2011 Nissan Quest Styling

7.0
Styling
There's no mistaking the Quest's smaller, taller packaging. It drops the droopy shoulders of the old American-made version, and goes crisp and angular, early and often. The new Nissan family face pairs acute and obtuse angles, and ends up looking like the new Ford Focus from some views. The Quest’s big shoulders rise under darkened glass behind the front doors, and the blacked-out side pillars lend the glass a floating appearance. The Ford Flex plays the same visual tricks; the Quest apes the Flex's big chrome trim around the glass, too. Big taillamps stud the Quest’s tail, and are faired for aerodynamics. 

Inside, the Quest doesn’t stray as far from the minivan norm. There’s a wide span of woodgrain trim across the dash. It’s not too objectionable, but the shiny gray plastic surrounding the utilitarian-looking climate and audio controls doesn’t match it well. The transmission lever lines up vertically on the center stack, and it blocks the driver's view of some knobs and buttons.

Atop these controls, Nissan parks an LCD screen slots. The screen is offered on mid-level models, where it’s a simpler 4.3-inch LCD. On top models the screen grows to 8 inches and incorporates more audio and navigation controls. A deck of buttons sits at the screens’ feet, piano-key style. If you're not accustomed to playing, you'll wish you'd studied, as you figure out the Quest's audio controls.

The un-minivan? Not quite, but the 2011 Nissan Quest nearly succeeds at turning the family box into a hip piece of design.

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