Used bargain: Toyota Verso

* Used Toyota Verso from less than 5500 * Reliable and spacious * Flexibility of seven seats...

Used bargain: Toyota Verso

Families choosing their next car have a long list of requirements not only do they need space and practicality, but low running costs are also an important factor.

The Toyota Verso ticks all of these boxes. It has seven individually foldable seats, bulletproof build quality and a reliability record to be proud of. Theres a healthy number of example on the used market, too.

Buyers can choose between 1.6- and 1.8-litre petrol engines or 2.0- or 2.2-litre diesels. Petrol cars make the best bargains, but wed avoid the smaller 1.6 because it feels slightly underpowered considering the cars load-lugging pretentions. The diesels are strong and will get you more miles per gallon, but used prices remain higher.

The 1.8 petrol is a better bet, returning a reasonable average economy of 40mpg in manual form (its a good idea to avoid automatic gearboxes altogether because theyre sluggish and reduce fuel economy significantly).

SR is our favourite trim, and comes with cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls as standard. However, the higher-spec T-Spirit is still a bargain, and it gets a built-in DVD player.

Its possible to get high-mileage petrol cars for less than 5500, but make sure they have a full service history.

There have been recalls to fix faulty airbags, which could go off unexpectedly or worse, not at all, so check the work has been carried out.

Cars we found:

Toyota Verso 1.8 VVT-I SR
08/58, 36,000 miles, 7695
Corts Toyota

Toyota Verso 1.8 VVT-I SR
08/08, 25,000 miles, 7990
Warners of Cheltenham

Read the full Toyota Verso review >>

By Rory White