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Nissan’s Holiday Quest & What Vehicle Do You Drive?

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I am officially in the market for a new vehicle.

Actually, I didn’t even know I was looking until I was asked by Nissan to be a part of their #HolidayQuest campaign to test-drive their 2012 Nissan Quest. As my kids eagerly explored the minivan and I inhaled that glorious new-car smell while fiddling with the iPod connectivity, I knew it was out with the old (my 2003 Honda Pilot) and onto the new (vehicle TBD).

I was originally supposed to test-drive the Quest over the winter break and we planned a road-trip to Utah. But when a house fire caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to my parent’s home in Canada (including destroying their vehicles), we postponed our test-drive until early-January. As a side note, Quest had offered a $500 gift card to a charity of my choice and they generously donated that to my parents to help recover essential items until their home owner’s insurance kicked in.

The first thing I noticed about the Quest is the technology (something my older vehicle is acutely lacking).


  • Nissan Intelligent Key and Push Button Ignition–This admittedly took some getting used but in the end, I loved being able to unlock the doors, open the liftgate and start the engine without taking the key out of my purse. Tip: This can make you lazy. Remember to put the car in park BEFORE turning off the ignition, otherwise you will have a heart attack as your car starts going backwards on the hill.
  • Blind Spot Warning System– An indicator appears on the outside mirror when another vehicle is in your blind spot. Put your turn signal on and a warning chime alerts you.
  • RearView Monitor—For those of us who’ve ever backed into anything: This nifty screen lets you see what’s behind you when backing up.
  • One-touch power sliding doors–I think these should be a must for every mom who has her hands full.
  • The 7-seat Quest has killer storage space. Not only does the second row fold flat but so does the third. But unlike other minivans, instead of stowing seats, the cargo well behind the third row is a permanent place to put whatever you like.
  • Great control panel that includes the Nissan Navigation System, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and more.
  • LATCH–I can’t review a minivan without talking about the carseat situation. The LATCH system lets you easily secure LATCH-compatible child restraints in the second and third row without using a seat belt or a locking clip.
  • Cons:

  • The Quest has some very cool amenities but it didn’t go the extra mile with mind-blowing features. It was just a good, basic vehicle.
  • Quest is available in front-wheel drive only. This was tough for someone coming from an SUV.
  • The Exterior–I’m not a fan of the look of minivans. Quest overhauled it into a more boxy, less minivan-ish look, which I neither disliked or loved.

    Overall, we enjoyed the Quest and went on a few of our favorite local adventures, including hiking up North Table Mountain and skating at Evergreen Lake. Thanks to Quest for inviting me to be part of this campaign.

    What do you look for when you buy a new vehicle?

    Amber Johnson
    Author: Amber Johnson

    Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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    • comment avatar Becky January 18, 2012

      I drove a Quest years ago and it’s like you said–a nice, reliable car. No real bells and whistles but I’d rather have reliability over fancy. However, I thought they stopped making it?

    • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck January 18, 2012


      I’m not an expert in the Quest but I *believe* they didn’t make Quest last year to make some tweaks/improvements. Before test-driving mine, I watched some review videos about it and feedback was generally favorable.

    • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck January 18, 2012

      Also, it’s funny because I’d never driven a Nissan before and all of a sudden I started noticing them everywhere. My parent’s cars were destroyed in the fire and they actually test-drove and really liked the Nissan Murano. I’d like to check that out as well.

    • comment avatar Lana January 18, 2012

      Today Show just did a segment on great family-friendly cars.

      Love the sliding back seat element.

    • comment avatar Misty January 19, 2012

      Nissan Maxima!!! I’ve had a lot of cars and my husband is in the biz. The Maxima is the first car I actually like and want to keep!!!

    • comment avatar Kristine January 19, 2012

      We have three kiddos and love our non-mini-van vehicles! We have a Toyota Venza, and a Mercury Mountaineer with a third row of seats.

    • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck January 19, 2012

      Great recommendations!

    • comment avatar Jennifer January 19, 2012

      I’ll be curious to see what you get. I’m in the market too after a parking mishap that has left me without a front bumper since August.

    • comment avatar Barb January 20, 2012

      Ford Flex. Looks like an XL hamster mobile but dang it is a smooth ride and super comfy too.


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