Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Toyota Proace Verso engine range kicks off with the 1.5-litre diesel with 118bhp, which is quite weedy for a car this size (especially if you go for the nine-seater). The 0-62mph sprint time is a leisurely 12.0sec, so we’d recommend spending a little more for the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel. It has more low-end power and doesn’t need to be worked as hard to get up to speed.
The final option is a 2.0-litre diesel with 178bhp and a standard automatic gearbox. It's considerably quicker (0-62mph is done in 8.8sec), the extra power makes motorway driving easier and the ’box is smooth, if a little slow, when changing gear. The only trouble is that it’s much more expensive than the 148bhp version and is not available with the full nine seats.
Overall, the performance on offer in the line-up is fairly similar to most other van-based MPVs, although if you are after out-and-out pace, the Mercedes V-Class is quicker.
The Proace Verso is relatively comfortable when you're ambling along (certainly more so than the stiffer-sprung VW Caravelle), and there's a gentle waftiness on smooth but undulating roads that suits relaxed driving. Sadly, the calm is shattered by suspension noise when you run over broken road surfaces or expansion joints, with the car bobbing noticeably.
Refinement is good in both 2.0 versions, with little vibration and hushed manners when you’re at a cruise, but on twisty roads it's all too clear that the Proace Verso is a van underneath. The steering is quite slow and there’s a lot of body roll if you corner with even moderate enthusiasm.
There is less grip than in a regular MPV, and the front end gently washes wide if you’re going too quickly. It’s no great surprise that smaller MPVs including the Ford Galaxy and VW Touran are significantly more satisfying to drive quickly than the Proace Verso behemoth.
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