- Solid interior quality
- Decent to drive
- Seven seats
- Limited boot space
- Average ride refinement
- Thirsty petrol engines
Compact MPV is practical, and decent to drive
The Toyota Verso, first introduced in 2009, is the Japanese manufacturers entry into the hugely competitive compact MPV market. With stiff competition from rivals such as the Vauxhall Zafira, the Ford C-Max, and the Peugeot 5008, the Verso remains Europe’s 10th best-selling MPV. The Verso is a well-constructed package, that offers family buyers practicality, reliability, safety, and solid build quality. It’s not the best car in its class, but it has enough merit to be a genuine contender.
An update in 2013 overhauled the exterior aesthetics, as well as improving interior quality, adding new engines to the lineup, and improving spec levels.
Simple design, solid build quality
The Toyota Verso is one of the few compact MPVs on sale with seven seats as standard. Most competitors only offer five, and you’d have to upgrade to one of the more bus-like options to get the practicality that the Verso offers. The interior of the Verso is an impressive family environment, and feels like it’s built to last.
The cabin of the Verso is one of simple design, and high-quality materials. There’s nothing flashy about the way that the dashboard looks, but it’s easy to use, and controls are exactly where you want them to be. Material quality is much improved after the update as well, with soft-touch plastics been used across the dash. Some critics say that it feels a little bit drab, but build quality and practicality are usually high up family buyers lists of requirements, and the Verso ticks both of these boxes.
Boot space in the Verso is similarly geared towards families, though it disappoints. There’s not as much room as in some rivals, with only 155 litres of space with all seven seats up, and 440 litres with five in place. Compare that to the Citroen C4 Picasso with 630 litres, and on paper the Verso is much less practical. But you’d have to upgrade to the more expensive, and more bus-like C4 Grand Picasso to get the seven seats that’s on offer in the Verso. It’s a compact package, but it offers big families on a budget (particularly those with small children) a pretty solid option.
Spec levels in the Verso are pretty impressive, so long as you avoid the entry-level trims. The best in the range is the second-cheapest Icon trim, which features climate control, electric windows, cruise control, alloy wheels, reversing camera, Bluetooth, and a DAB radio, not to mention a leather steering wheel and gearknob. It’s also not much more expensive than the entry-level trim, so is a great value option.
Overall the interior of the Verso is a solid package that’s ideal for family buyers. There’s not as much boot space as in some rivals, but with seven seats, solid build quality, simple design, and impressive kit, the Verso is a great option to consider.
Decent to drive, but poor refinement
The Verso is a much improved car to drive since its update in 2013. It’s not exactly what you’d call fun, but this is a family car after all. Ride refinement is however quite disappointing, with lots of wind and road noise, especially when cruising along the motorway.
Handling in family cars tends to err towards comfort over entertainment. The Verso is no different. It’s nowhere near as fun to drive as a Ford C-Max, but it offers decent levels of comfort. There’s enough to grip for it to feel confident through the corners, and steering is light about town, which makes the Verso a doddle to park, especially for a seven-seater. It’s not a car that’s going to consistently put a smile on your face, but both you and your family will be safe and comfortable.
Ride refinement is a little bit of a disappointment in the Verso. In terms of the suspension system, it’s actually reasonably impressive, coping with all but the biggest potholes with ease, and gliding over rough surfaces without too much trouble. Body roll is similarly kept well under control, but it’s road noise where it lets itself down. Motorway driving in the Verso is quite a noisy experience, with wind, road, and engine noise seeping into the cabin.
Gearbox options in the Verso come in two guises. The standard option in the range is a six-speed manual transmission, that’s actually pretty decent, and offers good value when it comes to fuel efficiency. There’s also a CVT automatic which is an option throughout the range, though critics across the board criticise it for being inefficient and noisy.
Decent diesel, disappointing petrol
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Verso, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. It’s disappointing to see that Toyota’s hybrid technology isn’t available in the Verso, but this won’t be an issue for too many buyers.
If it’s power you want from your Verso, you’re more than likely going to be disappointed by the engines on offer in the Verso range. The fastest on sale is the petrol-powered 1.8 litre V-Matic, which produces 147bhp, and will get you from 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds. Obviously this isn’t the quickest car in the world, but it’s enough oomph to cope with day-to-day living. It’s not the most fuel efficient however, so it’s not the one we’d recommend.
For the environmentally-conscious buyer, the best engine in the range is the diesel-powered 1.6 litre D4-D. With just 119g/km of C02 emissions, you won’t be exhaling too many nasty gases into the atmosphere, and you’ll also be saving money on emissions tax. This engine option is also a great option for money-savers. With up to 62mpg on offer, you’ll also be able to save yourself some money at the petrol pumps. This engine is neither the most efficient, nor the greenest in its class, but it’s still impressive.
The engines on offer in the Verso off family buyers decent fuel efficiency, and relatively low C02 emissions, so long as you avoid petrol-powered cars. There’s no engine in the range that offers true performance, but there’s enough power in most models to cope with everyday life.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good safety equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the Verso easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 89% in adult protection, 79% in child protection, and 69% in pedestrian protections, the Verso scores pretty well, though adult and child protection figures are slightly below those of some competitors. There is however plenty of safety kit on offer. Seven airbags come as standard, along with stability control, and traction control, which help to keep you and your family safe.
Good value for money, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Toyota Verso offers families pretty good value for money. This obviously varies from model to model, but most Verso’s have relatively low C02 emissions, and impressive fuel consumption. Petrol-powered models offer the least value in the range, with poor fuel efficiency, and relatively high C02 output, but go for a manual-transmission diesel model, and day-to-day costs will be kept down to a minimum.
Insurance wise, the Verso is again good value for money. Once again it depends upon which spec/trim you go for, but it’s generally reasonable to insure. The cheapest model in the range is the efficient 1.6 D-4D Active TSS, which sits in group 10, with the most expensive being the top of the range 2.0 D4-D Excel, which is group 17. Whichever model of Verso you go for, you won’t be paying too much to insure it each year.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the Verso. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Toyota Verso is a pretty solid, if unspectacular option in the compact MPV market. It might not excel in any particular area, but there’s a well-designed interior, good levels of spec, and it’s a good value family car to own. If you’re in need of seven seats, but you don’t want to feel like you’re driving a minibus, the Verso is a great MPV to consider.
Buying a used Toyota Verso online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Toyota Verso for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Verso. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Toyota Verso online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Verso? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Toyota Verso, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Verso, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Toyota to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.