Road Tested By Hugh Maguire.
First of all let’s not get confused here. Toyota have a mid sized MPV called the Verso, a car I road tested some time ago which sells for around €28,000 and is rather good.
The car on test here this week is the Toyota Verso-S. Essentially a mini MPV if you like, that in size at least compares with cars like the Ford Fiesta, or Honda Jazz.
The Verso-S comes in three grades, Terra, Luna and Sol, and with a 1.3 VVTi petrol engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or multi shift auto.
It’s not a bad looking car with, I suppose, a robust looking profile. To be honest though it is nothing special either, and looks much like a more squared off style 5-door hatch.
Behind The Wheel
Inside one is greeted by a roomy cabin with a simple functional style about it. The slightly elevated driving position gives a commanding view of the road while all the switches and levers are well positioned for ease of use.
There is plenty of oddments space and cup holders into which to throw all the gear we all seem to carry around these days.
Standard equipment is reasonably good. Safety features include seven airbags, ISOFIX points, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, and even Traction Control. In the rear there are three full three point seat belts with pre tensioners, and Active Head restraints up front to reduce the risk of whiplash in a rear end shunt, 16 inch alloy wheels on the Luna version on test, with a good stereo with Aux jack for your iPod, tinted glass, electric mirrors, front (only) electric windows, split fold rear seats, and a standard 6-speed gearbox complete the package.
The 1.33 litre VVTi engine is mated to a nice 6-speed manual gearbox. This unit puts out a good 99bhp at 6,000rpm and managed to return an average fuel consumption over my road test of 6.1 litres per 100km. Emissions are just 127g/km and it costs from €104 to tax, so not expensive to run and own really.
I found the performance to be good. This is quite a free reving unit but can sound a little harsh when pushed on a bit.
Accommodation is good and it is an honest 4-seater with a good load area and a five seater at a squeeze. With the rear seats up it can take a reasonable load while when folded flat (which is very easy indeed) that space increases to 1322 litres. It rides and handles pretty well, it’s safe and predictable in all conditions and the suspension set-up gives a smooth comfortable ride.
Toyota are always keen to reduce NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and have been successful in doing that in the new Verso-S. It proves nippy about town while also being a decent motorway cruiser.
I failed to warm to the Verso-S. Frankly it probably does everything well and nothing badly, but with the level of quality on offer from its rivals I am afraid it really does not compare. Other cars just feel more interesting, they have more flair, more design appeal and indeed though it seems strange to say it about a Toyota, many rivals are better specified. They too offer the space of the Verso-S and are priced to compete.
The Verso-S is priced from €16,995.