MINIVAN OF THE YEAR
is on quite a product roll these days, lending credibility to chairman Carlos
Ghosn's claim that no company faces a problem so great that a good product (or
products) cannot solve it. Just look at the pioneering new Nissan Quest: one of
the first (if not THE first) truly cool minivans ever to grace our roads.
its grand, glassy exterior to its Jetson's inspired interior, the Quest redefines
what we expect minivans to look like. Its second-row seats can fold into the floor,
if specified, while the third row flops into the floor behind the rear wheels.
The five glass panels of the available full-length Skyview roof could single-handedly
reinvent the family road trip, as could the optional twin-screen DVD entertainment
system that folds down from the roof in the second and third rows. Add to all
that the inherent zip of Nissan's heralded 3.5-liter V-6, that produces some 240
hp, and you have a minivan that is as fast as it looks.
The 2004 Toyota Sienna is
slick, swift, capable and clever. Significantly larger than the outgoing Sienna,
the new Sienna incorporates a Lexus-like interior with countless clever packaging
solutions to satisfy virtually every conceivable need your family could come up
with. And built with Toyota's legendary assembly know-how, it promises to withstand
wear and tear with the greatest of ease.
Gone with the wind is Ford's outgoing Windstar minivan, replaced
by the 2004 Ford Freestar. Now significantly updated both inside and out, the
Ford Freestar is the best Ford minivan to date, with a torquey new optional V-6
engine and a stylish new interior.
OUR NISSAN QUEST ROAD TEST REVIEW]