Sunday, January 12, 2014

Toyota Verso - Uninspiring Design But Practical

The Toyota Verso is by all means a practical and cheap to run compact MPV that gives a refined driving experience. However it has an uninspiring design and the interior is stuffed with cheap plastics which give the edge to other rivals like Ford C-MAX and Mazda 5. The cabin is practically designed with a high driving position.

The Toyota Verso has a very conservative van like design, and even the bumpy bonnet and the side lines on the body doesn't do much to hide this look. The front has a boring grille and uninspiring headlights. The only two things that give the Verso some road presence are the Lexus inspired rear lights and its wider track. Same is the case inside, where the cabin is more practical than stylish and cheap materials even enhance this message. If standing next to a Ford C Max, the Verso looks rather down market. The Toyota Verso might not have an engaging drive but it is smoother as compared to others in the class. The diesel engines are refined and suspension is soft giving a comfortable ride both on the city roads and motorways. The steering is light but gives a little feedback on sharp bends and the body rolls too. Having said that, it has an excellent driving position to redeem the driver's confidence.

The Verso has managed to score full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Overall Toyota has built a strong repute in reliability and the Verso is not any different. Toyota has won the 5th place in Auto Express Driver Power survey. The Toyota Verso is equipped with a host of airbags, electric stability control and ABS as a standard on all models making it a safe car to drive. It comes with a five years manufacturer warranty for buyers extra peace of mind. Practicality is where the Toyota Verso scores the top marks. The cabin might be simple but it is versatile with lots of storage cubbies. The second bench can be slid back and forward which allows to choose between the extra leg room or boot space. The rear most seats can be folded flat single-handedly resulting in huge 1,645 litres of boot space leaving the contemporary rival Mazda 5 behind by 160 litres. There is an option for seven seats which adds two small chairs at the back which are best for kids.

Unfortunately the Toyota Verso loses in terms of efficiency. The 2.0 litre diesel engine returns an economy of 53.3mpg with 139g/km of CO2 emissions, while the equally quick rivaling Ford C MAX manages 61.4mpg with 119g/km of emissions when powered by a 1.6 litre TDCi engine. Toyota has been stingy on the standard kit, the rear parking sensors only come with the range topping T Spirit and as an option with the rest and cruise control is not even available. However its practicality and five years manufacturer's warranty makes the Verso a good choice as a family car.