Sam says it conquered the Quest
There was very little on which I could critique the Corolla Quest. Whether it was the power, fuel economy, interior luxury or the exterior design, everything was up to standard and often more than above standard. Toyota seems to have conquered the Quest in this segment.
The tested vehicle was the Exclusive derivative which means that it had a bit more than the other two derivatives. I do not, however, doubt that the standard Corolla Quest offers just as value-for-money and luxury at the same time.
The best way to describe the drive of the Corolla Quest is one of comfort. With a 1.8L engine, gaining speed was a steady but easy task while maintaining speed up hills and overtaking other vehicles was something that the Quest seldom struggled with. The handling and smoothness of the drive was so excellent I subconsciously expected a turbo to be standard, and sometimes it would not have gone amiss, but overall a very comfortable car to drive.
The 1.8L engine was introduced to Toyota models across the range, as opposed to the previous 1.6L, including the Corolla Quest. It now has a peak power output of 103 kW and the torque reaches 173 Nm at 4000rpm. Not only is the torque higher but is produced 1200rpm earlier.
The tested vehicle had a 6-speed CVT auto but the Quest is also available in 6-speed manual. The noise that often comes with a CVT was not noticeable unless you drive your vehicles roughly (or make use of the sport option continuously).
Fuel consumption is claimed at an improved 6.3L/100km. My consumption hovered around the 7.2L/100km mark which is quite good for this vehicle.
The Corolla Quest has one of the best exterior designs that a Corolla has had in some time. It is the designed used for the 11th-generation Corolla Sedan. Even I, who is not that fond of sedans, thought that the design brings the car into the present so well that I think it is a very sleek looking car. There are also upgrades to the headlights trim and radiator grille.
The majority of the upgrades can be seen in the front of the vehicle. In particular, the upgrades are centred around the bumper depending on what derivative you select. The Excusive featured partial colour coding.
There was a definite feel of luxury once you are inside the Corolla Quest. The main reason for this was that the Exclusive had comfortable and well-shaped leather seats with silver stitching which also adds an air of elegance to the interior.
It almost seems redundant to mention the space in the boot. It is one of the reasons that Uber drivers favour the Corolla range. Yet, it seems almost amazing that there is such a large boot when from the exterior it does not seem that large and from the inside, rear passengers are not cramped. But do not let this fool you, there is 452 litres of boot space with a 60:40 split for bigger items.
No spec was neglected in the Exclusive derivative. There were rain-sensing windscreen wipers, rear camera, keyless access and climate control to name a few.
What I did miss was Android Auto or Apple CarPlay functionality. Compatibility with these apps helps improve the infotainment system tenfold. As this was the only item the car was missing, however, it is definitely no reason to dismiss this car.
Safety has been given an upgrade too. There are driver, passenger and driver-knee airbags across the range while the Prestige and Exclusive models have side airbags too. There is also vehicle stability control (VSC) with hill assist control (HAC), ABS, EBD, Isofix, LED daytime running lights and rear fog lights as standard across the board.
The bonus to everything the Corolla Quest has to offer is that various measures have been taken to create a C-segment car that falls into the B-Segment price range. The cost of the vehicle ranges between R249 900 and R317 700.
Will it retain its dominance in the market? For those in need of a sedan, the Toyota Corolla Quest likely will, as it presents one of the best options in the market. If you are on a budget, it becomes even more enticing because unless you knew an effort was made to keep the price low, it is not noticeable at all.
Good to know
Engine: 1.6L engine
Transmission: 6-speed CVT (manual available)
Power: 103 kW
Torque: 173 Nm
Fuel consumption: 6.3L/100km
Price: starting from R249 900
Warranties and service plan: 3-year/100 000 km warranty and 3-services/45 000 km service plan with intervals pegged at 12 months/15 000 km
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