Good-bye Soccer Mom, hello Parent’s Vehicle. 
Nissan Canada is switching gears with their newly re-designed 2011 Quest. The focus shifting from a Soccer Mom’s mini van to a Parent’s Vehicle; this is a vehicle that now screams trendy, spacious, and sophisticated. 
The target audience for the classic mini van was always the stereotypical suburban mom chauffeuring kids to and from sports or other activities. It was the jeans, t-shirts and Keds (remember Keds?) stay-at-home-mom whose job it was to grocery shop and collect the kids. 
Times have changed, Nissan gets that. 
Forget “Ice Road Truckers”, being a parent is tough. Quest celebrates these challenging moments with a vehicle that makes this job just a little easier. With a permanent rear storage well, fold-flat seats, easy maneuverability, quiet and efficient driving, the Nissan Quest provides the innovations to make the impossible happen on a daily basis. Kind of like parents do. – Nissan Canada
Though focus has changed over generations, family still remains a top priority of Gen-X. Nissan Canada realizes that more than ever parents are sharing the role of primary caregiver; they telecommute more often, run home-based businesses and have a constant need to be accessible via text, mobile, or email. With that knowledge Nissan has re-designed the Nissan Quest keeping in mind the needs of this generation of mini van drivers. The vibe from this vehicle says, “Yes, we’re parents, but we still have style.” 
I never thought I would say that about a mini van. 
In fact, in my very first post here at UrbanMoms I blatantly said, “… Except for the mini van. It’s not so fun, but I challenge you to prove me wrong!“.

Nissan did just that. 

The all-new 2011 Nissan Quest, with pricing starting at $29, 998, comes in four models: S, SV, SL, and LE, each version increasing in awesomeness. ‘S’ being the basic option and LE being the fully-loaded option. But don’t be discouraged, the “basic option” models are not that basic anymore, people. 

[Side note: I remember my first car purchase, waaaay back in 2002 (Heh.); it was a basic model and came with a radio only. No CD or tape deck even. I can’t begin tell you how PO’d I was. Not even a tape deck to plugin my cassette converter for a DiscMan. Geez.]

intelligentkey.jpgThe Nissan Intelligent Key™ and Push Button Start 

Say good-bye to searching through pockets and purses for car keys! The Nissan Intelligent Key™ only requires the sensor be in proximity (or inside) to start this vehicle. Once the Intelligent Key™ is within the car, your foot is on the break and you press the Push Button Start, you’re off to the races. 
For the SL and LE models, easy entry means one-touch on the handle and all the doors will unlock and the vehicle will know how to adjust the seats for the driver based on which Intelligent Key is near the van. It means one push of a small button on the handle of the automatic sliding rear passenger door and you’re in. One touch, with any body part. Trust me, we tried. 
Power mirrors(which are HEATED), windows and door locks
Standard. What more could you ask for, really? (Well, besides a heated steering wheel.)
The SV model has heated seats included; upgrade to an SL model and the one-touch lift gate comes in real handy. 
The second and third rows fold flat for optimal storage space. For that long and awkward cargo, the centre console between the driver and front passenger is also removable. 
Again, for the SL and LE models, a little power assist for the third row seats. Since they are typically the ones folded most often, a button in the back provides power lift and lowering abilities. 
There is a storage well at the back for those smaller purchases we don’t want rolling around the back of the van (Like 2L pop bottles. How many times can they roll back and forth before they actually explode, I wonder?). 

Amazing Safety Features with Family in Mind
Not only has the exterior of the Quest been given a facelift, there are additional safety features which definitely deserve a mention. The Quest has ABS (Automatic Breaking System), VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control – traction control that senses vehicle direction and uses brakes, throttle and engine management to help maintain stability), TCS (traction control system), blah, blah, blah, right? All important acronyms that you should love, people. 

Cool safety features? 

Back-up camera and Blind Spot Warning System (available on LE models). The back-up camera provides a clear image of the rear of the vehicle and shows the vehicle’s path in relation to the direction the wheels are turned. The Blind Spot Warning System includes a small indicator light just inside the vehicle by the side rear view mirrors. When another vehicle has entered into the blind spot the light comes on, should you then indicate you intend to move into the lane it will beep signifying a lane change is unsafe. 

I tried it a couple times. On purpose. You know, for the review. 

There are just so many great options available in this van I could carry on forever:  Bluetooth Hands-free technology, DVD Entertainment System, dual moon roof, Bose audio system, XM satellite radio, navigation system.. the list goes on. 

Overall, this van, with all its bells and whistles, makes for a great family vehicle. Its easy access, spacious interior and smooth CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission, which means no jerking when the vehicle changes gears because there are no more gears, just pulleys and belts, which means no more spilled coffee while accelerating. See, that’s an acronym you will learn to love!) creates a comfortable atmosphere for all. 


Last week I was lucky enough to join a handful of journalists (them being the journalists, of course) on an all expenses paid trip to the stunning mountainside resort hotel, Hotel Quintessence, at Mont-Tremblant for a Nissan Quest preview event where we learned about and test drove the new 2011 Nissan Quest. 

* images courtesy of Nissan Canada
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