Toyota Quest: It's the cheaper Corolla

Wanted to buy a 2014 Toyota Corolla - the 11th version of the auto icon - but been scared off by the price? Well, the brand with a cowboy hat for its badge is introducing budget versions of the car - three 1.6-litre models ranging from R174 900 for the 'entry' unit through R197 900 for a Quest Plus to R198 900 for an auto box.

They'll be in showrooms from May 5 2014.

The normal Corolla - the new one, that is - according to the Toyota website, costs from R214 900 to R283 900 so you're looking at substantial savings. But then that's to be expected because, as Toyota SA's sales and marketing boss Glenn Crompton explains, you are getting a seven-year-old car.


“When a new model arrives," he said, "the previous car is usually consigned to the history books. Not so for the outgoing Toyota Corolla launched in 2007. Rather than phase out the 10th generation completely it’s been reinvented as the ultimate value proposition."

Which explains why the Quest, though technically a Corolla that's been phased out in the rest of the universe, has less of a lozenge shape and more of a boot.

Toyota SA used the same tactic with the hatchback Tazz which, according to Crompton, continued for 10 years after its parent model was discontinued everywhere else on Earth.

As already mentioned, there will be three models. Each will include an immobiliser and alarm, remote-controlled central locking, two front airbags, IsoFix child-seat anchors, aircon and rake/reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

The primary differences between the two trim levels are the wheels – alloy (instead of steel) wheel rims for the Plus along with body-coloured door releases and an audio system with radio/CD and a USB port and auxiliary jack.

The base model is wired for sound - the buyer must supply the audio unit and speakers.


The Quest will have the new Corolla 1.6 engine and front seats; Toyota says prices have been kept down by amortisation of the model, 'commonisation' of parts with the new Corolla and what the automaker calls "intelligent editing of features".

Like taking out the audio system... oh, and ditching the split/folding rear seats for a non-folding unit, using cheaper headlining and carpeting and deleting the overhead console, reading/map light and sun-visor vanity light and changing the cloth door inserts into textured vinyl.

Cosmetic changes include restyled head and tail lights, moving the turn indicators from the external mirrors to the wings (cheaper mirrors) and using a black grille.

The 1.6, 90kW/154Nm four-cylinder engine is the same as that used in the new Corolla, the gearbox a six-speed on the manual and four-speed on the auto. Acceleration (manual gearbox) to 100km/h takes 10.4sec and top speed is 192km/h. Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures will be confirmed closer to the launch.

Worried about stopping? The Quest has anti-lock disc brakes all round and emergency braking assistance.

So, once again, the...
  1.6 Quest - R174 900 (incl. VAT)
  1.6 Quest a/t - R198 900
  1.6 Quest Plus - R197 900

All units will be sold with a three-year or 100 000km warranty and three-year or 45 000km service plan.
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