First generation (1993-1998)
The Nissan Quest was a new model made by Nissan to compete in the minivan segment. The Quest was a successor to the Axxess, which was sold in the United States in 1990 only and in Canada from 1990-1995. It also replaced the rear-wheel drive Vanette, also discontinued in 1990. The Quest was initially powered by Nissan's 3.0 L VG30E SOHC engine that made 151 hp and 182 ft·lb. Ford required that Nissan make some design changes to the VG30E before they would agree to use it in the Villager and Quest. One of the requirements from Ford was that the engine was to be modified to become a non-interference or free-running engine. (Thus if the timing belt breaks, there would be no damage to the valves). Other changes included the addition of an oil level sensor and relocating the oil filter assembly for better access. The Quest was available as XE or GXE models. Because of manufacturing issues, Nissan had an arrangement for Ford to assemble the minivan in North America, and in turn they were allowed to rebadge it and sell it under the Mercury brand as the Villager. Many of the interior parts, including the radio, heater controls and power windows controls were adapted from Ford, and were similar to the Ford Aerostar. This generation of the Quest minivan was built in Avon Lake, Ohio, where the Villager was also built. The van shared the modified version of the VG30E from the U11, and early J30 Maximas, as well as the 4-speed automatic transmission from the Maxima.
The Quest is distinguishable from the Mercury Villager by a grille and headlights that are slightly shorter top to bottom than those on the Villager.
Seating was for 7, with a removable 2-seater bench in the middle, allowing the third row bench of 3 seats to slide up (either folded up for more room or down for passengers) behind the front for more rear cargo room. 1996 saw the introduction of changes to the front and rear fascias, as well as headlights and tail lamps. 1996 was also the first year for the driver's side airbag- which eliminated the motorized shoulder belts.