LONG-TERM UPDATE 2 | Our Toyota Corolla Quest has earned its stripes

26 February 2021 - 14:53
Our long-term Corolla Quest seems to be ticking all the right boxes.
Our long-term Corolla Quest seems to be ticking all the right boxes.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

We could have a field day with the letter “C” in an attempt to make a strong literary link with the Corolla Quest. The car is comfortable, a common sight and a great catch overall if you are looking for a family sedan.

My colleague and editor of Sowetan Motoring Brenwin Naidu attested to how easily the Corolla takes care of everyday business in his first update last month.

He went as far as saying that surprising levels of refinement offered by this 1.8 Exclusive model would make it much easier for an Uber driver to score a five-star rating.

I spoke to a few drivers who are chauffeuring around in Corollas. They kiss the tar the on which the vehicle drives. It oozes class with its leather furniture, whether you step in as driver or client.

Rear legroom is generous. My mom stretched out with no stress while her happy grandchildren were jumping up and down on her lap with  excitement about setting off. Buckle-up, kids!

Our Exclusive model features goodies generally associated with luxury vehicles. It has a keyless start, a reverse camera, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, climate control, steering-mounted audio controls and a touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Bluetooth.

A touchscreen infotainment system features as standard equipment.
A touchscreen infotainment system features as standard equipment.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

The Exclusive badge is warranted. I’ve worked for the print media half my life and I know what it means when we have a story tagged “Exclusive” in red. It feels good.

The sharp frontal design tries to imitate the look of a sportier model. The rest of it, while featuring pleats in the right places, is as conventional as a sedan body could be. No getting around that one. But it looks more impressive than earlier Corollas, akin to comparing my old Motorola with my latest Samsung Zero.

When I asked Uber drivers about their cars’ fuel consumption, I received mixed reactions. Understandably, it depends on the application. Most lambasted it for over-guzzling when zipping around town on short stop-and-go trips, but praised it for saving fuel on the long hauls.

My complaint, echoed by my comrades, was the low front bumper that is prone to grazing speedbumps. You have to negotiate them as if you were driving a Citi Golf on coil-over suspension.

Would I buy a Quest? Simple answer, yes. It is a practical, reliable car and at R342,200 for this extremely well-equipped Exclusive, not badly priced.   





PRAISES: A trusted companion providing sensible, no-fuss motoring

GRIPES: That front bumper’s proneness to kissing speedbumps