New Corolla aims to beat budget

LIMITED LINE-UP: The Quest line-up has been restricted to three models, all equipped with 1.6 litre engines
LIMITED LINE-UP: The Quest line-up has been restricted to three models, all equipped with 1.6 litre engines

TOYOTA has launched a budget version of the previous generation Corolla in a move which is set to attract cash- strapped buyers. The Corolla Quest is the “old” model which was replaced by the 11th generation Corolla.

“When a new model arrives, the previous car is usually consigned to the history books. Not so for the outgoing Toyota Corolla. Launched in 2007, this model was the most successful Corolla to date and helped this motoring icon achieve best-seller status as the world’s most loved car – the nameplate amassed a record 40 million cumulative sales by the end of February this year,” vice-president for sales and marketing Glenn Crompton says.

“So, rather than phase the 10thgeneration out completely, it’s been reinvented as the ultimate value proposition. Of course this is not a first for Toyota – the tremendously popular Tazz, which was produced as a prolonged lifecycle model, was a budget hatchback based on the fifth generation Corolla five-door,” Crompton says.

The line-up has been restricted to three models, with just two trim levels: the standard variant – available in manual or automatic guise – and the Quest Plus, available solely as a manual. All cars in the range come standard with an immobiliser and alarm, remote central locking, dual front airbags, Isofix anchor points, air-conditioning and rake/reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

The primary differences between the two trim levels are the wheels – alloys for the Plus version versus steel – body-coloured door handles for the Plus model, and the inclusion of an audio system for the Plus, which offers radio/CD playback as well as a USB port and auxiliary jack.

The Quest is equipped with a single engine option. The powerplant is an all-aluminium 1.6-litre in-line four which also sees service in the new 11thgeneration Corolla.

Maximum power is rated at 90kW of power at 6000rpm, and maximum torque of 154Nm delivered at 5200rpm, though much of the torque is available from much lower down the rev-range. There is also the option of a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration figures are pegged at 10,4 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash and on to a maximum velocity of 192km/h.

The Quest uses a tried and trusted recipe of MacPherson strut front suspension, with coil springs, combined with a compact torsion beam arrangement at the rear, which provides a pliant ride quality and contributes to the capacious boot volume.

There’s no skimping on active safety features either – brake discs are fitted at each corner (the front items are ventilated while the rears are solid) and controlled by anti-lock braking system incorporating electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist.

Prices are R174900 manual; automatic R198900; 1.6 Plus R197900. – Bobby Cheetham

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