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Toyota Verso Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2013
      Body type
      MPV
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Spacious and practical family MPV”

Best bits

  • Excellent Toyota build quality
  • Easy to live with
  • Seven-seat practicality

Not so great

  • Totally devoid of flair and imagination
  • Cramped third row
  • Small boot in seven-seat mode

Read by

Toyota Verso Front Side View

Overall verdict

Toyota Verso Driver's Seat

On the inside

Toyota Verso Left Side View

Driving

Toyota Verso Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

Toyota Verso Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Toyota Verso: gone and all but forgotten. You may have passed a couple of Verso MPVs on your way home from work this evening, but the chances are you didn’t notice them. This feels like a car engineered to blend in – to deliver years of loyal service without fuss or drama."

Toyota Verso Front Side View

The Toyota Verso: gone and all but forgotten. You may have passed a couple of Verso MPVs on your way home from work this evening, but the chances are you didn’t notice them. This feels like a car engineered to blend in – to deliver years of loyal service without fuss or drama.


That’s the thing to remember about the Toyota Verso. You’re not buying into a world of glamour and excitement. Instead, you’re throwing your money down on a car that will serve a purpose. Given Toyota’s reputation for reliability, it’s unlikely to break the bank.


Launched in 2013 as a heavily reworked version of the old Verso dating back to 2009, Toyota went to great lengths to build a car tailored to European tastes. Indeed, it was designed and engineered in Belgium and France, while production took place in Turkey.


As a result, it feels totally at home on European roads, combining excellent ride comfort with surprisingly good dynamics. It’s not a car for thrillseekers, but it’s not totally devoid of fun. OK, maybe not ‘fun’, but it is a satisfying car to drive.


Excellent economy comes courtesy of a BMW-sourced 1.6-litre diesel engine, with a pair of petrol engines also available. Each was selected for efficiency rather than enjoyment, but they do an adequate job of powering this seven-seat MPV.


There’s actually a five-seat Verso at the bottom of the range ladder, but few people bought it. This means the overwhelming majority of cars left the factory with Toyota’s clever ‘Easy Flat’ folding rear seat system. Put simply, you get five individual rear seats, which provide 32 different seating permutations.


With all seven seats in place, the boot space would be best described as ‘bijou’, but the Verso is more of a ‘des res’ with the third row folded down. Then fold away the second row and the Verso is more van than MPV.


There are more storage compartments than you can shake a kebab stick at, with a generous level of equipment on all except the entry-level model. You also get the reassurance of knowing that the Verso achieved a five-star safety rating – it was named the safest MPV when new by Euro NCAP.


What are the drawbacks? The styling is a little unadventurous, the cabin is as exciting as reading a privacy policy and the engines have to be worked really hard to make real progress. Your reward is a coarse engine note and a dent in the fuel economy. The best advice: take things steady.


Because the Toyota Verso was discontinued in 2018, there are some real bargains to be found on the used market. Another factor working in your favour is that many buyers are turning to the perceived benefits of seven-seat SUVs. That’s reducing demand for practical MPVs like the Verso.


If you’re in the market for a good value, reliable and practical people carrier, the Toyota Verso is one of the best of the breed.

Is the Toyota Verso right for you?

The Toyota Verso isn’t the kind of car you lie awake at night thinking about. You buy a car like this at a particular stage in your life, when Happy Meals are more important than Happy Hours, Saturday mornings are spent at the soft play area rather than shaking off a heavy one, and you seriously consider a subscription to What Pushchair? magazine.


If you’re at that stage of life, the Toyota Yaris ticks a lot of boxes. When everything around you seems unpredictable and random, the Verso delivers a feeling of dependability and reassurance. No matter what you and your kids throw at it, the Toyota Verso will keep on delivering, time and time again.


It’s almost completely devoid of excitement and flair, but we’re sure you’re getting enough of a buzz from spending an hour a week watching your children at the trampoline centre. Ear plugs are recommended.

What’s the best Toyota Verso model/engine to choose?

Like your children, the Toyota Verso evolved as it grew up. That’s not to say that later models steadfastly refuse to clean their teeth or lift their head from their iPhone, but you will get more toys for your money.


We’d avoid the Active trim on all except 2017 model-year cars, as this was when Toyota’s excellent Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance pack became standard across the range. The Trend trim, introduced in 2014, and Trend Plus, introduced in 2015, provide an excellent blend of equipment and value for money.


As for the engine, it’s hard to look beyond the BMW-sourced 1.6-litre D-4D diesel. We could point to the low CO2 emissions, impressive fuel economy and decent punch, but what really matters is the link to BMW. You can throw that point into the conversation when you’re queuing for a Slush Puppie at the playground.

What other cars are similar to the Toyota Verso?

The Toyota Verso is the Ronseal of the seven-seat MPV world – it does exactly what it sets out to do. In this respect, it’s very similar to the Volkswagen Touran and Ford C-MAX.


If you’re after a dollop of driving pleasure, the larger Ford S-MAX should float your Iggle Piggle boat, while the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso (now known as the Grand C4 SpaceTourer) adds some French flair to the mix.


Speaking of French flair, the Renault Grand Scenic rides on massive 20-inch alloy wheels, which will impress a couple of people on the school run.

Rating

The seven-seat MPV is looking increasingly like a square peg in a round hole, with image-conscious family buyers flocking to seven-seat SUVs instead. The Verso is the kind of car that sparked the mass migration. It’s devoid of flair, imagination, verve or excitement. Still, there’s a lot to be said for common sense and practicality.

Learn more

Toyota Verso Driver's Seat

On the inside

Toyota Verso Left Side View

Driving

Toyota Verso Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

Toyota Verso Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification