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The new Toyota Corolla Quest Reviewed

Toyota South Africa Motors has launched the new Corolla Quest, a car that is based on the 11th generationCorolla. This is not a new way of doing thing

By Thami Masemola on 04 Feb 2020

Toyota South Africa Motors
has launched the new Corolla Quest, a car that is based on the 11th generation Corolla. This is not a new way of doing things, as the previous Quest was also based on the 10th generation Corolla. The new Corolla Quest though, is quite different in a number of ways, as I found out during the product presentation and drive around Gauteng. It will be available in dealerships from March.

Firstly, there have been actual developments around the Corolla Quest, simply because the car is being produced exclusively at Toyota’s plant, Prospecton in Durban. No other country is producing the car and in fact, Toyota Japan is in full support of the project. There is great enthusiasm and plans to sell good numbers. The previous-generation Corolla Quest sold quite well, averaging just under 900 units per month over its 6 year lifespan. And no, it was not all Uber. That app only takes less than 20% of Corolla Quest sales.

That the Corolla Quest is based on the outgoing Corolla sedan means that it already has a strong foundation to build on, and while some people have asked if it is a down-specced version, the truth is that it is not. While it takes on a similar front end look, the new car has a different grille. Three trim levels have been offered; Standard, Prestige and Exclusive. Each comes with its own version of the front grille and a long list of standard features like the common 1.8-litre naturally aspirated engine, LED daytime running lights, driver and passenger airbags, adjustable steering wheel, USB port and others.

As the trim levels go up, so does the specification. The Prestige and Exclusive for instance, also have rear reversing cameras, cruise control, 6 sound speakers,16-inch alloy wheels (15-inch steel is in the Standard), and others. The Exclusive adds things like LED headlights, 60:40 rear seats split, and automatic air conditioning among others. So it is clear how well-specced these cars are from the base all up to the Exclusive. This is definitely no “stripped-downCorolla. Riding in the Corolla Quest is like riding in any normal Corolla. It has a quiet cabin, comfortable seats and a really fun steering wheel.

The 1.8-litre was another positive development as a replacement for the old 1.6-litre. It produces 103kW of power at 6 400rpm and maximum torque of 173Nm at 4 000rpm, the exact same one found in the Corolla. Customers will be able to choose between either a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission. I drove both versions and was particularly impressed by the CVT, which did not behave like a traditional CVT, but more like a regular, smooth automatic. I would definitely recommend it for people who live in high-traffic areas like Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town. Toyota claims a 0 – 100km/h sprint time of 9.8 seconds for the manuals and 10.2 seconds for the CVTs. Top speeds are 200km/h for the manuals, while the CVTs stop accelerating at 195km/h. Despite all that, the CVT is said to return an average fuel consumption figure of 6.3 litres per 100km, while the manual returns 7 litres per 100km.

Corolla Quest is aiming to buck the SUV trend by providing customers with the option of a large, well-priced family sedan, packed with features. The new car will not be replacing the Corolla sedan, of which a brand new model is almost in Mzansi. It will be a third model in the Corolla range that includes the hatch as well.

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