22.2.2011 Toyota Verso-S VVT-i Multidrive review
Toyota has finally filled the gap left by the demise of the Yaris Verso with the Verso-S now that there is again a big enough difference between the Japanese market second generation Ractis (Verso-S here) and the Yaris.
Modern and ultra easy to live with, Toyota claim resale values after three years will make the Verso-S over £1,000 cheaper to run than a Nissan Note. Sluggish performance, though manual gearbox option feels better, means the car's better suited to a Tokyo housewife battling traffic jams than the cut and thrust of UK roads.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
On paper, 98bhp from the 1329cc VVT-i (variable valve timing) petrol engine sounds like enough for a car weighing 1070kg, but two up with two small cases and the T Spirit test car with optional (£1,150) Multidrive S transmission felt woefully underpowered on long inclines. The Verso was far more enjoyable to drive using paddle gear change than left in 'auto'. The six-speed manual felt fractionally livelier, but four up you still would have to be careful about pulling out into moving traffic. Maximum power arrives at 6,000rpm and maximum torque (92 lbs ft) at 4,000rpm. Acceleration to 62mph in a yawning 13.7 seconds. Top speed is 103mph.
Easy to drive and manoeuvre with electrically assisted power steering that reduces its assistance for more driver feedback when going quicker. Cornering ability is biased more towards comfort than sporty behaviour but the Verso-S is tidy enough and bumps don't come through too much. T Spirit versions, like the test car, ride on 16in diameter alloy wheels on lower profile tyres. TR models run 15in wheels but with same tyre width so are likely to deliver a smoother ride but softer cornering.
The relatively upright, angular wedge-shaped body and upright seating deliver impressive cabin space in a car less than four metres long. The rear seats fold easily but do not slide for more versatility – so is it really an MPV or just a hatchback? With 429 litres of luggage space in the T-Spirit model with its variable height boot floor you can get in three large cases if you upend them. The 60:40 split rear seats have a centre arm rest and can be folded from the boot. Length 3990mm. Width 1695mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The Verso-S's rather classy dashboard is dominated by a touch screen to run the car's information and entertainment systems and shows the view from a high quality colour reversing camera. From May, an extra £500 will upgrade it into a satellite navigation system with features including Google local search when linked via Bluetooth to a smart phone.
The front seats proved comfortable and in the back there is good headroom and reasonable leg space. A tilt and reach steering column helps find a good driving position.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Small cars aren't cheap any more but the TR manual is available initially for £13,995 instead of £14,645 and the T Spirit manual for £14,995 rather than £15,745. Eco-drive indicator on Multidrive gearbox cars lights when the accelerator is in the most efficient zone. On manual models a gearshift indicator prompts the driver to change up or down for maximum fuel efficiency. Official fuel figures are (manual in brackets) 45.6mpg (41.5mpg) urban, 61.4mpg (58.9mpg) extra urban and 54.3mpg (51.4mpg) combined.
CO2 emissions of 120g/km (127g/km for the manual gearbox) put the Verso-S Multidrive S into band C for £30 annual road tax compared to band D and £90 for the manual. Some of the lower CO2 is due to weight saved by ditching the space saver spare wheel as well as the greater efficiency of the auto box. Exhaust gas recirculation is also used to improve engine combustion performance and, by lowering engine operating temperature, minimises the need for fuel enrichment to protect the catalytic converter from overheating damage.
The main cabin looks and feels good with air conditioning, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, touch-screen multimedia system, Bluetooth telephone connection, colour reversing camera, USB connection, one touch folding rear seats and front fog lights all standard. T Spirit adds alloy wheels, panoramic glass sunroof, front and rear electric windows and rear privacy glass. Option packs are style pack, leather pack, protection pack (parking sensors, boot liner etc) and navigation pack.
Model tested: Toyota Verso-S 1.33 VVT-i Multidrive S
Body-style: Compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)
Engine/CO2: 98bhp 1329cc petrol / 120 gCO2/km
Trim grades: TR, T Spirit. Choice of four option packs
On-road price: From £14,645. Test car £16,895
Warranty: Five years/ 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 3.5 STARS
Post a commentReturn to top
blog comments powered by Disqus