Fresh from its weekend with the frisbee-wielding athletes of UK Ultimate, our seven-seat Toyota Verso was back on the sidelines for a weekend with the Keele Squirrels, a seven-strong quidditch team playing in the East Midlands Cup. How did Toyota’s versatile MPV cope with the task at hand?
The first challenge was to transport the entire team to and from the event at Loughborough from their base at Keele University, a trip of over 100 miles. More importantly, Verso had to do this in comfort and safety – it’s no good to arrive at a tournament half-crippled from the journey.
Toyota’s seven-seat MPV performed admirably, according to Keele Squirrels’ Mel Piper: “It felt particularly spacious. You never felt cramped and we were surprised how much space there was in the three seats in the back.” The Verso’s class-leading levels of rear legroom and smooth ride clearly won the team over throughout the journey.
The team also found the inclusion of a sat-nav particularly handy. The Verso’s optional Touch 2 with GO navigation system helped them to get to the tournament location on time and with the minimum of hassle, which is always a challenge on a busy Saturday morning but one made more achievable when you’ve the benefit of real-time HD traffic information.
Organised under the oversight of Quidditch UK, the East Midlands Cup is one of a number of tournaments that take place up and down the country for a growing number of quidditch teams – there are currently more than 20 teams across the UK.
Many people have heard of quidditch thanks to its role in the Harry Potter series of books and films, but relatively few realise that it has transitioned from the fictional world of JK Rowling’s best-sellers and become established as a real-world sport in its own right.
Like the multi-faceted Verso, quidditch has a lot to offer prospective participants and appeals to people of all sorts. A mixture of rugby, dodgeball and handball, the sport is gender-inclusive – the teams are mixed, rather than separate based on gender – and instead focuses on a player’s ability display great tactical awareness and cope with the sport’s physical, full-contact nature.
In the same way, the Verso has a broad appeal to people from all walks of life, particularly those with an active lifestyle who would greatly benefit from the Toyota’s practicality and dependability. As other drivers have discovered, the Verso’s raised driving position gives the driver a great view of the road ahead contributing to overall awareness, and Toyota’s commitment to safety means that the MPV is packed with features to protect occupants in the event of an unexpected bump.
Keele Squirrels performed brilliantly in the East Midlands Cup, finishing second to the Loughborough Longshots in spite of some last-minute team changes caused by injury. And after the Squirrels’ runner-up finish in last year’s British Quidditch Cup, they’re hoping to go one better this year too.
The winner of the weekend was the Toyota Verso, managing to cope with the demands of transporting an active group of quidditch players and their kit: “With the amount of equipment we had, we found it a little tight for room with seven up. However the joy of the car lies in its versatility, meaning that there is plenty of storage when there are five in the car, but it’s great that the two extra seats are available for when you want them,” explains Mel. “The versatility of those two extra seats gives you more options than a normal five-seater, whether you are a family or a quidditch team!”
We wish the Keele Squirrels every success for the rest of the season – if you’d like to know more about quidditch and how to get involved, then there’s plenty of information at the official Quidditch UK website. In the meantime, there’s no better time to get yourself behind the wheel of a Toyota Verso to discover how it’s versatility and practicality can effortlessly adapt to your lifestyle – leave a comment below and we’ll happily contact you to arrange a test drive.
The Toyota Verso 7-seat MPV is priced on the road from £18,300*, with more information and specification available at the designated section of the Toyota website.
*Prices correct at time of publication