Toyota Verso MPV
Price £17,770 - £23,995
- Strong resale values
- Low running costs
- Well built and reliable
- Cramped rear seats
- High price tag
- Small boot with all seats in place
At a glance
"The Toyota Verso is a practical, dependable and easy-to-use MPV that offers low running costs. It may not be as stylish as some rivals but it’s a very capable family car."
The Toyota Verso MPV is a people carrier that offers seven seats and is a rival to models such as the Renault Grand Scenic, Ford C-MAX, and Mazda 5 MPV. Its drab looks are unlikely to set the world alight but they do make the car spacious and practical, though the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is just as practical, and much more attractive.
The underwhelming looks transfer to the driving experience and you’re unlikely to ever savour taking the Toyota Verso for a spin down country roads. That's an area in which the Ford C-MAX really excels for this class of car. The Toyota is available with a 1.6 and 1.8-litre petrol engine, and a 1.6-litre diesel.
The car's back row of seats may only be suitable for children, but the Verso does have strong second-hand values and an excellent reputation for reliability.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Resale values are very strong and economy is decent, but service intervals are short
The Verso has strong residual values and should hold its value as well as the best cars in its class, although you should be aware that the Toyota requires more frequent servicing, though fixed-price maintenance should mean there are no surprise bills. Toyotas also now get a five-year warranty.
The most efficient Verso is the 1.6-litre diesel, which can return 62.8mpg and emissions of 119g/km for road tax that will cost £30 per year. The 1.6-litre petrol, meanwhile, can only manage 42.8mpg and road tax is pricier at £180 annually. The 1.8-litre petrol comes fitted with an automatic gearbox and is worst of all. The car falls into the same tax bracket as the 1.6 petrol, but economy drops to 41.5mpg.
Engines, drive & performance
Much improved performance compared to older versions of the Verso
You might be surprised to find out that the Toyota Verso is actually quite fun to drive thanks to suspension that does a good job of resisting body roll. Despite this relatively firm setup, it is still comfortable enough on bumpy roads and the car’s steering, which isn’t overly light, also adds to the enjoyment.
It’s particularly good when paired with the punchy diesel engine. It’s our pick of the range because it blends decent performance with the cheapest running costs of the model line-up. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is a decent performer, too, but it’s costly to run, while the 1.8-litre petrol comes as standard with an automatic gearbox, which makes it no faster than the smaller engine.
Although Toyota has made improvements to the Verso’s drive, it’s still not as fun as the Ford C-MAX, which leads the class in this respect.
Interior & comfort
Comfort levels are excellent but the Verso is not as spacious as some rivals
Having lots of space is important in this class and the Toyota Verso MPV can’t quite match rivals such as the Renault Grand Scenic, although it should still have enough room for most families. Getting comfortable behind the wheel should be easy because the Toyota gets plenty of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel.
The car’s suspension has been set up with comfort in mind and it does a good job of smoothing out bumps in the road. The Toyota loses points for its interior, though, and some of the plastics feel cheap compared to the materials used in rivals such as the Ford C-MAX.
Practicality & boot space
Flexible seating system makes the Verso very practical
The extra pair of seats in the boot is an option on the basic Toyota Verso Active, but comes standard on the rest of the range. They fold flat into the boot floor, and are useful if you ever have to carry two extra kids, although they’re too small for adult use. Toyota’s Easy Flat Folding system gives 32 seating combinations, and also means the Toyota’s second and third row of seats fold flat into the boot floor, leaving no lip, so it is easy to slide in heavy objects.
The middle row of seats can also slide forwards and backwards to give more or less boot space, or extra legroom. With all seven seats in use, there’s just 155 litres of boot space, which grows to 440 litres with the back row of seats folded away. Fold all of them down and you get 1,696 litres in total. That is, however, less than you get in the Ford C-MAX (1,732 litres) and the Renault Grand Scenic (2,063 litres).
As you would expect, there are plenty of storage areas including two gloveboxes, as well as cupholders, and door pockets.
Reliability & safety
Verso has a five-star safety rating and an impeccable reputation for reliability
The Toyota Verso didn’t feature in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, but Toyota dropped by eight places to 17th position in our manufacturer standings. The company still managed to come sixth for reliability and also fifth for running costs, but it was marked down in areas such as build quality, performance, and in-car tech.
In 2010, the Verso was crash tested for safety by Euro NCAP and scored the full five stars. It gets seven airbags as standard, electronic stability control, and has a seatbelt warning buzzer that covers both the front and rear seats.
Price, value for money & options
Verso offers great value thanks to low price tag and strong resale values
The Verso can be had in three levels of spec: Active, Icon and Excel. The basic model gets daytime running lights, air-conditioning, and a four-speaker radio/CD player with steering-wheel mounted controls. Go for mid-range Icon trim and you add a rear parking camera, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, digital radio, fold-down tables for the middle row of seats, and a centrally-mounted touchscreen. Top-spec Excel models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry, and tinted rear windows.
Also counting in the Verso’s favour is its strong second-hand values; the Toyota should hold its value better than the Vauxhall Zafira or the Ford C-MAX.