“The new Quest will continue to build on top of the outgoing model’s success”.
The Toyota brand has built itself an unshakable reputation in South Africa, it always gets almost everything right and it remains on top of the list of marques customers often look at when wanting to buy a car.
For the month of January alone, the local arm of the Japanese carmaker sold 3 927 vehicles whilst also claiming a stake of 40.1% in the Light Commercial Vehicles category for the tough month of January.
The company continues to grow massively in SA and according to Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors, total vehicle sales for the year 2020 will continue the downward trajectory that began in 2013 and settle at 515 000 at the end of the year.
Despite the wobbly economic structure of our country, the brand aims to achieve a competitive share in SA.
We recently attended the launch of the new Toyota Corolla Quest and before I get into details about the new offering, it is worth mentioning that the Corolla Quest registered 998 sales in January which is really impressive.
With that said, the new Quest will continue to build on top of the outgoing model’s success.
Built only for the South African market, the Toyota Quest is built on the 11th generation Corolla’s platform – more like what the folks at Volkswagen did with the Polo Vivo.
It is offered in three trim levels, Standard, Prestige and Exclusive.
In the looks stable, the Corolla Quest looks just awesome. My favourite part is the front fascia (the rear remains somehow unchanged) where the bumper has gone for some serious nip n tuck surgery.
The standard and Prestige models get a matte-black lower apron while the range-topping Exclusive models spawn a partial colour-coded lower apron. There are no fog lights and that adds a sexy appeal to the car.
At the rear, the number plate garnish has been changed from chrome to body colour.
Toyota SA did a very pleasing job when it comes to the interior of the Quest. I only had the chance to sample the Exclusive model at the launch I must say, the interior is well put.
There isn’t much to complain about, from seating position to the interior’s build quality; however, we feel like the range-topping trims came with SatNav as well as Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.
Our test units came fitted with black leather interior with silver contrast stitching. The standard version comes with Black and Blue combination textile while the Prestige gets a fabric and leather combination that is available in either blue/Black or Grey with red accents.
All models feature auto door-lock with remote operation, electric windows, air-conditioner, steering wheel switches, follow-me-home headlamps, radio/CD with USB, Aux and a minimum of four integrated speakers.
The Prestige models receive an upgrade to a touchscreen DVD audio system with six speakers, reverse camera, cruise control, leather steering wheel, combination fabric and leather seats plus the aforementioned 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Exclusive grade adds auto air-conditioner, push start with keyless entry, TFT-colour instrument cluster, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers and LED headlamps.
Toyota has ditched the 1.6-litre engine that powered the previous Corolla Quest for a much more powerful unit and according to Toyota SA, this engine provides cost and sourcing benefits.
The engine makes a notable 103 kW and 173 Nm of torque, those are small power outputs but get the job done. We put to the test the six-speed manual as well as the one fitted with a CVT gearbox and we can not fault them.
The 7l/100 km (for the manual) and 6.3l/100 km for the CVT are quite an attraction and will make buyers breathe a sigh of relief at the service station.
On the road, the Quest with the manual transmission delivers power at the right time in a smooth manner, however, it tends to run out of grunt at high speeds – something that requires constant changing of gears when overtaking.
We drove both cars through the bad Joburg traffic and the CVT gets our vote and will appeal mostly to people who want to a relaxed and engaging drive.
Safety remains top-notch. All Quest models come fitted with a Driver, Passenger and driver-knee airbags – while the Prestige and Exclusive models receive side airbags too.
Vehicle Stability Control with Hill Assist Control, ABS, EBD, Isofix. As standard.
- Beautifully designed sedan
- Pricing on point
- Powerful engine
- CVT transmission gets very noisy
- Lack of SATNav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
What I think
The Corolla Quest comes from far and has built a reputable name for itself. It is loved and should appeal to customers that put space and value for money on top of the list of things they want in a car.
Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Bolt are sorted for days.
Model Line-up and Pricing
- 1.8 Quest R249 900
- 1.8 Quest CVT R270 400
- 1.8 Quest Prestige R286 500
- 1.8 Quest Prestige CVT R296 800
- 1.8 Quest Exclusive R307 400
- 1.8 Quest Exclusive CVT R317 700
All Corolla Quests are sold with a 3-services/45 000 km service plan with intervals pegged at 12 months/15 000 km. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is included.
This article first appeared @whipdt