A Quest for the Best Vehicle Ever Owned

It was 1998 when we were down in Florida and just happened into a dealership in which my brother-in-law worked. He was gone on vacation but we saw a vehicle that really caught our eye. It was a mini van and I just knew it would be perfect for those outings with my small Brownie Girl Scout troop.

We were not really in the market for another vehicle but after taking this one for a test drive, I just had to have it! It was a used 1996 Nissan Quest XE with about 10,000 miles on it and it was quiet, comfortable and perfect. It had previously been a leased vehicle and was regularly maintained. The upper portion of the vehicle was maroon with silver-gray on the bottom. I am told that this was a 1st generation Quest.

We drove it off the lot and from that moment on it was true love. She was loaded and here is a list of the things that made her a great traveling vehicle:

Bucket Seats, Camper/Towing Package, Center Console, Tinted Glass, 151-hp 3.0-liter V6 engine, 15 Inch Wheels, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission with overdrive, Clock, Tachometer, Driver and Passenger Front Airbags, 7 Passenger Cloth Seating, Intermittent Windshield Wipers, Rear Window Wiper, AM/FM/Cassette Audio System with front and rear controls, Power Heated Mirrors, Keyless Entry System, Air Conditioning – Front and Rear, 4-Wheel ABS, Anti-Theft Alarm System, Cruise Control, Power Windows, Privacy Glass, Power Door Locks and Roof Rack

Betsy took us everywhere; she was with us in Florida, Utah, California, Minnesota and Ohio. We even took her to Canada and Mexico. She got her name in Utah when we were driving through the mountains. She didn’t like the hills and “pinged” all the way up, so I would gently tap her dashboard and say “Come on girl, come on Betsy, I know you can do it”. Betsy was not only a dream to drive, she was efficient and sometimes we would get 26 mpg on the highway. She would take a 600 mile trip before we had to fill ‘er up. We had plenty of opportunities to pull over and take a snooze in her on the long trips too. We loved how the middle bench seat was removable allowing the rear seat to slide up to the front for the kids to use, leaving a large cargo bay in back. She loved the cold weather and would heat up nice and toasty before we were at the corner of the street.

We put over 200,000 miles on Betsy and even put about $3,000 into her at 100,000 to ensure continued reliable service from my favorite vehicle. I can only remember one time when she broke down and that was at nearly 200,000 when an oil uptake tube wore out. And later in her life the rear air conditioning failed. She was the vehicle that we could always count on. We owned her for 12 years and parked her when fuel efficiency became more important to our budget than the comfort of an old friend. She stayed in Ohio when we moved to New Mexico and now lives with a family member that needed her more than we.

I have not driven the newest Quest, so I can only guess that it is an even a better ride than my Betsy. I loved that vehicle and sometimes miss her too, especially on the road trips. She was the best vehicle I ever owned.