Toyota has received criticism for spending too much time concentrating on making the Prius and not enough on making the rest of the range as efficient as possible. The result is Toyota Optimal Drive which is quickly being rolled out across the model range.
For the Verso the results are impressive. Thanks to the new 1.6 litre Valvematic engine, CO2 emissions are slashed from a previous average of 174 g/km which moves the Verso from an average to class- leading performer. The new engine produces 130 bhp and 118 lb.ft of torque which is more than the 1.8 that it replaces.
The Toyota MPV is decent to drive with minimal body roll but the pay-off is a firm ride. For some the Verso is just too stiff so it is definitely worth seeking out some poor road surfaces on the test drive.
Build quality is as good as we have come to expect from Toyota which is particularly reassuring given MPVs can get a hammering.
One of the Verso’s strengthens is its seating. The Easy Flat-7 system, as the name implies, provides a completely flat floor when the second and third rows are folded flat. In total there are 32 different seating permutations. Head and legroom are improved for the second row of seats and boot space is more than doubled to 178 litres.
The new Valvematic engine has allowed Toyota to replace a 1.8 litre engine with a 1.6 which makes the Verso much more efficient. Whilst the third row of seats is still really only for children, the Toyota Verso offers the best compromise of fuel consumption and useable space. Well worth a look.