REVIEW | The Toyota Corolla Quest is a fine car and friendly on the wallet too

• We review the Toyota Corolla Quest.

• The Quest forms part of a three-model Corolla family in South Africa.

• The Corolla Quest 1.8 Exclusive manual retails for R316 700.

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Earlier this year, Toyota launched the new Corolla Quest in South Africa. Right off the bat, the car is a marked improvement on the one it's replacing. It has several features to make it a hit among buyers and comes in at a competitive price.

Though sedans have become an afterthought in a world inclined towards SUVs and crossovers, the Corolla Quest makes good on its promise to be affordable, well-equipped vehicle. The line-up is priced from R260 000 - R327 300, with this 1.8 Exclusive manual coming in at R316 700. It is the top-spec model in the range, second only to the Exclusive automatic.

DRIVEN | Why Toyota has launched its new Corolla Quest with a huge price-cut on top models

Price is an essential factor for many buyers, especially in these trying times. And while the tag of almost R317 000 may still be too high for some, it is an undoubtedly good car that warrants consideration.

But why is the Corolla Quest such a good car? There are many answers to that question, so let's break it down.

Toyota Corolla Quest

2020 Toyota Corolla Quest (MotorPress)

Naturally aspirated engine

A single engine powers the Corolla Quest, being a 1.8-litre unit. The engine does without any form of forced induction and produces 103kW and 173Nm. Though the torque is available at 4000rpm, the engine feels adequately powered when the need to push on comes around.

The six-speed manual gearbox shifts over nicely and the clutch has a light touch to it. What is especially nice is that the car is not difficult to steer, and this creates a sense that you are driving something smaller and nimbler than a sedan.

Toyota claims a fuel return of 7.0-litre/100km, which should see you realise a range of 786km on its 55L fuel tank.

Toyota Corolla Quest

2020 Toyota Corolla Quest (MotorPress)

The practical side

An area the Corolla has always been successful at was its practicality. Whether it is the standard Corolla or the Corolla Quest, the car still proved to be popular among those who wanted a versatile car. At just over 4.6m in length, the Corolla Quest is endowed with the ideal platform to accommodate up to five passengers. And rear legroom is not to be scoffed at either.

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The boot is pretty spacious, too, with the Quest boasting a load volume capacity of 452L. On the Exclusive model, owners have the benefit of increasing the load volume, because the rear seats can fold flat. This adds to the practicality of the car and gives owners an extra bit of freedom when hauling luggage.

The Corolla Quest Exclusive is very well specified, as well. It boasts all-round electric windows, keyless entry and start, a multi-function steering wheel, leather upholstery, and a media system that's Bluetooth, AUX and USB compatible.

Toyota Corolla Quest

2020 Toyota Corolla Quest (MotorPress)

In summary

The new Corolla Quest uses the previous, eleventh-generation Corolla as the base from which it builds, but it has come into its own. By undercutting the Corolla and Corolla Hatch on price, the Quest is making several strong cases for itself.

Granted, the cabin is endowed with plastic panels, but it does not detract from how good the car is. Both the exterior and interior have unique characters, and Toyota South Africa should be lauded for producing such a #ProudlySA product.

The Toyota Corolla Quest 1.8 Exclusive manual retails for R316 700 and comes standard with a three-year/45 000km service plan and three-year/100 000km warranty.

Toyota Corolla Quest

2020 Toyota Corolla Quest (MotorPress)

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