Verso 2.0 D-4D Icon
contenders for MotorBars
MOSCA (Most Sensible Car of the
Year Award) has to be Toyotas Verso
and the Skoda Rapid. Exciting the
Verso is not; but as a practical car to
actually live with on a daily basis, its
AFTER SPENDING A FULL WEEK with the new face-lifted Verso I know this for a
fact. It's not a drastic makeover but it does bring slightly sharper looks inspired
by the new Auris: that means a new grille, redesigned bumpers, narrower headlamps,
LED running lights, fresh door mirrors and new wheel designs. You still wouldn't
call it pretty, but it's certainly prettier.
The cabin is better, too, with soft-touch materials and satin highlights. It's
all beautifully built even if the feel of the materials still doesn't quite
match VW standards.
The ultra-simple dashboard design remains, which sees the main gauges sited
in the centre of the dash which is fine apart from the fact that the
steering wheel obscures part of the display. The standard multimedia system
works well, too; but the Touch & Go colour screen with built-in SatNav (a £650
option) works even better. The high-mounted, light-shifting gear lever and well-positioned
pedals also contribute to the feeling of great comfort.
hasn't changed the seating format, which remains one of this car's greatest
features. It's a seven-seater but like almost all '7-Uppers' (seven-seat family
luggers), the rearmost pair of folding seats are strictly for kids and
small kids at that.
The seating format is
one of the Versos great
features. Its a seven-
seater but like almost all
family luggers), the
rearmost pair of folding
seats are strictly for kids
and small kids at
Viewed as an occasional transporter of tiny tots, it works fine. More than compensating
and helped by the multi-adjustability of all three individual seats, space in
the middle row is huge.
The Verso is at its most versatile as a carrier of luggage. The boot is huge
with five seats in use but if you fold down all the rear seats (a very easy
exercise), it becomes positively gargantuan.
Helpfully, the load platform is low so you don't need to lift luggage over a
lip and the boot floor is completely flat it was a doddle for me to fit
two mountain bikes in there.
The cabin is also now a quieter place than before, this thanks to extra sound
damping and a quieter engine. I drove a 2.0-litre D-4D diesel model (easily
the most popular engine choice) which now has beefier torque delivered at low
revs and its CO2 emissions are now under 130g/km.
All you really need to know is that it's got plenty enough oomph to transport
a family and luggage around. So while it's still not the quietest diesel on
the market, it is easy enough to live with on a daily basis.
Let's face it, handling finesse is not why you'll buy a Verso. However, for
the record, it's perfectly decent and always feels safe. The body is now more
rigid than before, and the suspension has been tuned for a more comfortable
ride (although it can still be slightly unsettled over rough surfaces). The
electric power steering has a better feel too; for such a light-to-the-touch
system it's actually very pleasant to use.
There's a new grade structure to the Verso range = with Active, Icon and Excel
models. Standard for all versions are fog lights, AirCon, electric front windows
and hill-start assist. Icon adds cruise control, DAB tuner, rear privacy glass,
alloy wheels, and folding door mirrors. The range-topping Excel includes leather
seat bolsters, keyless entry, roof rails and automatic 'lights 'n' wipes'.
Despite being quite pricey compared to MPV rivals, the Verso beats them hands-down
in the rationality stakes. As a family load-lugger, the Verso really can't be
topped. Give it the Sensible gong! Chris Rees
Toyota Verso 2.0 D-4D Icon
Maximum speed: 115mph | 0-62mph: 11.3 seconds | Average MPG: 57.6mpg
Power: 122bhp | Torque: 133lb ft | CO2 129g/km