All versions of the new Corolla Verso will be equipped with seven seats and, uniquely in its class, all five rear seats will fold into the vehicle floor to provide a flat load area, unlike any of its rivals. This avoids the awkward and time consuming process of having to remove seats from the car – and store them safely – if extra load-carrying capacity is needed.
The action of folding the seats is also simpler than in any other rival vehicle, requiring just a single operation for each one. The seats are the lightest in their class, making the folding process easier for all users.
The exterior styling of the new Corolla Verso was created at Toyota’s ED2 design centre in the South of France, specifically to appeal to European tastes. In design terms, the car presents distinct upper and lower sections. The lower part is influenced by robust SUV cues, reflected in the prominent wheel arches, substantial rocker panels and deep front bumper section, while the upper section gives the car a dynamic stance, characterised by the curving roof line and angled C-pillar with rear quarter-light.
Contemporary Toyota details include a more prominent bulge on the bonnet around the Toyota badge and rear lamp clusters that wrap around the rear quarter panel in an inverted "L" shape. In addition, the new Corolla Verso integrates the front grille and bumper into a single part. The leading edge of the bonnet is located as far back as possible, which not only gives a smoother appearance but also helps improve pedestrian accident protection.
The cabin is a perfect expression of Toyota’s fundamental principle of superior quality. Fit and finish are perfected to new levels with the gaps and clearances between some components reduced by 90 and 40 per cent respectively. High quality materials are used throughout, with a combination of metallic finishes to accentuate the centre console. The design uses geometric shapes and three-dimensional elements to give the cockpit a well-defined arch-like form.
Attention to details includes careful location of the door hinges and an airtight seal around the lock to give the door closing action a reassuringly solid feel and sound.
The Corolla Verso will be built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey’s facility at Adapazari, which is also home to Corolla saloon and estate car production.
Details of UK specification, trim grades and engine options will be announced later, but the new Corolla Verso is set to benefit from class-leading active and passive safety systems, new levels of versatility and a high level of comfort and convenience features as standard.Published 26 January 2004