Blog: Dave LeggettLetter from Seville

Dave Leggett | 25 March 2004

I’m in Toyota’s press centre at the Hotel Hacienda la Boticaria, just outside Seville, and writing this just before breakfast (the PCs always seem free at this time, wherever you go).

Looks like another sunny day here in Andalucia – good conditions for another few hours driving the new Toyota Corolla Verso. The car seems pretty competent in all areas. In its development, Toyota seems to have looked very closely at the main
competition in Europe, especially Volkswagen Touran, Renault Grand Scenic and Opel/Vauxhall Zafira.

Toyota expects to sell some 53K units of this car in Europe this year and 100K next year – so the model has an important role in taking overall Toyota European sales to a target of 1.2 million units a year by 2010.

My initial impression is that Toyota has put a lot of effort into this model. It looks very competitive and the base model is being priced quite aggressively – but the others aren’t especially cheap. Views of other journalists I have spoken to are very positive. One thing though – I’m not sure it’s a real 7-seater; more a 5 + 2, I think, as the seats right at the back don’t give you much room (okay for occasional use, or kids, though).

Nice fold flat arrangement. Loved the sat-nav yesterday. These things are great when you are somewhere you really don’t know, although I reckon it made a mistake yesterday (it couldn’t have been me or my co-driver, Neil Winton, of course). Automatic transmission worked well and the 1.8 petrol engine was fine. We’re going to try and get a D-4D diesel today.

Toyota is looking after us well, I must say. The hotel is sprawling ranch-style and I keep getting lost. Better get some coffee on board now. Another few hours driving and then it’s back to Blighty.


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