Toyota Quest: It's the cheaper Corolla

2014-04-25 12:36

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.

  • Norbert Skosana - 2014-04-25 13:14

    Sounds like good deal for a strong Toyota.

  • paul.gertzen - 2014-04-25 13:59

    This car already came with nothing and now excludes that too. Old tech, new price, crazy

      Freddie Jones - 2014-04-26 11:06

      Not all old tech, it has the new 1.6l motor.

  • Kevinwilliams - 2014-04-26 03:32

    Bringing all the worlds scrap to South Africa.....Wonder who;s gonna buy this scrap. Why would any person wants to buy a 7 year old -new car ? Try again Toyota. Think we are reading through your psychology...

      Freddie Jones - 2014-04-26 11:13

      Kevin, This is an idea that has been shown to work in SA. Not only the Tazz but look at how long the VW Golf Mk1 was produced here as the City Golf. Old tech cars are better than no cars. The VW Beetle was made and sold in South & Central America well after German production stopped. The Hillman Hunter rolled off Iranian production lines long after the UK company went out of business and probably the best example of all was the 1956 Morris Oxford built in India as the Hindustan Ambassador still in production today!

      Kevinwilliams - 2014-04-26 21:08

      Freddie, You must be a Toyota rep or salesman or big boss. We are the public, and that's what we say - Forget selling old scrap to the South African public at prime prices. Bring the price down to R100 000 and maybe I might buy it. But then again wonder how much people gonna fork out on Services etc etc. Cause that is where you will make your money back right. To just get things back on PAR/Overprices over-confident Toyota with how many recalls ????

      Freddie Jones - 2014-04-27 16:16

      Kevin, I have no idea why you think I have any relationship with Toyota or the motor trade. My only connection is as a customer. I do not own a Toyota, and never have done. Whenever I have been in the market for a car Toyota were not selling anything that met my requirements. Note: I did not say, 'selling anything I wanted', my requirements have always included a price that I can afford and I am willing to pay. What I did point out is simply that there is a market for 'old iron'. It obviously has to be at a lower price than newer technology, but new technology is not a big seller in all markets. If you look back at my earlier post I mentioned the still in production, Hindustan Ambassador. This is basically a 1950's technology Morris Oxford, produced in India for the Indian market. A contributory factor to its continued sale is that it can be repaired with basic tools and without sophisticated diagnostic equipment. These are of prime importance in rural India. Such features as computer controlled electronic ignition and fuel injection, electric windows, auto on lights, rain sensing wipers and air-con are all very nice when they are working, but when the car stops 150k's outside of Nizamabad and the only help is the village blacksmith, these feature are more hindrance than help.

      Jaco Loubser - 2014-04-28 19:48

      The price is still too high. Its like the stupid home adds in papers for "new buyers or starting couples" with a price tag of R900 000. Stupid. I get an above average salery but still cant afford a R100 000 plus car.

  • Jt Kotze - 2014-04-26 07:43

    I think this may just get the toy brand going again in the passenger segment. Just like the razz did. That ethos is hideous...

  • Solly Skhosana - 2014-04-26 22:26

    Toyota is taken wrong advantage to poor South Africans that they like it

  • Rey de Klerk - 2014-04-27 09:49

    New corolla start at R215 000 and not R250 000 as you point out in error.

  • Carl Liebenberg - 2014-04-29 12:09

    The TAZZ was actually, the outgoing CONQUEST!!!!

  • Hill Billy - 2014-04-29 21:10

    So basically a pricy Polo Vivo 1.6 sedan

  • Walters Noordman - 2014-04-29 21:31

    Scrap....similar pricing to original 2011 models but this time with 3 year or 45000km service plan and not 90000km.....half of the previous model....Toyota attempting to get rid of surplus stock never sold and expecting to get the same price for less!!!

  • Dexter Tangocci - 2014-04-29 23:27

    I can't believe I read that entire article without falling asleep.

  • Vickers Vermeulen - 2014-04-30 10:50

    If you think car enthusiasts are bonkers and you prefer your vehicle in appliance white then this is the car for you.

  • Petrus En Jeanet Swanepoel - 2014-05-07 21:22

    This is going to be a hit for Toyota with an increase in market share. The brand have always been a market leader and will not bring a product on the market which will harm it's image or customers. VW did the same with the Polo Vivo and made them the current market leader.

  • Craig Dennis - 2014-05-08 18:00

    This is for the car rental and fleet owner market predominately. As an ex employee of the manufacturing plant, cost down is a big issue so you illuminate the frills and keep the essentials.

  • Kevin Kevuvu Williams - 2014-05-11 22:19

    BORING and Overpriced...Like someone said, for the rent market. Period.

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