What is it?
This is the Toyota Verso 1.8 TR, the biggest-selling petrol-powered version of Toyota’s compact seven-seat MPV. However, like others of this ilk, it’s not so compact any more. The rearmost seats are for kids and small adults only and none of them come out, but they all fold flat without too much effort.
The Toyota Verso would be a completely ordinary-looking people carrier were it not for novel creases in the flanks of its bodywork - they run from the base of the front bumper and rise through the lower portions of the doors before shooting skywards towards the D-pillar in the tailgate in an elegant and distinctive swoop. The monochromatic cabin is lifted by the bold sculpting of the dashboard, but Citroen’s C4 Picasso cabin is a more diverting place to sit.
What’s it like?
The 145bhp 1.8 in the Toyota Verso is called V-matic to indicate valve timing varied for both lift and duration. This efficiency enhancement earns the engine an ‘Optimal Drive’ label – Toyota-speak for greener efficiency. The Toyota Verso largely delivers on this promise, too, with the highest power output in the class, the lowest C02 emissions, the best fuel consumption and a 10.4sec 0-60mph time. That’s a fair sprint, but the torquey 1.4 TSI VW Touran motor is quicker.