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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Excellent build quality. Flexible and practical interior

Against Firm ride; auto gearbox

Verdict Clever and practical seven-seater MPV

Go for… 2.2 D-4D turbodiesel

Avoid… 1.6-litre petrol

Toyota Verso MPV
  • 1. There have been recalls to deal with faulty airbags
  • 2. Rearmost seats are really for children only, and boot is small with all seven seats in use
  • 3. The driver gets rake- and reach-adjustable steering and a high-quality dashboard
  • 4. The slow-changing MMT semi-manual transmission is best avoided
  • 5. Don't bother with the 1.6-litre engine - it's too sluggish
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Toyota Verso MPV full review with expert trade views

With a name like Verso you’d expect Toyota’s MPV to be pretty versatile – and it is.

The company's Easy Flat-7 seating system allows the middle row and two rear seats to be folded completely flat in the floor when they're not needed. The middle seats can also slide backwards and forwards to vary the ratio between legroom and luggage space. But, don’t expect to carry seven adults in comfort, as the two rear seats are really for children only.

On the other hand, the driver gets a good deal with rake- and reach-adjustable steering and a high-quality dashboard. Like most of its modern rivals, the Verso has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but few competitors can match its build quality.

Not many can come close to how well it drives, either. For an MPV, its handling is very good; with plenty of traction and little body roll, you certainly won’t feel like you are driving around in a bus. And, the only complaint is that some may find the ride a little on the firm side.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Popular and sought after by franchise dealers, keeping values high. 1.6 T2 best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are four engines to choose from and our pick of the bunch is the 134bhp 2.2-litre D-4D turbodiesel. If you're buying the Verso to regularly carry large numbers of passengers and plenty of gear, its 229lb ft of pulling power will be just what you want, providing strong, effortless performance.

There's also a more powerful 175bhp diesel with a massive 276lb ft of pulling power, but unless you plan to tow regularly it really isn’t necessary.

The 184bhp 1.8-litre petrol does an okay job, but the 109bhp, 1.6-litre petrol, like the slow-changing MMT semi-manual transmission, is best avoided.

There are four different trim levels available: T2, T3, TR and T Spirit, the latter getting a built-in DVD player. A T3-spec car should suit most needs, however, with climate, cruise and traction control and alloy wheels.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Not many around at the moment, but 2.0 D-4D Spirit easy to sell

James Ruppert
Used car guru

While the Verso requires servicing every 10,000 miles, running costs are reasonable and it should prove no more expensive to maintain than a Ford Focus C-Max or Vauxhall Zafira.

Similarly, fuel economy is good, if not spectacular, and our favourite 2.2-litre D-4D engine gives an official fuel return of 44.8mpg. That makes it the most economical engine in the Verso range, but the equivalent Ford Focus manages 50.4mpg.

Buy the more powerful 178bhp diesel and economy drops to 41.5mpg, but that still keeps it ahead of the 37.7mpg 1.6-litre and 36.7mpg 1.8-litre petrol engines.

Insurance doesn't look too bad for most models, either. At one end of the scale, the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol needs just group 5 cover, while our recommended 2.2 D-4D T3 is in group 8. However, the top-spec diesel attracts a group 11 rating - that’s the price to be paid for a 0-60mph time of just 8.8sec.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Popular and sought after by franchise dealers, keeping values high. 1.6 T2 best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

When it comes to customer satisfaction surveys, the lower half of the league table is somewhere Toyota just doesn’t go. Indeed, the Japanese company traditionally occupies a podium position, and strong results for the Corolla hatchback and impressive build quality bode well for the Verso’s future.

It hasn't been without its faults, though. As you’ll see on the Vehicle and Operator Safety Agency website at www.vosa.gov.uk, there have been recalls to deal with faulty airbags. In some instances, the passenger bag has gone off on its own, while more worryingly, some airbags have failed to deploy. Ensure that the vehicle you are looking for has complied with any recalls it may have been subject too.

However, the good news is that, so far there is little evidence of any recurring mechanical problems. But, as always, check all electrical components fully and pay attention to the gearchange and clutch.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Not many around at the moment, but 2.0 D-4D Spirit easy to sell

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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