Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,500 – $21,000*

2004 Nissan Quest

2004 Nissan Quest

2004 Nissan Quest

  • Passenger room
  • Control layout

Quest gives up a little too much function in its quest to be stylish. It also lags the top-rated minivans for refinement and workmanship, and gets quite pricey with options. But it does carry seven in reasonable comfort, and delivers the expected safety and convenience features.


Redesigned for 2004, Quest had the longest wheelbase and overall length of any minivan. The original Quest, offered from 1993-2001, was a clone of the Mercury Villager and among the smallest minivans. The new Quest was sold only as a Nissan and came in S, SL, and SE models. All used a 240-hp V6 and automatic transmission. S and SL had a 4-speed automatic and 16-inch wheels, the SE a 5 speed and 17s. All seated seven with the available Seat Package, and had dual sliding side doors. Standard were ABS, traction control, tire-pressure monitor, and curtain side airbags for all three seating rows. Front side airbags and an antiskid system were available. A seven-passenger seating package included 2nd-row bucket seats that folded toward the floor and a 3rd-row bench that folded into the floor. With those seats folded, Nissan claimed a 4×8 sheet of plywood would lie flat on the floor. Available features included a full-length overhead console with air vents and reading lights, Nissan’s Skyview roof (four overhead glass roof panels), rear-obstacle detection, and DVD entertainment with one or two screens. Also offered were power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, power seat/pedal/mirror memory, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a navigation system.

Yearly Updates

2005 Quest
A new base model is added to the lineup. All model names now included 3.5 in their names. The new 3.5 joined the 3.5S, 3.5SL, and S.5SE.
2006 Quest
A rearview camera and run-flat tires are newly available.
2007 Quest
A revamped interior and freshened front and rear styling highlighted 2007 for Nissan’s minivan. For ’07, the speedometer and tachometer were relocated from the middle of the dashboard to in front of the driver. The 3rd-row bench seat has been redesigned, and additional sound insulation installed.
2008 Quest
The 2008 Nissan Quest was largely unchanged.
2009 Quest
Run-flat tires were no longer offered, but otherwise, the 2009 Nissan Quest was largely unchanged.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A 240-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is the only engine to power this generation Quest. Two transmissions were available, however. A 4-speed automatic was found in 3.5 and 3,5S models, while a 5-speed automatic came in 3.5SE and 3.5SL versions.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 242
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic

Road Test

Quest is among the faster minivans, with fine power off the line, good merging and passing muscle.

Fuel economy is also impressive for the class, with test Quests averaging between 17.9 and 18.4 mpg.

Quests absorb most bumps pretty well, but can pitch and bound over big moguls. The 3.5 SE’s 17-inch tires ride more harshly over sharp ridges and ruts than the other models’ 16s. No opportunity to test with the available run-flat tires.

Quest is among the larger minivans, so it’s less car like to drive than some rivals, especially in tight spots. On the upside, steering is responsive and natural in feel, and Quest corners with good grip, modest body lean.

Inside, there’s little undue road rumble, and the engine is no louder than most rival V6s, but it does sound coarse in rapid acceleration.

The dashboard sacrifices too much function for the sake of avant-garde styling. Main gauges are atop center of dashboard. The design takes getting used to, and makes small warning lights hard to see. Also odd is the placement of audio and climate controls on nearly horizontal surface atop a semicircular center-console column. They’re easy to reach, but many markings are too small to decipher at a glance. The available navigation system absorbs no audio or climate functions–a big plus. Interior materials a mix of many colors and textures; most are attractive, but some look cut-rate.

Up front, tall folks may need more seat travel, but they get plenty of headroom. All models have a height-adjustable driver seat and adjustable lumbar support. Adjustable pedals are a boon for shorter drivers. The dash top reflects badly in the windshield, while 3rd-row headrests block the view aft. Visibility is good otherwise.

There’s adult-sized room in the 2nd and 3rd rows. Wide door openings ease entry/exit for 3rd row passengers, as do tilt-forward 2nd-row seats. Second-row seats slide fore/aft about 3 inches to increase 3rd-row room. The available Skyview roof, dual-screen entertainment system, and overhead console are all nice touches.


Model Tested: 2005 Nissan Quest 3.5SL

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 4


Controls/Materials - 4
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 10


Value - 5

Total: 58


4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
124.0 204.1 77.6 71.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
148.7 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
42.0 41.7 41.7 41.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Quest 4-door van


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The A/C may quit working due to a refrigerant leak caused by the stabilizer bar rubbing the A/C refrigerant lines. (2004-05)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may start fine in warm weather, but may be hard to start in cold weather due to faulty camshaft position sensors. (2004)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may not restart after a short trip (less than 10 minutes) in very cold weather (less than 10 degrees F), requiring replacement of the power distribution module. (2004)
Cold-starting problems
Description: In very cold weather (10 degrees F or below) following a cold soak, the starter may not work after a short trip requiring replacement of the intelligent power distribution module. (2004-06)
Engine noise
Description: Strange noises when the engine is warm and idling may be due to ineffective fuel line dampers. (2002-07)
Engine noise
Description: Strange noises when the engine is warm and idling may be due to ineffective fuel line dampers. (2002-07)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leak at the oil cooler adapter (oil filter adapter) due to bad gasket. (2004-06)
Description: Water leaks from the sun roof and seams, so holes and corners must be resealed. (2004-06)
Timing belt
Description: A buzzing or whining sound from the front of the 4.0L V6 engine is likely due to the timing chain(s) which should be replaced along with its tensioner(s). (2004-07)
Vehicle noise
Description: A buzzing or whining sound from the front of the 4.0L V6 engine is likely due to the timing chain(s) which should be replaced along with its tensioner(s). (2004-07)
Description: The pop-out vent windows may rattle and/or close by themselves requiring replacement of the window latches. (2004-06)
Description: The power windows may quit working if the battery is disconnected or if the window fuse blows requiring reprogramming the windows. (2004-08)
Description: The auto-up feature may not work if the battery was disconnected or the power window is cycled numerous times without going fully up or down and must be reinitialized. (2007-09)
Description: The courtesy lights keep falling out of the headliner above the second and third row seats. (2004-07)
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission may go into limp home mode (3rd gear only) after starting the engine, but work fine after restarting due to a problem with the transmission control module. (2004-05)
Transmission problems
Description: Harsh shifts between first and second may be due to poor electrical contact at the line pressure solenoid, requiring a solder repair or solenoid replacement. (2004)
Transmission problems
Description: Low power and/or reverting to limp-home mode (third gear only) may occur unless the transmission control module has been replaced with an improved unit. (2004-05)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light will come on due to misfiring cylinder(s) caused by faulty fuel injectors. (2004)

Recall History

2004-05 Quest
Description: A faulty 3rd-row seat bracket could break, leading to injury. A replacement bracket was installed by dealers.
2004-06 Quest
Description: Mechanism for 2nd-row seat adjust could pinch finger(s) of operators. A replacement mechanism was installed by dealers.
Description: During production, a select number of vehicles underwent an offline inspection at the assembly plant where a bolt in the front suspension assembly was removed. On some of these vehicles, it is possible that this bolt may not have been tightened to specification when it was reinstalled. Dealers will replace the attachment bolts and tighten them to the specified value.
2008 Quest with manual-adjustment front seats
Description: The manual seat-adjustment hardware may not fully engage when adjusted, increasing risk of injury in a crash. Dealers will inspect the seat track assembly on the driver and front-passenger seats and replace the entire seat assembly.
Description: The brake pedal pivot pin end was not spin-formed to specification during the manufacturing process of the brake pedal assembly. The pivot pin could slide and cause the brake pedal to partially disengage from the brake pedal bracket. The driver will experience unusual and noticeable looseness in the pedal and a reduction in braking force increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect to see if the pivot pin had been formed properly and will replace the brake pedal assembly if necessary free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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