The Toyota Verso is an estate compact MPV that has been lauded for its safety and performance. Euro NCAP gave the Verso an outstanding score of five stars, and subsequently named the model the most secure MPV for 2010. But while having a winning combination of specs, the Verso fails to dazzle for playing it safe. The model may be one of the smartest choices for car owners looking for a big-seater car. But its simplicity and the familiar Toyota sensibility it carries may just render it too neutral for some people’s taste.
Not to be confused with its close namesake, the Verso-S, a smaller MPV, the Verso is a 5- or 7-seater car ideal for families and passenger use. Comfort and practicality are the two best things about this model. Long drives are smoothly done with the Verso, thanks to superb suspension, where the bumps on the road are easily reduced to nothing. The two front rows of seats have ample rooms. In the cabin, the driver can enjoy sufficient visibility thanks to high seats and gearstick and an adjustable steering wheel.
The third row of seats is best for children, but the adjustable second row can add a little more legroom to the former. The Easy Flat-7 seating system allows the rear seats to be folded completely flat, increasing the boot space to an amazing 607 litres with all seats down. Underfloor bins in the boot and the second row add additional storage spaces.
The engines may not provide a powerful output, but they are flexible in their own right. The Toyota Verso is available in 1.6 and 1.8-litre petrol and 2-litre diesel variants. These give the car a relaxing drive in both urban and country roads. The 2-litre option is more optimal for everyday driving with 51mpg. The latter also has a better CO2 emissions rate, with 129g/km. Verso replacement parts are highly accessible.
Security is another top feature of the Verso. The early standard trim level T2 is well equipped with an expansive array of security features, including stability control, hill start assist, front and side airbags and others.
Buyers of older Verso models may feel uncomfortable with the wind noise, engine and suspension noises. At higher speeds though, this noise is reduced. Another comfort issue is the Verso’s difficulty in cutting corners, which results in pronounced body rolls.
A lot of buyers may find the centrally mounted panels and instruments a bit awkward to use. The exterior is also as plain as the cabin. However, the layout is highly reliable and easy to read, which more than makes up for the neutral look.
Toyota Verso certainly has more advantages than disadvantages. As a compact MPV, Toyota has also invested a great amount of attention to the details that matter in this segment: practicality, comfort and flexibility, all of which the Verso performs exceptionally well. However, certain limitations and room for improvement can still be grounds for buyers to hesitate choosing the Verso over more competitive cars in the segment.
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