I agree 100% with these comments - we have a 2004 Quest that was one of the first off the line, and I just left it at the dealer's yesterday because the transmission was slipping out of gear. At one point on a 100 mile drive yesterday, it actually dropped into Neutral.
I'm still awaiting word from the dealer as to what's wrong with the transmission, but we have a laundry list of bells and whistles that need addressing as well (lights popping out of the ceiling, etc).
All that being said, we absolutely love this vehicle and I still recommend it heartily to anyone who wants to buy one. Maybe the 2005's will be a better model because Nissan will have had a chance to work the kinks out.
Firstly, let me just say that I appreciate your honest opinions and reviews of this vehicle. But what I don't understand is how you guys can say this is a great van when there is a fundamental flaw with a core component, like the gearbox.
"It automatically slipped to Neutral" is simply not an acceptable flaw in a vehicle. I'm currently in the market for a minivan and was considering the Quest until I read your reviews. I have a family that includes a two year old and a one-month old. There is no way I will even consider this van given the potential risks associated with this defect.
Don't get me wrong. As an owner of a used 1997 PathFinder, I think Nissan is capable of making reliable/economical cars. I love my PathFinder and it has served me well. I'm not even sure I want to get rid of it when I get my minivan. But my minivan of choice won't include a Quest after reading your reviews.
My wife and I are really struggling with our decision on a minivan, and reading these reviews makes it tougher.
We narrowed our choice down to the 2005 Quest and the Odyssey, not really liking the Sienna. I brought my family of 5 to try both and we felt much more comfortable in the Quest. However, much as we have loved our previous Nissans (Sentra and Axxess) which were extremely reliable (156,000 on the Sentra with only an alternator and minor brake work), the reliability issues listed here and elsewhere online really worry me.
So I was almost sold on the Odyssey until I began reading people reporting that their Odysseys (as well as CR-Vs) were catching fire due to an oil issue.
So please, someone offer some wisdom. Are these problems common or uncommon? Are these reports from the few unfortunates, or will most buyers be similarly frustrated? Help!
I'm the guy that started this thread.
I believe the Honda oil fires are from poor service. Yea, placement of the oil filter may not be optimum, but… From what I've read, the techs forgot to remove the old gasket from the oil flange, before installing the new filter. Honda filters are also re-badged Fram products, now. Fram are not regarded as a high quality filter anymore.
Back to the Quest. I drove a left-over '04 with the 5spd auto a couple months ago. It drives MUCH better than the 4spd I have. Shifts are quick w/o any hesitation. Totally different animal! I also see that 2005 SL's get the 5spd, too…I shoulda waited for an ’05.
I do like the van. It’s entry and exit ease is great. Engine is great. Oil changes take me less than 10 minutes, and no special oil or filters are required (unlike some European imports). I noticed that Chrysler has moved their exhaust pipe to under the passenger side sliding door, to allow room for the sto-n-go seats…not very safe if you ask me! Toyota and Honda have good products too, but besides the transmission acting funny and crappy tires, the Quest has been trouble free.
Now, if Nissan would step up to the plate and admit they have a ”transmission flair" issue with the 2004 4spd transmission, my confidence and brand loyalty might be recaptured. Right now, I wonder if I’ll dump another $30k with a brand that is trying to tell me my transmission problems is all in my head.
My only other beef is with the crappy Goodyear tires. They are crapola. I have had several “force balances” and the thing still shakes like a 200k Yugo. BTW, the SE I drove with the 5spd had worse tire shake than my SL.
Transmission flair seems to go away when AC is on. (Maybe Nissan is looking into this?)
My sister has a 2005 Quest SL and it is excellent thus far. I've driven it many many times and there are no shakes or shimmies in it at all, and the tire noise some of U speak of wasn't there either. I've had it up to 85 MPH cruising and hot roding and it performs wonderfully. The 5 speed auto shifts flawlessly and is always in the right gear. I believe because it has that extra gear that it accelerates as fast as it does (it weighs around 4000 pounds). Throttle tip in is sharp off take off. When her husband went car shopping I was glad he got an 05 and not the 04 he was looking for because of the difference in the trans.
5000 miles later the transmission flair is getting worse. Xmission is wandering and acts up under normal driving.
I don't think I'll be chucking another $30k down on another Nissan anytime soon.
We are looking for a new van for our family and loved the 04 Nissan quest look. but after reading all the comments about this van I think maybe we will keep looking for something with hopefully less maintenance thanks.
To the previous poster. You won't buy anything if you base everything on what you read on these boards. Every vehicle out there has plenty of bad posts. I'm sure they are all legitimate grips, but you have to understand that usually those that comment on boards such as these are those that are disgruntled and having problems. There is nothing wrong with that either, I've posted on the Windstar site, my '97 had all of the same problems that were mentioned. We just purchased an '04 Quest, even after reading the posts, simply because we read similar posts on the Odyssey, Windstar, Sienna and the Montana. So you're gonna buy something, just drive the vehicle, they don't all have problems. Tell the dealer your concerns and see if they will let you keep the car overnight for further observalence. We had a Pontiac dealer do that for us, unfortunately for them it brought to light some things we didn't like about the Montana...
Original poster again.
Well, I am at 40k miles and a break-even point on value and pay-off. I have decided to dump this van for something more confidence inspiring. Probably NOT another Nissan!
The transmission never malfunctioned enough to warranty repairs (per dealer), but it, to this day, does not function properly.
The front rotors warped about every 10k miles.
The secondary electrical system (radio, DVD, windows, etc...) malfunctioned a couple times. That is they did NOT work. Letting the van rest overnight 'healed' the problem.
The power sliding door is tripping during closing more often (senses a problem and opens). There is no info in the manual on maintenance... probably a $150 dealer service call.
Oh well, I gave Nissan another try. It is sad thyy had such nice cars in the late 80's & 90's. I guess the Renault merger upset the apple cart a bit???
Sorry Nissan...You're not getting another $30k from me!