Review: Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013)

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Compact seven seater. Excellent Valvematic 1.8 petrol engine with smooth seven-ratio CVT gives 40+ mpg. Good reliability record.

Manual 2.0 diesel uninspiring to drive. Dull looks.

Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013): At A Glance

Toyota doesn't do a Yaris Verso, a Corolla Verso and an Avensis Verso any more.

Just one Verso, built at the Adapazari factory in Turkey. And, after 430,000 of the previous version, this is the new one, on Toyota's World MC platform.

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What does a Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013) cost?

Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3990–4440 mm
Width 1790 mm
Height 1595–1630 mm
Wheelbase 2550–2780 mm

Full specifications

Naturally the new Toyota Verso more efficient than the old one, more spacious inside, with five individual rear seats in the back that fold separately to leave an evenly flat load deck. Happily, you don't have to remove the head restraints first.

Sensibly, this is a test of the new Toyota Verso's practicality rather then its handling attributes. And in that respect, it passed.

The five rear seats are easy to erect and collapse. You can have them in any configuration you want: 1 + 2, 3 + 1, 3 + 2; whatever you need to accommodate awkward loads or the whims of child passengers. Everyone is very well protected with airbags everywhere. And there is a bit of space behind the rearmost seats for shopping or a single suitcase.

There are cupholders everywhere, seatback picnic tables, a panoramic interior mirror to watch what the kids in the back are getting up to, and the T-Spirit model even has a reversing camera with the picture in a screen in the rear-view mirror, or on the satnav screen if you specify that as an option.

Child seats that fit a Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013) like to drive?

At first, Britain will only get the Verso 147PS 1.8 petrol Valvematic, with 6-speed manual or 7-ratio CVT, or 126PS 2.0 diesel, with 6-speed manual only. A 132PS 1.6 petrol Valvematic will come later, as the entry model and also a 150PS 6-speed torque converter automatic 2.2 diesel (as tested late last year in the new Avensis). Based on figures for the old Verso, Toyota expects to sell 20% 1.6, 20% 1.8, and 60% 2.2 diesel.

The new 1.8 Valvematic petrol engine, same as in the new Avensis, is particularly impressive, emitting 164g/km and managing more than 40mpg combined even with a CVT transmission. Though anyone seeking maximum economy can expect around 50mpg from the 2.2 diesel. Remember here, we are talking about a seven-seater.

It's easy rather than exciting to drive. Visibility is very good indeed, the mirrors are big, the speedo and rev counter are line-of-sight, the steering and clutch of the diesel are light. But you still have the rather tedious chore of needing to change gear.

The story becomes much better with the 1.8 Valvematic engine coupled to the 7-selectable-ratio CVT. You can leave it to do the job for you, either in Econ or Sport modes. Or take over using the paddleshifts. The effortlessness of the steering, with the lighter engine make the Verso feel much more nimble. If I had a large family, or the chore of taking six kids to school, then this is definitely the version I would go for.

Add the fact that the petrol engine leaves you with no worries about diesel particulate filters and dual mass flywheels, and I think Toyota might have to reassess its projected model split in favour of the petrol CVT.

You can posh it up with extra cost options like a panoramic sunroof for £600 and leather seats for £1,575 (well, there are seven). Satnav is more practical these days, but £1,000 - £1,500 is a fair bit more than Nissan's £400 SD card Connect system.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.33 VVT-i 51 mpg 13.3 s 127 g/km
1.33 VVT-i automatic 54 mpg 13.7 s 120 g/km
1.6 V-Matic 42 mpg 11.7 s 158 g/km
1.8 V-Matic 40–40 mpg 10.4–11.1 s 164–165 g/km
2.0 D-4D 53 mpg 11.3 s 139 g/km
2.2 D-4D 42 mpg 10.1 s 178 g/km
2.2 D-CAT 42 mpg 10.1 s 178 g/km

Real MPG average for a Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

31–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I recently had the back tyres on my car replaced - why does my car feel less sure-footed now?

I've always used 205/60 H16 Michelin ESaver tyres on my 2010 Toyota Verso. The front tyres needed replacing and I was persuaded to fit Michelin 205/60R16 Cross Climate + 96H XL. Since then, the car doesn't feel as sure-footed. The alignment of the wheels was checked when the tyres were replaced, which was found to be perfect, and I regularly check the air pressure.
It needs Cross Climate on all four wheels, not merely the front pair. They also need to be at the correct pressures, which will be the lowest cold pressures listed for the car. Cross climates are more compliant than energy tyres and that will be what you are feeling, but they grip better, give better steering feel and are quieter in addition to the cold weather benefits.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Toyota Verso (2009 – 2013)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Diesel engine, Easy access, Raised driving position, Petrol engine, Versatile interior and MPV.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 83%
  • 4 star 17%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

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