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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Quick heads up for now, but was so disaffected by my test drive today, could not wait to share the pain.

Coming out of 2001 and 2006 Odysseys, I was certain that if this Quest was anything like the press for it stated, it was our next ride. Test drove the top LE trim today with intention to purchase if liked.

Had already been in one four previous times, and was very impressed with the interior and amenities, and with all controversy recognized, we liked the exterior styling. With only 2 older children, the seating and cargo were just fine for our needs, the Ody overkill.

Now hit the road today. Getting a decent driving position was quite easy, although the cockpit still presents more as something you are up against rather than sliding into.

Once moving, the Nissan was not even in a league with the Odyssey in so many ways it almost had me laughing at the salesman. Powertrain was very unimpressive, coarse and unresponsive (although I had no particular beef with the CVT). The handling was awful... on what I would consider pedestrian curves for the Ody, I almost landed in the salesman's lap several times. It felt like someone was trying to flip me out of bed, and I thought the tires were going to surrender and embarass me with the saleman. All along, this incredibly annoying shuddering came through the steering wheel, could not figure out what it was. Then on simple straight roads, the Quest pitched front and back and side to side, couldn't wait to get back to port. There was also an underlying stiffness in the ride at slow speeds, little harmonic jolts under the bigger pitches, it was just very strange. The Quest was at it's best with speed and a highway, where everything seemed to tighten up a bit. But the Ody reigns there too. Brakes were one notable strong point. Steering feel... yes, it is heavier than the new Ody, but it was a little, er um, fake or something, it just didn't feel right, the way it feels right in the 2006 Ody, linearity was off, center was nowhere to be found, etc. The light steering in the new Ody romps on the Quest up to about 20 mph.

Ultimately, I feel quite betrayed by the automotive press for not stating all this obviousness. And the fact that they picked on the Quest for the shifter blocking controls is a joke. OK, so you see half a button, but it doesn't block your hand at all, and it's very obvious what the buttons there are. A ridiculous concern, the shifter is just fine.

Visibility was okay, but it was very inconsistent as you travel the 360 view, which is oddly unsettling... seeing well, not so well, really well, not at all, ok, etc. Curiously, the space around my body was the same way... there was plenty of space, but it was very ununiform (too much space in one area, a little tighter in others, etc.) so instead of feeling enveloped by the cockpit, it felt like it wasn't shaped for a human body, but was simply big enough for one. I can't remember how the 2011 Ody felt that way, but my 2006 is like your favorite well stretched leather glove.

Out front, the Quest dash was a tad high, did not give that sedan stare down like the Ody offers. Still was able to aim the Quest easily through tight spaces easily enough. Side view mirrors were two stories high, but not sure that paid off in any way.

Nicest thing... this van was quiet, Bose stereo sounded good and customizable. Unfortunately, feeling shudders through the wheel and feeling the relatively coarse powertrain through the pedal sort of offset ear noise, it was just a different kind of "noise".

So, the envy ends, and only the Ody remains standing, and still not promising enough. It literally took less than 60 seconds to know that the Quest had no shot in the driveability department.

So who then will buy this van? I imagine all those driving compromises can't be much different than in other vans, Siennas etc. But why buy this over a Sienna, if you can't notice these things, probably won't notice a few extra hard panels either. Ultimately, Nissan should have made a dive at price-point, promising the luxury and unique look at a lower price. Wouldn't have sold me, but maybe someone out there.
 

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Like I said in my review of the Quest, there isn't a van out there that doesn't come without tradeoffs today. I still think that when you blend styling, functionality, luxuriousness, and everything else, the 3rd Gen Ody comes out on top. All the vans offered today have their specialties (Sienna-Technology, Ody-Handeling, T&C-Value, Quest-Luxury), but none managed to pull it all together the way the last Ody did.
 

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3rd Gen rocks it all...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Like I said in my review of the Quest, there isn't a van out there that doesn't come without tradeoffs today. I still think that when you blend styling, functionality, luxuriousness, and everything else, the 3rd Gen Ody comes out on top. All the vans offered today have their specialties (Sienna-Technology, Ody-Handeling, T&C-Value, Quest-Luxury), but none managed to pull it all together the way the last Ody did.
Sad thing is Honda didn't need to give up the luxury piece, wouldn't have required a small fortune to make a $40k vehicle feel more like one. Ultimately any van with an "Elite" badge ought to look a little different on the dash than one labelled EX.
 

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Sad thing is Honda didn't need to give up the luxury piece, wouldn't have required a small fortune to make a $40k vehicle feel more like one. Ultimately any van with an "Elite" badge ought to look a little different on the dash than one labelled EX.
Honda should have considered offering a wagon version of the Accord instead of the TSX, then made an Acura version van. ;D
 
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