1 / 10
- Launched: 2016
- Spacious van-based MPV that can carry nine people
- Good turning circle given its size
- Five-year warranty as standard
- Not exactly desirable or attractive
- Not as good to drive as rivals like the Volkswagen Caravelle
- Lower powered engines can be noisy
On the inside
Cost to run
Prices and Specs
Overall verdict on the Toyota Proace Verso
"The Toyota Proace is a versatile van-based MPV aimed predominantly at taxi drivers and airport shuttle firms. But it can also make a good choice for those with a big family. "
Remember the Toyota Verso? We won't blame you if you don't, but it was basically a people carrier version of the old Auris. The same applies here: Toyota has taken the Proace van and turned it into an MPV, called the Proace Verso, albeit with few external changes. In this review we'll see if it's become a useful family car.
Like the van it is based on, the Proace Verso is built in France as part of a joint agreement with Citroen and Peugeot. This means it's almost identical to the Citroen SpaceTourer and Peugeot Traveller, with low running costs and high levels of standard equipment. However, the Proace is sold with Toyota's 100,000 mile five year warranty as standard.
There are three body styles to pick from as well as three trims - Shuttle, Family and VIP - reflecting the market that the Proace Verso is aimed at. Entry Shuttle models are well-equipped, with nine-seats fitted as standard, along with automatic headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated door mirrors and automatic dual-zone - for the front and rear - climate control.
The front-wheel drive Proace Verso comes with 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines. The 1.6 diesel is the most efficient on paper, returning a claimed 54mpg while the 2.0-litre averages 48mpg officially. Most of the engines are linked to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the most powerful version gets a six-speed automatic.
Those in need of a fully-fledged nine seater will have to opt for the entry-level Shuttle trim; these get three rows of seats and a useful tilt and tumble feature that makes it easy to move seats to get in and out of the third row. Head and legroom is plentiful and three adults can sit abreast without feeling claustrophobia or bashing elbows with the person next to them.
As well as three trim levels, there are also three vehicle lengths to choose from - Compact, Medium and Long. Owing to the van's high roof and wide seats, interior space is seldom an issue, but Compact nine-seater versions offer very little boot space when all of the seats in place. Those in need of a nine-seater with storage for suitcases will need the Proace Verso in Medium or Long wheelbase.
There is only one roof height available in the Proace range and at 1.9 metres it makes it easy to access areas with height restrictions, such as airport car parks and multi-stories. The Proace Verso is also easy to move at low speeds, with Compact models completing a full turning circle in 11.3 metres, while the larger versions will require just 12.4 metres.
The high price and van-origins may limit the Proace Verso’s appeal for private buyers, but its flexible and practical nature will make it a tempting choice for professional drivers. Even more so when you factor in its comprehensive five year warranty.
If you're looking for the van version, you need our Toyota Proace (2016-) review.
What other cars are similar to the Toyota Proace Verso?
There are several good quality large van-based people carriers on the market with the Volkswagen Caravelle the most recognised. Equally as plush is the Mercedes V-Class, but neither are quite as affordable as the Proace Verso
The Proace Verso has near identical equivalents in the shape of Citroen SpaceTourer, Peugeot Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro Life. Really, it's only equipment levels, price and warranty which separates them.
For value above all else, look at the Hyundai i800, which isn't as sophisticated to drive as the Proace Verso. Perhaps the best-driving van-based people carrier is the excellent Ford Tourneo Custom, however.
Comfort and design: Toyota Proace Verso interior
"Loading and unloading the Toyota Proace Verso is simple, thanks to the tailgate that features a split opening, which means you can load bags without having to lift the huge tailgate - handy for multi-story car parks or airport drop-off points, where space is limited."
Like the standard panel van version, the Toyota Proace Verso is a pleasant place to while away the hours with a modern interior and height adjustable driver’s seat that has plenty of support and comfort.
Compact versions offer the least boot space with the rear seats in place - just 224 litres - but things are more practical with the medium and long bodystyles, which offer a respective 603 and 989 litres. Family-spec versions get a split tailgate, which means you can access the boot without having to lift the large, heavy tailgate.
While the Proace Verso is very much geared towards professional buyers, a mid-range Family model is offered. These eight seaters are very similar to the entry-level Shuttle models, but get seatback tables and Isofix child seat anchors for all of the rear seats.
Both Shuttle and Family models feature detachable seats, which return the vehicle to its van origins, but all of the seats are heavy and cumbersome to move. Not only will you need a strong set of arms, you'll also need a large space to store them.
Handling and ride quality: What is the Toyota Proace Verso like to drive?
"The Toyota Proace Verso is decent to drive and does an acceptable job of disguising its van roots, but the diesel engines aren't the quietest under acceleration."
The Toyota Proace Verso is, for all intents and purposes, a van with windows and extra seats. But vans aren't as agricultural as they used to be, and the Proace Verso offers up a reasonably sorted driving experience.
There's three diesel engines on offer, and that's about it - no hybrids are on the menu just yet. The 115PS four-cylinder diesel is more than up to the task of shifting nine people, but it becomes quite vocal under heavy acceleration.
Likewise, the 150PS unit has similar traits (but feels a bit punchier and doesn't need to be worked as hard) and it's only the halo 180PS 2.0-litre engine that feels accomplished enough to match the refinement of the engines found in Ford and Volkswagen competitors.
Things improve on the motorway, with all of the four-cylinder diesels quietening down to a low level rumble, while the reasonably smooth six-speed manual gearbox does an efficient job of sliding through the cogs.
A six-speed auto - fitted to the 180PS unit as standard - is also extremely good with smooth changes and all versions get hill-start assist to prevent the van from rolling backwards when you're crawling through traffic.
The Proace Verso isn't as good to drive or refined as its German rivals - such as the Mercedes-Benz V-Class or Volkswagen Caravelle - nor does it manage to feel more compact than it is, like the Ford Tourneo Connect. But it still manages to offer a relatively composed ride, entirely acceptable handling and decent long-distance comfort and refinement.
MPG and fuel costs: What does a Toyota Proace Verso cost to run?
"The diesel-only Proace is one of the best vans on the market for fuel efficiency, and the Verso model is no different."
The all-diesel range is split between 1.5 and 2.0-litre engines, with the most-efficient being the 115PS 1.6-litre that will officially return 54.3mpg.
The 2.0-litre units are equally impressive on fuel, with the 150PS unit returning an advertised 53.3mpg and the range-topping 180PS providing 49.6mpg. They make more sense overall than the 1.5Doe, particularly when loaded up with people, as they don't need to be worked as hard, hence the similar efficiency.
How reliable is the Toyota Proace Verso?
Toyota always puts in a strong showing in reliability surveys, and it finished in the top 10 brands in the latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index.
It's worth noting, though, that most of the mechanical bits found in the Proace Verso are sourced from its French siblings. While we don't think Toyota would put its name to something that'll be unreliable, it's worth knowing that both of those brands have a less-than-perfect reliability record.
How much should you be paying for a used Toyota Proace Verso?
"the Toyota Proace Verso has been on the market for a good few years now, giving it time to settle into the used market. That means there's some affordable examples out there."
Every Toyota Proace Verso costs more than £40,000 when new, which is comparable with rivals but shows you that van-based people carriers aren't as cheap as they used to be.
Many people will instead head to the used market. Having been around since 2016, example of the Proace Verso have had time to acrue mileage, meaning there's some savings to be had. We found a 2018 2.0D Shuttle Long model with 40,000 miles on the clock for £26,000.
Trim levels and standard equipment
All versions of the Toyota Proace Verso are well-equipped as standard, which means an entry-level model will get with DAB audio, Bluetooth phone connectivity and automatic air conditioning as standard. Rear passenger ventilation controls and automatic headlights are also included.
Basic versions get high levels of tech that’s designed to make life easier, with automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, cruise control and steering wheel mounted audio controls.
The range-topping VIP model is aimed at the executive transport end of the market and features seven leather heated seats and a rear table. Like the Proace Verso in Family trim, the seats are rail-mounted, which means they can be moved forwards/backs or removed altogether.
Ask the heycar experts: common questions
Is the Toyota Proace Verso any good?
For a van-based people carrier, the Proace Verso is a good all-round choice. There are posher alternatives, but in terms of affordability and fuel efficiency it's very competitive. Just remember it won't be as good to drive as something like a Ford Galaxy.
Where is the Toyota Proace Verso made?
The Proace Verso is built in partnership with Peugeot and Citroen, who make their own very similar versions. It rolls off the same factory line as those cars in France.
Does the Proace have a Toyota engine?
Not strictly, no. While Toyota had a hand in developing the Proace and Proace Verso alongside Peugeot and Citroen, the engines that power it are sourced from the French brands' stable.
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