Forget about calling it an appliance, the new Toyota Corolla family is everything, and more

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• Three models make up the Toyota Corolla range

• Each derivative has its own engine(s)

• The Corolla hatch won the 2020 COTY 'Family Car' category

Whether you're a fan of the brand or you loathe them, its product upturn in the last 18 months has been impressive. And I'm mainly referring to its Corolla range.

In 2019, the automaker launched its new Corolla hatchback, followed in 2020 by the Corolla Quest and Corolla sedan. All three cars are new, though some might disagree and say that the Quest is a rebadged eleventh-generation Corolla.

Nevertheless, there is enough in the Corolla arsenal to suggest otherwise, and now, the range is perhaps at its most comprehensive. Currently in its twelfth generation and millions of units sold, the Toyota Corolla is ready for the next phase.


Do you own an older-generation Corolla? Please email us your stories and photos.

toyota corolla quest

2020 Toyota Corolla Quest. Image: MotorPress

Appliance? Where?

In some circles it is joked that a Toyota is like an appliance: You only buy it because 1) you need it and 2) it's reliable. Though it is a harsh judgement, you can't disagree with the proven reliability Toyota vehicles come with. The automaker goes to great lengths to ensure that its cars are of the highest possible standard and that they can withstand the test of time - provided the owner gives the necessary care to the car.

But when the Corolla hatch was launched last year, it was a big departure from design ethos we've come to expect from Toyota. Sharp lines and an edgy design were the main talking points, and so too the interior and engine. For the first time, Toyota used a turbocharged motor in its Corolla - a 1.2-litre that produces 85kW and 185Nm.

REVIEW: Toyota Corolla Hatch XR - A hit without a shadow of a doubt

The hatch is immediately in prime position to go up against the Volkswagen Golf, Opel Astra, and Renault Megane. And when you factor in the non-appliance design and Toyota's reputability, suddenly the Corolla hatch looks like a winner.

Oh, while on the topic of winners, the Corolla hatch was named the 2020 Car of the Year winner in the 'Family Car' category.

toyota,corolla

2020 Toyota Corolla hatch. Image: Warren Wilson

The two sedans

Both the Corolla Quest and Corolla sedan were launched in 2020, with the Quest arriving in January and the sedan a few months later. Aren't they the same vehicle? That's a resounding no.

While the Quest is based on the previous-generation Corolla, it has been overhauled to be new and fresh. The package is so different from that of the Corolla, that one has to stand back and applaud Toyota for catering to two different audiences. 

READ: Toyota launches new Corolla in SA - Why it took so long for the car to be introduced

Both cars are also fitted with their own engines, but Toyota's six-speed manual and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) are found in both. The ride quality each car conjures is unique to it, and buyers of either car will not feel that they've been duped.

For Toyota to come out and bring three formidable versions of its Corolla to market is impressive, especially knowing each car has a clear role to play. Forget about calling the Toyota Corolla an appliance - these cars are leading the way.

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2020 Toyota Corolla sedan. Image: MotorPress

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