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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Very reliable, economical and practical

Against Quirky exterior styling, bland interior

Verdict Looks aside, it’s a wise used buy

Go for… Diesels

Avoid… Cars with no service history

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Toyota Yaris Verso full review with expert trade views

It’s not what you’d call pretty. The front end says ‘city car’ – one just like the standard Yaris on which it’s based – but the rear screams ‘van’.

However, if you can get beyond that, the Yaris Verso has a lot to recommend it; behind the wheel, the driving position is comfortable with good visibility, although the digital central instrument binnacle can be hard to read.

There’s room for five adults, but the big plus-point is the load space. With the back seats folded away it’s vast, and the large side-opening rear door with a very low lip makes for excellent practicality.

Dynamically, though, things aren’t so great. The car’s tall body means it leans into the bends and the ride is too easily unsettled by an uneven road surface. It’s not as supple as some rivals and the steering can be slow to react.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Few sold due to its sheer ugliness. You really are the practical type if you buy one of these

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

There’s a choice of two engines: the 1.3-litre 84bhp petrol or the 1.4-litre 74bhp D-4D diesel. The former is great for city use but you’ll need to work it hard to get decent performance, and it’s noisy at motorway speeds.

The diesel, on the other hand, is more relaxed when you’re cruising, but very noisy around town. There’s extra low-down power that the petrol doesn’t have, but it feels flat at higher revs. In the end, which you buy will come down to personal choice, but both are acceptable performers.

Standard kit on all models includes twin airbags, remote central locking, electric front windows and a radio cassette player. S models have 13-inch alloys and tinted glass, while GS gets a better sound system and 14-inch wheels. A sunroof and electric mirrors are part of GLS trim. In early 2003 the names changed to T2, T3 and T Spirit.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Doesn't look pretty, but attractive seller in 1.3 GLS or T Spirit spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Okay, so the Yaris Verso’s styling means it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but owners love them. What’s more, their rarity on the used market – compared with the standard Yaris – coupled with Toyota’s legendary reliability means they hold their value very well. Expect to pay at least 50% of the new price for a three-year-old model.

The low-cost insurance is another reason for its desirability, with the diesel in group 5 and the petrol one category below. Fuel economy is excellent, too, with the 1.4 returning a very impressive 56mpg. Even the 1.3’s figure is 44mpg, although the automatic gearbox brings it down to 40mpg.

The bills shouldn’t be too big at the garage, either. This is a straightforward car to look after and Toyota’s parts aren’t any more expensive than its rivals'.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Few sold due to its sheer ugliness. You really are the practical type if you buy one of these

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

The Yaris Verso proved particularly popular as a new buy with two groups of people: more mature drivers, who appreciated its high-up driving position, wide doors and easy access, and small businesses who loved its load space but didn’t want a van. Find a car that falls in the first category and it should be fine.

If it has been looked after properly you’ll be unlucky to suffer mechanical problems. Just check the service schedule to see what was done and when. Some cars were recalled by Toyota after it discovered problems with the brakes.

Excess wear and tear in the boot can be evidence of business use, and look also at the edges of the rear door. As a side-opener it’s not the most practical in tight parking spaces and is prone to damage if it's opened too far.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Doesn't look pretty, but attractive seller in 1.3 GLS or T Spirit spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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