Just the Facts:
- Nissan's redesigned minivan is due in U.S. showrooms in early 2011.
- The Quest gets a full sheet metal overhaul and interior upgrade, including a 5-inch increase in width.
- Nissan's 3.7-liter VQ V6 will produce 300 horsepower.
FRANKLIN, Tennessee - Nissan has released a teaser shot of its redesigned Quest minivan, which is due to reach U.S. showrooms in early 2011.
Based on the redesigned Nissan El Grand minivan already on sale in Japan, the next-generation Quest gets a full sheet-metal overhaul and interior upgrade. Although it refers to the redesigned minivan as "a new paradigm in family mobility," Nissan says it is aiming the new model both at families and older empty-nesters.
This will be the first time the Quest isn't built in America, as production has switched to Nissan's Shatai plant in Japan where the fourth-generation El Grand is already being produced. Power will come from the same 3.7-liter VQ V6 that powers nearly every other Nissan, with output in the 300 horsepower range. Front-wheel drive will be standard, and we are hearing rumors of an all-wheel-drive option.
But don't think this is just a rebadged El Grand. To make the van more in line with American needs and tastes, Nissan has added a full 5 inches to the vehicle's width. This is to give the people mover more room, but also to add high-speed stability and avoid the extreme tall and skinny look that is very common on Japanese market vans and trucks.
Another rumor is that there will be an all-wheel-drive-only Infiniti version of the van released later in 2011, which would give Nissan's luxury division its first minivan. This isn't that far-fetched. In Japan the El Grand is considered a luxury vehicle, and it would give Infiniti an extra-large people mover alongside the new QX56 sport-utility, which is smaller than its predecessor. Plus, it is built in Japan, and Infiniti has said that all of its vehicles will be built in Japan to ensure quality.
Nissan will release full details on the new Quest this fall, with its debut set for the Los Angeles auto show in November. Sales will start in December or January.