CHICAGO -- Nissan officials admit that the interior of the current Quest minivan was so radical it turned off many potential customers.
"We made a little mistake and decided we needed to attack it immediately," says Carla Bailo, director of vehicle program management for the vehicle.
The result is the revamped 2007 Quest. Designers have moved the instruments from the center of the instrument panel to the more conventional location in front of the driver.
The third row of seats has headrests that fold automatically so the seats can be stowed easily. The headrests on the current model had to be removed and put into a bag to get them out of sight. The rear-seat climate controls, located in the instrument panel on the current model, are overhead in the new one.
"This was the largest mid-cycle investment in Nissan's history," says Brad Bradshaw, vice president and general manager of Nissan Division.
Dealer Fred Vargason, owner of Nissan of St. Charles, Ill., came to the Chicago Auto Show to see the new Quest, and he liked what he saw.
"The instrument panel configuration is 100 percent better than last year," he said.
The 2007 Quest will go on sale in June. Prices haven't been decided, but Bradshaw says they should be close to the $24,000-to-$33,000 range of the current Quest. Nissan sold 40,357 Quests last year in the United States.
Says Bradshaw, "We've got to do better than that."
You may e-mail Bradford Wernle at [email protected]