Suburban Dad: Taking My Daughter to College in a 2012 Nissan Quest

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

It is a rite of passage for many families: Take your child to college. For our daughter, it meant a 1,500-mile journey from the suburbs of Chicago to the U.S. state of New York. Support us on this trip was the 2012 Nissan Quest minivan. Since I was recently in the Ford Flex for our summer vacation, this gave me a great opportunity to compare and two different types of family hauler, crossover against minivan. Here's what we found.

By the numbers
On the way there: 713 miles

Driving time: 11 hours 40 minutes Leg mpg: 22.8
On the way back: 633.6 miles (because we have relatives in the area, we started our return journey 80 miles closer to home)

Driving time: Leg 10 hours mpg: 21.6
Full speed: 1582 miles (including miles during the three days that we were broken in upstate New York)

How the Quest Held Up

If the Quest competed in our Ultimate Minivan Shootout, one of the best scores was it was for its comfortable seats. This is perhaps his greatest strength. Even after 13 hours of driving, my back did not hurt, and I was not at all unpleasant. While I'm a big fan of Flex seats, gave the Quest is a run for their money. Where the Flex seats envelop you more, the quest is supportive but not stiff, and it's a winning combination.

Also in the second row, where the college teenager and her grandmother sat outbound for the trip, there were few complaints about space or comfort.

Loading the Quest was OK, but it has a fairly high load floor. Could be one of the van of the benefits is, however, that reduced even in the third row, it's still impressive floor-space, which is great for things like toiletries and some loose items, which crushed or get projectiles in the cargo area was . Even with several milk crates of goods, a couple of suitcases and even a body pillow, there was still plenty of vision from the rear window for me.
Unloading the van when we arrived on campus simply, and this is where the higher load floor actually helpful because we push out their things and leave them down in the huge wheeled bins provided for in their stuff upstairs Cart leave.

When it comes to power, I'm always worried when I drove a minivan or a big car with four adults and a few hundred pounds of stuff am. Too often you feel like pulling the car and not be able to keep. The Quest, but moved very much – even more than the Flex I went earlier this summer. Well, it was not the race car that a Flex with EcoBoost engine has to be proven, but it was amazing and very helpful in sharing Midwestern highways.

The Quest had much less engine noise in the cabin as I drove in the Flex. Wind noise and road noise were about the same.

Styling is a personal decision, but I am coming to the view that I care less -. Much less these days – about exterior design, if I enjoy the ride Cars like the Infiniti QX56, which I think is ugly runs, great. The Quest is a little unconventional for me, but considering all its positive attributes, I can overlook its appearance.

The navigation dilemma
Well, as the Flex, I was astounded and off the navigation system in the quest checked, although it is not worried as the MyFord Touch system. My biggest problem was the chain of interactions:

  • Select the destination
  • Select the search location-near-your-option and the opportunity on behalf
  • In "Target"
  • First on the list? The goal in the Bronx, 194 miles away.

Can see it turned out, the system gave me all the goals in my region (which includes several states), and then literacy them place names (as they are all the same store name, target). Well, since I started the process with the words "in my area", then it should be sort from the nearest town to the farthest place, not by store name. It is illogical, and it's frustrating.


On the way back we were several hundred pounds lighter, but we actually get worse mileage than we had on the way there. Been a couple of things at work be:

  • On the way back, we had less traffic, so I have the cruise control far more frequently, and this may have contributed to the difference.
  • We had a higher average speed on the way home, and that certainly helped.

All in all we could my daughter moved with little effort and almost no tears. We need to go back in May, and see how we cut it.