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New York Auto Show: 2011 Nissan Quest A Minivan No More?

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2011 Nissan Quest sketch

2011 Nissan Quest sketch

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The 2011 Nissan Quest is on the move. This week at the 2010 New York Auto Show, the Japanese car company will show this sketch of the new Quest. But whether or not the new vehicle is a direct replacement for its current minivan, or a crossover vehicle more along the lines of the Ford Flex, remains to be seen.

Nissan promises the new Quest is "not just for kids," and says quality, reliability and mobility for families are the focus for the new vehicle. It adds "empty nesters" in the group, which makes us think the new Quest won't be as much a traditional, sliding-side-door minivan as it will be a passenger-car-like wagon similar to the Flex.

Nissan Forum Concept: official pics and details

Nissan Forum Concept: official pics and details

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There are other reasons. Nissan's showed the 2008 Forum concept car in the past, which had a vast, family-friendly interior--but a far-from-staid exterior.

Then there's Nissan's track record in the minivan class. The automaker's fielded an entry in the minivan class for nearly two decades. With the latest 2010 Nissan Quest, it has the packaging and flexibility to rival the likes of the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan--the class leader for features and interior functionality. However, the Quest never has been a strong seller. While the Chrysler minivans, the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna have held on to their piece of the shrinking minivan market, Nissan hasn't--and like Hyundai with its Entourage, it might be satisfied to move away from the conventional minivan format.

Whatever the final Quest entails, it's moving geographically, too. The current Quest has been built it alongside the Altima sedan, Titan pickup truck and Armada sport-ute at the Nissan plant in Mississippi. With sales slowing, Nissan's decided to move Quest production home to Japan and is converting the U.S. factory over to build light-duty commercial vehicles.

We'll find out more details tonight as we talk to Nissan at the world debut of the 2011 Juke crossover. Stay tuned.

2010 New York Auto Show

Bookmarks: Follow our New York Auto Show tag and this 2010 New York Auto Show page for updates

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