Toyota Verso - Used

Car Review

Toyota Verso, front static 2
Toyota Verso, front static
Toyota Verso, side static
Toyota Verso, rear static
Toyota Verso, dashboard
Toyota Verso, seats down
Toyota Verso, third row seats
Toyota Verso, boot
Toyota Verso, interior

WHENa car company knows its cars are good enough to give a five year warranty from new, you know they are almost certainly going to be reliable and long lasting.

That's one of the attributes most people already know is true of Toyota's range and the seven seat Verso people carrier is no exception.

This is a family car that's not just reliable but practical. The rear five seats fold individually to make a myriad of people and luggage combinations.

And the quality and finish, both inside and out, are exemplary, if a little on the dull side.

That quality reaches all the way to the car's high level of safety and in the Euro NCAP crash test it reached the top of the list.

That and its excellent practicality make it appeal to a wide range of families.

The latest updates in 2013 and 2014 brought a revised nose with an improved front end look and sharper headlights, plus numerous other changes both outside and in.

There are three engines available after 2014, and the biggest seller - of which many more will be available secondhand - is a 1.6 diesel supplied by BMW.

This replaced Toyota's own 2.0-litre unit and has higher economy - 62mpg government average - and low emissions of just 119 grammes per kilometre. Performance is fair, with 0 to 62 miles an hour in 12.6 seconds.

The two petrol engines are a 1.6 with 130bhp and a 1.8 with 145bhp. The 1.6, with a manual six-speed gearbox, is capable of 41mpg and covers the benchmark sprint in 11.6 seconds, while the 1.8, driving through a continuously variable automatic gearbox, takes 11 seconds for the sprint and is capable of 43mpg.

So performance is nothing to write home about, but for many owners that would be but a minor irritation because they want a car that's reliable and as safe as an MPV gets.

The suspension majors on comfort - which is just as it should be in such a vehicle. The ride is excellent over all surfaces, helping to make it a very good long distance cruiser.

Wind noise is kept to a minimum and the cabin is a refined and quiet place to travel.

There are some very good people carriers out there now, which ride well and also take the corners with aplomb.

Sadly this is not one of them. The handling doesn't instil confidence in the driver because the steering has very little feel. It was improved after 2013, as were the suspension settings to give better road-holding, but it's still not up to the best.

The front and middle rows of seats are well-shaped and supportive and there is good space for passengers using them.

But the third row is only large enough for children and access is difficult.

Equipment in entry Active models includes remote locking, air conditioning, electric front windows, USB and hill start assist.

Mid-range Icon adds alloy wheels, electric rear windows, touchscreen infotainment with DAB radio, Bluetooth and a rearview camera, while top Excel models have bigger alloys, part leather trim, front parking sensors and sat nav.

Pay about £9,300 for a '14 14-reg 1.6 D-4D Icon, or £14,000 for a '16 16-reg 1.8 auto Trend.

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