The Verso is available with 1.6 or 1.8-litre petrol engines, the latter of which is auto only. There’s also a 2.0-litre diesel option, and although its output doesn’t look strong, it is a very flexible engine. The full force of 229lb ft of torque arrives at just 1600rpm, so a gentle squeeze of the accelerator is all that’s needed to get the Verso bowling along. It’s a shame there’s no auto diesel option.
Ease-of-use and comfort are the priority for most MPV buyers, and the Verso fulfils both criteria well. You don't feel particularly involved, but it’s a relaxing drive in town and handles well enough on faster roads. The suspension is spongey and effective, yet body sway is well restrained; a trait which will be particularly welcomed by parents of toddlers prone to motion sickness.
The Verso is pretty adept at suppressing road, wind and suspension noise, but the 2.0-litre diesel engine emits an intrusive noise at lower revs and there’s some vibration through the pedals. Overall, it isn’t any louder than most rivals and settles to a quiet hum at higher speeds.
Prices for the Verso are on a par with its key rivals', and discounts are reasonably generous. Running costs are good across the board, with great fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the 2.0 D-4D, though you’ll lose more on depreciation than you will on rivals such as the Peugeot 5008. Company car costs are very competitive.
The Verso's cabin doesn't have much of a wow factor, but the build quality is decent, and it feels like it'll stand up to the rigours of family life. Toyotas normally have excellent reliability, and the Verso scored four out of five stars for reliability in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey. It also has a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Toyota hasn't cut any corners – the Verso has just about every piece of safety and security equipment you can think of. There's stability control, hill-start assist, active front-seat head restraints, a driver's knee airbag and front, side and cabin-length window airbags. Deadlocks, an alarm and marked parts help to deter thieves.
Although the Verso’s interior is not exactly glamorous, it’s easy to get used to. The centrally mounted instruments are the only quirk, but they're clear and easy to read at a glance. High-set seats, a raised gearstick and a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake make it easy to get comfortable. All-round visibility is generally good but a reversing camera that’s standard on all bar the base models comes in useful when reverse parking.
Although not particularly big, there’s plenty of scope to vary your load options in the Verso. The middle row of seats can be slid, folded and reclined individually, although it’s a more awkward task than in some rivals. The rearmost seats are only suitable for little ‘uns, but fold them away and boot space grows from a paltry 155-litres to a respectable 440-litres, and there are plenty of useful storage cubbies throughout the cabin.
Entry-level cars give you electric front windows, air-conditioning, daytime running lights and hill-start assist. Icon adds 16-inch alloys, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, Bluetooth, rear electric windows, rear-view camera and a DAB digital radio. Excel trim adds larger alloys, leather seat bolsters and door trims, keyless entry and automatic headlights and wipers.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
This is our favourite diesel-powered Verso, delivering a good standard of kit and performance, while not costing too much to buy or run. It's a fine family car.