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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was at the Nissan dealer today and they finally had a new Quest. It was locked, but I did manage to get some pictures. There happened to be an open parking space nearby, so I parked the Ody next too it for comparison. It was the first and only time I've ever seen the two side by side, so I thought others might be interested. It looks a lot larger and bolder than the Ody, especially in the back. Its a nice looking car and does look different in person, like the new Sienna and like the new Ody. To me, the major drawbacks are that the shorter and narrower wheelbase are pretty noticeable in the legroom and center isle of the 2nd and 3rd row, but not deal breaker bad.

Here are the photos, from my album you can probably tell I don't normally like to take photos of the Ody when its dirty, but those of you in the North and East know what its like with snow;). Those of you in the South and West will have to make do :D





 

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Snow? What snow? :)

With the new design the greenhouse looks massive but my guess was confirmed, a non enhanced, down-to-earth picture makes it look more boring than the Nissan marketing pics. Still, much better looking than the earlier generation, that's for sure.

For people who just need a 7-seater it opens the possibilities
 

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Snow? What snow? :)

With the new design the greenhouse looks massive but my guess was confirmed, a non enhanced, down-to-earth picture makes it look more boring than the Nissan marketing pics. Still, much better looking than the earlier generation, that's for sure.

For people who just need a 7-seater it opens the possibilities
It's 3rd row and overall interior space are smaller than the 2011 Oddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I got in one today and have another set of pictures to share. Your right, the third row is smaller than the Ody and Sienna's. I also have to say that I'm both disappointed and impressed at the same time. The interior fit and finish absolutely blows the Odyssey and Sienna out of the water. The wood grain is good looking, yet it doesn't look overdone. The seats felt like a tempur-pedic mattress (literally), and things seemed pretty well thought out for the most part. Now for the disappointing side. There really were not all that many problems with the Quest, but the few that it had, I think are pretty big drawbacks. First of all, I personally don't care about an 8th seat, but I can understand how many do and I think that alone will limit the sales. Also, the dreaded seating arrangement is going to be a problem. The flexibility is significantly reduced and the floor being higher then the competition, definitely does not help the case. The last and perhaps the biggest problem with the Quest I think is availability. I have visited 3 dealerships and all three only had 1 SL model on the lot. The salesmen also seemed very clueless about it. One didn't even know it was made in Japan. Another one said they would be getting them in one at a time to "keep the customers in suspense." Let me tell you the Quest is not special enough to the point where someone is going to wait for them to get one from Japan while there are plenty of Odyssey's and Sienna's sitting on dealer lots down the street.

Now for the photos, to start off, this is sort of nit-picky, but I can't believe this is the button for the power door. It might be hard to tell, but my finger can't push the black part without pushing on the outer parts too. To think I was complaining about the Sienna's not facing the rear occupants. The Ody wins here with the "open" and "close" switch.


The narrow wheelbase results in a very narrow center isle, narrower than the 3rd gen Ody. The legroom is also more car-like and less van-like. The Sienna wins here with the adjustable lounge seating and the widest isle I have seen. I don't have kids so I don't really care about LATCH, but I can see how others do/will.


I tried to get a shot of the heightened floor. I don't know how visible it is, but you can sort of get the idea.


I found the greenhouse to be more open than the new Ody and certainly more than the new Sienna.


I have to admit, the rear well is HUGE. Not only is it really deep, it also extends under the rim of the opening in several different directions. It was hard to get a sense of it in the photo, but you might be able to tell. Personally, in some cases I think the idea of not having to remove the "junk" from the well before stowing the seats could be a benefit.



Well, now on to the third row. I sat in it and I can tell you it would make a great 3rd row in many SUV's and crossovers, but its not exactly minivan material. IMO, the 3rd gen Ody has the best third row. The new Ody's is side windows are too small, (see my 4th gen Ody photos). The new Sienna has a rather low ceiling that I kept rubbing my head against. Part of this may have to do with the rear sunroof. One thing the 3rd row in the Quest did have going for it were the large side windows, obviously a result of the "boxy" styling.


Those of you veteran Ody owners have probably come to like the power door and tailgate button placement. If you like having them to left of the steering wheel, you will like the Quest.


Now many people will say that the center console of the first row is too small and cheap looking, but I think it makes access to rear easier then in either the Sienna or Ody. It is not removable, but you could easily climb over it to get into the second or third row.

 

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The interior fit and finish absolutely blows the Odyssey and Sienna out of the water. The wood grain is good looking, yet it doesn't look overdone. The seats felt like a tempur-pedic mattress (literally), and things seemed pretty well thought out for the most part.
Maybe the fit, but I have the same interior colors and it looks pretty much the same (plastic, carpet and leather). The faux wood trim... hmmm... no thanks :)
 

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Thanks for the pictures and notes/information! I haven't seen one other than online, I like the side by side pics.
 

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Are the lighter sockets near the floor ? For models that don't have a NAV feature, it would be a pain to plug/unplug the socket to a portable GPS unit.
 

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Nice pics...Love the inside.....but the exterior......Oh my God!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I went to the dealer yesterday and drove a Quest LE. I originally went to take measurements to compare it with the 3rd and 4th gen Ody's and the 3rd gen Sienna, but I ran into the same salesman I met on one of my other visits and decided to try it out.

Special thanks to Cliff from Exton Nissan (Pennsylvania) for patiently and non-pressuringly putting up with my exhaustive study. I believe I mentioned my un-impressed impression of another Nissan salesman I met at another dealer in the second set of photos, earlier in this thread.

Now, as the first and only (unless I missed someone) member on Ody club to drive a Quest, I am going to try and give as much info as I can. I looked through both an SL and an LE. (equivalent to an Odyssey EXL and Touring or Sienna XLE and Limited) I have to say I learned a lot more than I had on my other visits with the Quest. I know this is a long review, but I figured there are pages upon pages worth of comparisons of the Ody and Sienna. I am going to try and fit it into 3 posts. The first with background info, the second with pictures & measurements, and the third with the test drive. I have been looking at both the Sienna Limited and the Quest LE as possible vehicles to retire (not replace) the 06 Ody in the next few months, but I'm not in too much of a hurry. Now I understand that many people don't exactly like the Quest’s styling, but if there's anything we all should have learned this year it is that styling is very, very subjective. Personally I don't mind the Quest's exterior all that much. I don't love it the way I love the looks of the 3rd gen Ody, but I also don't love the looks of the 2011 Sienna and I can't stand the lightning bolt beltline on the Ody, among other things. It has been a long time since I have had to really look into other manufacturers since I have spent over half of my life being a loyal fan of the Odyssey. (How many people here can say that? Hint: anyone over 32 is automatically out of the running ;)) But when the 2011 Ody concept was released last February, I realized I had to start looking.

I suppose I should explain my needs for a little background info before going further. I buy vans for comfortable traveling. I drive over 30k a year and 90% of the time I'm the only one in the car. I also want to be able to carry 3 passengers comfortably and have a realistic 3rd row when I need it.

I should also say that the Quest will not be for everyone. If you have kids, the LATCH set up is not going to be a selling point over the Ody. If you want to haul huge amounts of cargo with the seats folded/removed or carry 8 passengers, the Quest is also not going to be on the top of your list.

I don't have kids, so I could care less about the LATCH system or being able to fit 3 car seats in the second row, however, Honda deleting that inner armrest was pretty much a deal breaker for me since the center isle has been clear in my Ody since day 1.

When I started looking at other vans, I naturally looked into the Sienna, the same direction everyone seems to be moving. It’s a nice van, but I had the same common issues many people have already noted. Things like the driver's seat comfort, off-centered steering wheel, and cheap looking dash are among the biggest complaints. I also didn't like the extremely low ceiling in the 3rd row, especially with the rear sunroof that comes standard on the Limited. I will say that technology and luxury features wise, the Sienna is hard to beat with the Laser Cruise Control, power folding mirrors, rain sensing wipers, auto high-beam, etc. From what I have observed however, as nice as some of those features seem, it’s hard to get passed the cheaper interior. Also, when I say cheaper, I mean more than the dash materials. From all of the Sienna's I have seen, things just didn't seem as solid. There were buttons that were loose and you could "wiggle" without pressing them. The side map lights had just a solid white plastic cover, rather than a textured clear cover. I know a lot of this is personal preference, but the more I saw of it, the more it felt like a kids car. I know, I know, it is a kids car, but it seems more like a kids car than the 3rd gen Ody did/does, which is a shame because I really wanted to like the Sienna enough to get it. It’s still not entirely ruled out, but it would have been a solid sale if it weren't for these issues. One major problem I found in all of the Sienna's is the HUGE blind spot when changing lanes and looking out the passenger’s side toward the rear seat. Depending on the way the backseat is positioned, it could be 2 or 3 feet of the vehicle's length you cannot see......YIKES...... I then thought the blind spot monitoring system would compensate for that, then I realized the Sienna doesn't have it. It offers laser cruise control but not blindspot detection.....but that’s another story.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sorry for the long backstory, now on to the Quest. I started looking into the Quest once the photos started surfacing online and I immediately liked the dashboard and interior quality. I however, like most, was skeptical about the seating situation. First off I am not going to say it doesn't have tradeoffs and the Sienna and Ody can both undoubtedly hold more cargo with their seats down/removed, but as I started thinking about it and looking it over in person, I started to warm up to the idea. I have to say that today for example, I had to make a run down to Lowes in DE and had to clean tons of junk out of the well just to store the seats. I kept thinking about the Quest and its fixed storage space and its advantages became clearer.

Now for the pictures. I took a lot of measurements because I just couldn’t figure out where and how the space was lost and made up in each van. I suppose we might as well start with the seating issue. For those who aren’t familiar, the Quest has a 3rd row seat that folds forward like in many SUV’s, rather than tumbling backward like the Ody and Sienna. This does make the legroom in the 3rd row a little bit less accommodating, but I have got to say, the Ody and Sienna headroom is unbearably (at least for me) claustrophobic. The Ody’s problem is primarily its arching side pillars, although the low ceiling and sloped tailgate don’t help. The Sienna’s problem is the low ceiling. This only becomes more apparent in models with the rear sunroof, which comes standard on all Limited models. The boxy styling on the Quest however, although not liked by all, makes the 3rd row unmistakably the best, headroom wise. Now I also have to say that the well behind the 3rd row is very roomy, however, this was my first look inside an LE model and I have to say, there is a not so pleasant surprise at the bottom of that well on this particular trim.

There is an upgraded sound system on all LE models that includes a two part subwoofer, both of which reside at the bottom of the storage well. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but both components make the well at least a foot shallower. Cliff was nice enough to peel back all of the layers of packaging to expose it. I asked if the subwoofer could be removed and he said it shouldn’t be a problem.


I have to say that the tall crowd who complains about hitting their heads on their Odys’ liftgates would be in favor of the Quest. My Ody’s tailgate measured 70 inches when open. My 72 inch ruler stood straight up with at least 3 inches to spare under the Quest’s open tailgate.

Another thing one should know about the Quest is that the rear bumper is higher, by 4 inches or so. (26 inches vs. my Ody’s 22) Also, the floor in the 2nd row is 2 inches higher than my Ody’s, but has a step-in threshold that is 1 inch lower.

The center isle is 3 inches narrower, but its still passable. I know that the 2011 Sienna’s center isle is larger than mine, although I don’t know what the measurement is.


There have also been numerous complaints about the door openings on the Quest. I also thought the doors looked like they didn’t open wide enough, but when I measured, the clearance was only reduced by about 3 inches or so. (30 in my Ody, 27 in the Quest). I think the way the door opening is designed it appears to not be open fully, more so than it is.


Now one of my biggest questions about the new Quest, which is actually the main reason I brought the ruler, was the floor to ceiling height. Since the 2nd row seats cannot be removed and the 3rd row cannot be stowed flush to the floor, I was expecting a huge tradeoff in vertical space. Well the final numbers were surprising. My Ody measured about 42 inches roughly. The Quest measured 37-38 inches (hard to measure exactly). I have to say it was a lot closer to the Ody's than I had expected. Now I’m wondering what a Sienna Limited would be with that low ceiling….
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now on to the test drive... When driving the Quest, I have to say it is incredibly smooth and very powerful. When getting on the freeway the salesman pointed out how the engine just smoothly sped up and slowed down with no real strain. I couldn’t even feel it shift. It was quieter than the 3rd gen Ody, which I have found can be a little loud at times, in case no one else noticed ;). On country roads it was just as smooth and powerful as it was on the highway. You have a much more commanding view of the road and you sit higher than you do in all the Odys and Siennas. I personally like the “perched” feeling when driving. It makes the 600+ mile days bearable. The huge side mirrors are a great plus, although I think they would take a little bit of time to get used to when driving at low speeds in places like parking lots, but so did my Ody. I drove a 2011 Sienna once in a parking lot last summer, but I like the Quest’s steering better. It’s smoother than the Ody’s but stiffer than the Sienna’s. I love my Ody’s steering, when it works…(I’m on my 3rd power steering pump), but I think the Quest’s is pretty engaging.
I have to say there were two big problems I found with the driver’s area. The first one is that the lumbar support drives a horizontal bar into your back when on its highest setting, which is where I keep the Ody’s. This however was an easy fix. Just flip the switch and the bar recedes into the seat. I found the front seats of the new Ody to be narrower than the 3rd gen. I also thought the same of the Sienna, but there have been many complaints of the Sienna’s not being long enough either. On a side note, I didn’t notice this until I sat in a cloth Sienna seat. The leather ones seemed less noticeable for some reason. The thing I liked the least in the Quest was the sunroof. My Ody’s opens a whole 13 inches. The Quest’s believe it or not, only 6. I understand that between 2 sunroofs and a DVD player, the roof real estate is at a premium, but I thought that it almost seemed claustrophobic to me after getting out of the Ody. I suppose I would get used to it though. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the Sienna’s sunroof either. I also remember mentioning that I didn’t like the placement of the sunroof in my 2011 Ody review as well, so I guess it’s probably a tradeoff I will have to deal with anyway.



In terms of features, I think the Quest LE competes very competitively with the Sienna Limited and Odyssey Touring. This is especially true for the non-Elite Odys and the Sienna Limited without the Advanced Technology package. It does not have the dual view DVD screen, but it does have a nice big display screen (I believe 8 inches) that comes with a power fold feature that I did like. Perhaps the biggest feature missing on the Quest is the front and rear parking assistance which is standard on both the Sienna Limited and Odyssey Touring, but personally, I would prefer to add my own so that actually doesn’t bother me. The navigation was quick and intuitive to use. From what I could tell it blended both the Ody and Sienna’s downfalls into a great unit. I believe it is not dvd based like the Sienna but comes with both the joystick control from the Ody and the touchscreen from the Sienna.

So, for my final thoughts I have to say I was impressed. I liked the way it drove and while it won’t be for everyone, I don’t see it having any more or less problems than any other van on the market, including the 2011 Odyssey and the 2011 Sienna. I think it’s definitely worth considering if you mostly keep your seats up/in and don’t need to absolutely maximize your cargo capacity. Even if it doesn’t compete against the Odyssey or Sienna, it definitely is a strong contender against many SUVs’ and crossovers on the market.

Sorry for the long review, I hope you enjoyed it. If there are any questions, feel free to ask.
 

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Thank you for your review. I have very similar thoughts about the Quest as you do. I like the polarizing Quest styling and do not need the clever seating configurations of the Ody. IMHO, the Ody lightning looks just awful, no way the van wouldn't look better simply without it.

Why I am even looking at the Quest after owning 2 Odys:
  • Honda screwed me twice on transmissions (01, 06), and denied denied denied both times, treating me like absolute dirt, and my 2006 is headlong on it's way to a second TC failure. Now I can't buy another 5-speed from them, and will resent paying so much to get into the 6-speed, which I trust Honda did not screw up.
  • Lightning is damn near a dealbreaker for me, and I have very low priority on exterior styling, there is ugly, and then there is stupid. I also find the front of the Ody downright boring, loving my 2006 front with Mr. Grille, front of Quest looks very good to me.
  • Interior materials just getting worse, in my 2001, I literally pet the dash every time I drove it, the 2006 was a downgrade, and the 2011 interior is simply unworthy of anything $40k.
  • I do not need the whole range of Ody flexibility, I drive with back seats down 99% of time, never use the full height, never 8 seats
  • who shrunk my driver's seat and why?
  • Japanese v. Alabama built
  • Ultimately, would like to feel like I am getting a real upgrade on the 06 EX-L, and new Ody just not delivering
Why I can't imagine getting anything other than an Ody:
  • no matter if I like the Quest better, know it will cost more to own, Ody owns the value quotient
  • Quest will be harder to sell later
  • would rather avoid attention that will come with a rare vehicle like Quest
  • questclub.com, 'nuf said.
Other nitpicks
  • wheels on the Quest look tiny, Ody EX-L wheels look cheap cheap cheap and are hollow behind.
  • Nissan dropped ball on FE for the Quest
  • Honda needs the ivory interior back and to get color combos right (or expanded), the current beige is too light (and matched to doddy colors), the grey too bland, and the truffle, too er um, er um, indecisive (is it elegant or is it harcore). Love my 06 ivory on black.
Would like both vans for sure, but feeling ready for something new and needing to deny Honda for transmission woes, but at what cost...
 

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in my 2001, I literally pet the dash every time I drove it,...

:eek: No wonder your transmissions kept failing.....Your van felt violated and cheap.
 

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If you have kids, the LATCH set up is not going to be a selling point over the Ody. If you want to haul huge amounts of cargo with the seats folded/removed or carry 8 passengers, the Quest is also not going to be on the top of your list.
Yes, good to know that the latch setup issue has been confirmed by people like you and not just the typical magazines review


Now on to the test drive... When driving the Quest, I have to say it is incredibly smooth and very powerful. When getting on the freeway the salesman pointed out how the engine just smoothly sped up and slowed down with no real strain. I couldn’t even feel it shift.
CVT is the culprit, we were just talking about it in another thread. I guess that type of transmission is comfortable and aims to be efficient, but it makes it feel like a golf cart and it hasn't really shown big efficiencies on things like fuel economy in large cars (like the Quest itself)

I hope you enjoyed it.
Long and detailed write-up with good pics, thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, good to know that the latch setup issue has been confirmed by people like you and not just the typical magazines review
The setup was very similar to the Sienna's and 3rd gen Ody's, but the 3rd row latch position was on the passenger side, rather than in the middle. I actually think this is a better way of doing it because when its in the middle, it sort of takes up the whole seat and you are unable to collapse either side independently.

[*]Ultimately, would like to feel like I am getting a real upgrade on the 06 EX-L, and new Ody just not delivering
[*]wheels on the Quest look tiny, Ody EX-L wheels look cheap cheap cheap and are hollow behind.
Have you considered what model Quest you would get? I have found that the lower models have smaller looking wheels than the higher end models.

Here is an example, for me at least, the LE model (2nd photo) has better proportioned wheels...


Also, I forgot to mention the storage well was about 18 inches deep. That was one of the statistics that I meant to add, but got side tracked by the subwoofer, which I know is only an issue on the LE's. Also, to add to the subwoofer, Cliff, the salesman, suggested that Nissan should have mounted the two pieces of equipment on the sides of the well, rather than the floor. After thinking about it and talking it over with a friend of mine, I think that could possibly be done aftermarket. This would create a very deep center well with two shallower platforms on either side. I had originally asked if it could be removed, but I'd be willing to consider alternative options.
 

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RE: the wheels, I am looking at the LE and it's wheels looked very small in person. It makes no sense with what I am seeing in the picture, except you will notice that many of the photos have the wheel well very darkened. Take a hard look at the front pic of the LE and you will start to see that there is a lot of room in there. Add that to actually seeing the wheels from above rather than from roadkill view...

Nevertheless, the Ody not doing much better on the wheel front, not impressed with the Touring wheels, they are just so-so, and the EX wheels are just wrong.

In both cases, I am likely to turn the stock wheels into winter wheels and get my own wheels, but that likely means being stiffed with the stock tires if I use a different size.
 

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:eek: No wonder your transmissions kept failing.....Your van felt violated and cheap.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

WW, unlike yours that needs to attend AAA cause it drinks a little too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
RE: the wheels, I am looking at the LE and it's wheels looked very small in person. It makes no sense with what I am seeing in the picture, except you will notice that many of the photos have the wheel well very darkened. Take a hard look at the front pic of the LE and you will start to see that there is a lot of room in there. Add that to actually seeing the wheels from above rather than from roadkill view...

Nevertheless, the Ody not doing much better on the wheel front, not impressed with the Touring wheels, they are just so-so, and the EX wheels are just wrong.

In both cases, I am likely to turn the stock wheels into winter wheels and get my own wheels, but that likely means being stiffed with the stock tires if I use a different size.

So then, out of curiosity, what do you consider to be a good looking wheel. If you had to choose between the two EX wheels, the five spoke Touring wheel, and the PAX wheels offered on the 3rd gen Ody, which one would you like the most?
 

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What are the two EX wheels?

I have two problems with the current EX wheel... first, it's insubstantial, feel around it, it's hollowed out, seems slightly inboard and undersized. Secondly, it has a dirty finished look, rather than a bright finish. Overall, it just looks cheap for such a pricey vehicle. It doesn't look like the designers gave it much thought or tried to integrate into the look of the vehicle.

Touring wheels are just meh, considering it is an upgrade for this pricey trim. I have no specific complaint, just not particularly thrilled with it. Kind of looks truck/SUVish.

I like the non-Pax touring of the late Gen 3, and the earlier Gen3 Canadian touring wheels.
 
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