World premiere of third generation of Toyota Verso

The new Toyota Verso debuted at the Geneva Show earlier this week. It should be on sale here before the summer. Toyota describe it as a no-compromise choice for compact MPV customers.

It is true to what the term MPV stands for – a multi-purpose vehicle – but Toyota boasts that the new Verso doesn’t ask the motorist to make sacrifices where style, comfort, quality and driving pleasure are concerned. Combining practicality and safety with desirability, new Verso will appeal to customers who want and expect more than just a functional car.

New Verso builds on the strong visual appeal of the model it replaces with a more dynamic design. It also benefits from greater levels of comfort, superior standard safety features, more interior space for passengers and their luggage, and, thanks to an engine range that features Toyota Optimal Drive technology across the board, it gives a more dynamic driving experience while maintaining class-leading emissions levels.

In developing new Verso, Toyota says that it gave it an exterior design that expresses sportiness and stability, and a fresh new interior with excellent convenience and attention to detail.

New Verso combines modern styling inside and out with space, comfort, practicality and flexibility. Class-leading safety provisions, ride quality, acoustic comfort and dynamic abilities match those of a conventional passenger car.

The interior is all new, with more space, comfort and an improved Easy Flat-7 folding system for the five rear seats that is easier to operate. Special attention has been paid to improving accommodation for all rear seat passengers, while there is significantly more room behind the third row of seats for load carrying.

Toyota Optimal Drive technology has been introduced throughout the range. They tell us that this increases engine power by up to 20 per cent, while at the same time achieving reductions in emissions and fuel economy of up to 12 per cent. In the UK Verso will be offered with new 1.6 and 1.8 Valvematic petrol engines which will have a class-leading combination of power and CO2 emissions.

These will be offered with a new six-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of Toyota’s new Multidrive S continuously variable transmission on the 1.8 unit. A revised version of the 2.0-litre D-4D diesel will also be available, with a 2.2 D-CAT engine with new six-speed automatic transmission due to join the line-up later in the year.

The new Verso is designed to achieve a maximum, five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test programme, thanks to upgraded active, passive and pedestrian impact safety features and a highly rigid, impact absorbing body shell that makes greater use of high tensile steel. Notably all Verso models will be equipped with curtain shield airbag protection for passengers in the third row of seats and with intelligent steering assist Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+ ).

Equipment grades and specifications for new Verso in Ireland will be announced nearer the car’s on-sale date in April.

However, we believe that all models may be equipped with seven airbags, including side airbags for third row passengers; active front headrests; steering assist Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+ ) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC ), LED rear lights, puddle lights, an overhead console, underfloor storage, boot organiser and an additional rear view mirror so the driver can keep an eye on younger rear seat passengers.

Other features and options that will be available according to grade include Bluetooth, manual or climate control air conditioning, a cooled glovebox, cruise control, 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels, rain and dusk sensors for the wipers and headlights, full map satellite navigation with a 10Gb hard disk drive and rear parking monitor and panoramic sunroof.

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