Toyota Verso gets engine and spec upgrades for 2014

* Toyota Verso gets new 1.6-litre diesel engine * New 'Trend' trim also being introduced * Deliveries to start in March 2014...

Toyota Verso gets engine and spec upgrades for 2014

The Toyota Verso is to be the first Toyota to get a 1.6-litre, BMW-derived diesel engine, which brings emissions down to just 119g/km.

The new engine replaces the 2.0-litre D-4D unit in the UK line-up, and is 8% more efficient than the outgoing engine, with an expected fuel economy of 62.8mpg. This efficiency comes partly thanks to a stop-start system – the first in any Verso. The new engine is also 25kg lighter than the old unit; to counter this change in weight, the Verso's sping settings have been modified to ensure ride comfort is consistent across the range.

One payoff for the efficiency improvements of this new engine is a reduction in performance and speed. The 1.6-litre is marginally slower to 62mph, taking 12.7 seconds compared with the old engine's 11.3 second time. Top speed is the same at 115mph, though.

The Verso also gets a new trim level for 2014. The Trend trim will sit towards the top of the range, between the Icon and the top-level Excel models.

The Trend model is easily distinguishable due to its black C-pillar, bespoke five-spoke alloy wheel design, tinted rear windows and front foglights. Inside, it comes with Toyota Touch 2 with Go, which brings satellite navigation, connected services, Google Street View and TomTom real-time traffic data. It also gets a rear-facing camera and front parking sensors.

The final additions to the range are a new bronze paintjob and a new cloth interior in black and grey.

Full pricing for the Verso range will be announced in the New Year, with order books opening in February. The first cars will head to customers in March 2014.

By Tom Webster