Toyota Verso-S T

Spirit 1.33

Multidrive

Toyota Verso-S, side
Toyota Verso-S, front
Toyota Verso-S, side
Toyota Verso-S, rear
Toyota Verso-S, interior
Toyota Verso-S, boot

THE Toyota Verso-S is set up to make life simple for those who want low running costs but also enough space to cater for a family's needs.

A cross between a supermini and a people carrier may sound like bit of a mongrel - but the Verso successfully combines the strengths of both in a decent package.

So you will be able to slot the car into the tightest of city centre parking spots thanks to the compact dimensions and ballerina-esque manoeuvrability.

But those sitting in the cabin will feel anything but claustrophobic thanks to excellent head, shoulder and legroom that means five can be comfortably accommodated.

The airy and bright atmosphere is aided and abetted by efficient air conditioning and the panoramic glass sunroof of the T-Spirit model.

The Verso-S is also one of the easiest cars to enter and exit that I've encountered - thanks to raised hip points - making life bearable for those who've long passed the age where flexibility and suppleness can be listed as strengths.

Luggage space is again surprisingly generous as the load bay will swallow a handy 430-litres of shopping or cases - comparing favourable with most family hatchbacks.

It's a cinch to load awkward or weighty items as a top-hinged tailgate is set into the rear bumper so there is no lip to negotiate when accessing the luggage area.

If more space is needed the 60/40 split rear seats have a one-touch fold flat mechanism and, helpfully, the seats can also be folded down from the boot.

The cabin is packed with useful cubby holes and stowage sites - 19 in total - and a neat double glovebox is included.

There's a good range of adjustment for the driving seat and steering wheel, which on the T-Spirit version I tested sports a number of controls for things like the CD-radio system.

Many of the Verso's functions are accessed through a simple six-inch touch-screen multimedia system in the centre of the dash with chunky buttons bringing up the different menus for the sound system, i-Pod connections and Bluetooth. There's also a reversing camera with a full colour display.

The interior favours functionality over stylish gimmicks and the model I drove seemed solidly built using decent materials.

The exterior is sleek with a steeply raked nose and high stance catching the eye - as does the car's excellent five-year warranty.

The Verso-S is festooned with safety equipment including seven airbags and various electronic gizmos designed to help keep you on the road.

The only engine available with this Toyota is the lean-burn 1.3-litre petrol power unit which, when linked to the CVT automatic gearbox achieves a decent average fuel economy figure in excess of 50 miles per gallon.

Low carbon dioxide emissions leave the car free from road tax in its first year and £30-a-year after that making running costs attractively affordable.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Verso-S T Spirit 1.33 Multidrive

Price: £16,895

Mechanical: 98bhp, 1,329cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 103mph

0-62mph: 13.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 54.3

Insurance Group: 8

C02 emissions: 120g/km

Bik rating: 10%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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