered seating. Dealer’s price as tested is $40,048. Compare with higher-end Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country models.