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Nissan Quest
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Overall: It’s still hanging in there, which at least pleases the folks requiring room to spare for people and their gear.

Drivetrain: A 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is the only choice, hooked to Nissan’s continuously variable transmission.

It’s surprising how market forces have conspired against minivans, even though they are without question the ideal solution for whomever or whatever requires transporting across town or across the continent. When the current-generation Quest arrived for the 2011 model year, it appeared that Nissan’s designers had thought this one through pretty carefully. They created a solid cabin layout, impressive storage capacity and a one-touch unlock feature so you don’t have to fumble around for the key fob when you have armloads of groceries or kids. The Quest begins with the Maxima/Altima/Murano-based platform, then adds a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that drives the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. The design blends several seemingly contrasting bodylines with blacked-out privacy glass that wraps around the vehicle in a continuous band. This certainly gives the Quest a long, low and lean appearance, especially with the 18-inch wheels found on the higher trim levels (16-inchers are standard). The interior’s most noticeable feature is the center-stack-mounted shift lever that still leaves a pass-through for drivers to quickly move to the passenger side if needed. Second-row passengers are treated to high-back bucket seats with a center console and an optional 11-inch video screen. For occasional use, a standard three-person third-row bench folds flat to make cargo loading and unloading a little easier. Base Quest “S” equipment includes the usual assortment of power features plus air conditioning, standard second-row power windows and a five-inch display screen for the audio system. The remaining trims — SV, SL and Platinum — add more equipment, of course, with the Platinum receiving the full load of leather, 12-speaker Bose-brand audio system, DVD entertainment with two sets of wireless headphones, blind-spot warning, bright high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps and dual moonroofs. An around-view monitor (also standard) shows a 360-degree view of what’s going on around the vehicle.