Used Toyota Avensis Verso 2003 - 2009 review

Category: MPV

Terribly bland and not as roomy as many rivals

Toyota Avensis Verso (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Avensis Verso (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Avensis Verso (03 - 09)
Used Toyota Avensis Verso 2003 - 2009 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Toyota Avensis Verso estate like?

The Avensis Verso may have seven seats, but it's closer in size to compact MPVs than fully-fledged people carriers. As a result, the rear two seats are only really suited to children.

What's more, the Avensis isn't ultimately as flexible as some of its rivals because the rear seats don't fold flat into the floor when they're not needed. However, they are reasonably light to lift out and, even with all seven seats in place, you get a usable luggage space. The three seats in the centre row slide and recline individually, too.


Terribly bland and not as roomy as many rivals

  • Well equipped and reasonably practical MPV that should be totally reliable
  • Disappointing refinement, not exactly fun to drive and it looks dull
  • too

Where the car claws back some of that lost ground is that its firm suspension means the Avensis Verso avoids much of the sloppiness traditionally associated with MPVs on the road, even if it does lean more than an Avensis saloon through bends. The trade-off for this control is a firm ride that allows coarse surfaces to be felt in the cabin.

Road noise can also become intrusive as your speed rises and there's a lot of wind roar from around the front pillars when cruising on the motorway.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Avensis Verso estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Avensis Verso estate?

Residual values are average for the class, so a used Avensis Verso falls somewhere between compact and large MPVs on price as well as size.

It's firmly in the compact MPV camp when it comes to insurance, though, with the diesel attracting a lowly group 8 rating and the petrol sitting just one band higher.

The diesel also returns a useful 43.5mpg on the combined cycle, so you won't have to spend too much time hanging around fuel pumps.

Unfortunately, there is a fly in the ointment and that's the maintenance costs. Toyota dealers charge more per hour than most of their mainstream rivals, and they also take longer than most to carry out repairs if you have an accident.

On the positive side, you can cut labour rates by more than 40% by going to an independent Toyota specialist rather than a franchised dealer.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Avensis Verso estate should I buy?

Power comes from two 2.0-litre engines - a 115bhp D4-D diesel or a 147bhp VVT-i petrol. Both are only just up to the job of hauling around what is a fairly heavy car and can feel breathless on the motorway or when you have your whole brood aboard.

Neither engine is especially refined, either. While the petrol delivers its power smoothly and is civilised around town, it becomes boomy at higher speeds. As for the diesel, there's no mistaking which fuel it drinks because it sounds gruff at all times. Still, it'll manage an extra 10 miles on each gallon so it's our pick.

Two trims are offered, and even the cheaper T3 cars have climate control, a CD player, remote central locking, all-round electric windows and six airbags. T-Spirit adds alloy wheels, roof rails and a DVD player with two headrest-mounted screens, but you'll pay a hefty premium for these.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Avensis Verso estate?