Toyota Verso-S

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Toyota Verso-S

Toyota's relatively quiet Paris show featured the neat Verso-S, a five-seater based on the Yaris supermini, but with additional space.

With compact dimensions and a roomy, light cabin, the Verso-S is designed to appeal to buyers downsizing from Mondeos and BMW 3-series, says Toyota.

The company says the Verso S offers versatility and strong fuel economy, particularly from the 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine, which emits 113g CO2/km and promises more than 50mpg.

The interior has a high-quality feel and features a touch-screen 'multimedia interface', which is claimed to be a first in this class.

The interior packaging gives an impression of space, and four adults can sit in comfort, although the compact dimensions the car is only four metres long mean boot space is not generous. A simple fold-flat rear seating system helps make the most of the available space when needed, expanding the load bay from 430 litres to an impressive 1388 litres.

There will be three different trim choices and even the entry-level option has a generous amount of equipment. However, prices have not been announced yet.

At the same time as launching this new model, Toyota also announced plans to produce a number of new low-emissions vehicles, including an all-electric car in 2012. It has formed a strategic alliance with US electric specialist Tesla to help to develop EV technology and will also launch a 'plug in' hybrid, which uses a conventional engine to supplement electric power, in 2012.

Despite the recall woes around the Prius earlier this year, Toyota will deliver its 20 millionth vehicle in Europe this month and reports that Prius sales are up 25 per cent on last year.