Review: Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018)
Genuinely seats seven adults with some luggage space behind the rearmost seats. BMW 1.6 D-4D engine from 2014. Good reliability record.
Drab design and diesel is dull to drive.
Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018): At A Glance
The latest Verso has been restyled to look more like other new Toyota models and benefits from improved materials and a revised interior, plus new trim details. It's not 'all-new' as you can guess from the overall shape, although Toyota says 470 parts have been changed as part of the upgrade.
Happily, what made the previous Verso such a good MPV remains. There are seven seats, the rear five of which fold completely flat and these can be configured in any way you want. So for example, if you have a roll of carpet to move but also have two children to carry, that’s fine. In fact, you can fold all the seats for a huge cargo area if needed.
The cabin of the new Verso is remarkably hushed and refined. It rides smoothly and comfortably over speed bumps and potholes and there’s little intrusion from wind or road noise – it’s an area Toyota spent considerable effort on, revising the shape of the wing mirrors and increasing the amount of sound proofing.
Significant improvements have been made to the 2.0 D-4D diesel and Toyota is also offering a 1.6-litre petrol manual and a 1.8-litre petrol with a CVT automatic. in 2014 a new 1.6 D-4D engine was introduced. Sourced from BMW it's a proven engine bringing good performance, but more importantly, better economy to the Verso.
Toyota has made the decision to bring a five-seat model to the UK, but expects it will only account for a handful of sales. The seven-seater will be the default for most people with the mid-spec Icon trim being the most popular choice. It’s well equipped, with 16 inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, a reversing camera and a touchscreen entertainment system.
The new Verso might not be a ground-up replacement, but the sharper exterior styling and enhanced refinement add up to make it a convincing package for demanding MPV buyers. If you can get over a few slightly suspect interior trim materials then all of the ingredients are there – it’s practical, comfortable, easy to drive and it should - if Toyota’s reputation is anything to go by - prove to be reliable and economical.
There were some minor design updates for 2014 including an improved generation of Toyota's Touch 2 multimedia system. It gets a higher resolution screen, DAB and a reversing camera as standard. It's easy to use and looks far more like the kind of system you'd expect in a Toyota.
What does a Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018) cost?
Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 155–982 litres
The middle row of seats reclines and slides forward and back, plus there’s plenty of headroom so carrying adults is fine. The rearmost row is only really suited to occasional use though and although cildren will fit behind other children, they might struggle for legroom behind adults.
Obviously having the rear row of seats in place affects luggage space, but Toyota has put a little compartment under the floor and, along with the small amount of space behind the seats, it's enough for a family daytrip. However, the underfloor storage is at the expense of a spare wheel - there's a can of sealant instead,.
All of the seats can be folded with consummate ease. The seats in middle row have two easy to reach handles, one moves the backrest around and the other folds the seats flat – and there’s no need to remove the headrests. The handles are a little stiff, which keeps little ones from folding their siblings up on the motorway, but aren’t so stiff as to be inoperable with one hand.
If you fold all of the seats down there’s a huge, flat load area of 982 litres. It’s enough to transport pieces of furniture and other bulky items. Even with the car in five-seat form there’s a sizeable 440 litre load area, more than enough for weekend away or a family load of shopping.
Unfortunately, while the cabin may be comfortable and quiet, it lags behind European rivals when it comes to finish. Everything is perfectly solid and feels hardwearing, but the plastics, storage area linings and door pockets aren’t as plush as they are in cars like the Volkswagen Touran or Ford C-MAX.
Child seats that fit a Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018)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.
What's the Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018) like to drive?
Toyota expects the 124PS 2.0 D-4D to be the big seller in the UK and it's easy to see why. It’s a very impressive engine with 310Nm of torque available from very low down the rev range, giving plenty of performance no matter what gear you’re in. On top of that it’s very smooth and quiet, plus thanks to some technical improvements it’s cleaner than the old engine, with emissions of 129g/km and official fuel economy of 57.6mpg.
It’s not just the engine that impresses – the Verso is a very easy car to drive. The steering is light at low speed, making manoeuvring simple and the suspension, while soft and quiet over broken surfaces, does a good job of keeping body roll at bay when cornering. It's safe, stable and predictable. If there are any criticisms they’re minor - the steering could be a little heavier at higher speeds and the front window pillar is obstructive.
The main engine choice from 2014 is the 1.6 D-4D, borrowed from BMW. This chain-cam 1.6-litre unit is fitted across the MINI range and powers the One D and Cooper D models so it's a well proven engine. In the Verso it will be the only diesel choice, replacing the 2.0 D-4D engine.
Not only is it lighter than the 2.0 D-4D but it's also considerably more efficient. According to the official figures it will average 62.8mpg with CO2 of 119g/km (compared to 57.6mpg and 129g/km in the model it replaces).
With 110PS it's reasonably quick, helped more by the 270Nm of torque so while the 0-62mph time of 12.7 seconds isn't much to get excited about, it pulls well from low revs and will happily keep up with fast flowing traffic. Indeed it's a very smooth engine with low noise levels and impressive refinement. It can get a little vocal at high revs but it's never coarse and there's no vibration in the cabin or through the clutch pedal.
The relaxed nature of the 1.6 D-4D suits the Verso well. It's not exactly the most dynamic people carrier around but it's very easy to drive, comfortable and rides very well. The usual concern with smaller diesels is that they run out of power at higher speeds, not ideal if you're trying to overtake slower moving traffic.
Fortunately the 1.6-litre unit doesn't suffer too much from this problem as it's been tuned to deliver a fast throttle response throughout the rev range. It's no ball of fire but it feels gutsy enough.
|1.6||42–63 mpg||11.7 s||154 g/km|
|1.6 D-4D||63 mpg||12.7 s||119 g/km|
|1.8 Automatic||42–44 mpg||11.1 s||150–159 g/km|
|2.0 D-4D||58 mpg||11.3 s||129 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Toyota Verso (2013 – 2018)
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.
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.
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