Toyota Ireland has just introduced two new generation models into its popular MPV range. The new Prius+ and the 2013 new Verso, as well as enhanced levels of specification to the Verso-S, add significantly to the Toyota range, writes Padraic Deane.
The new models represent an interesting step-up in the segment in terms of design aesthetic, performance, and affordability with prices for five-seater models starting at €17,995 (rising to just under €35,000 ) and CO2 emissions as low as 96 grams.
The new Prius+ is an interesting first seven-seater hybrid. The first full hybrid with seven seats to hit Irish shores, the new Prius+ is sure to strike a chord with families who value the low cost of running associated with hybrid vehicles. And Toyota points out that it will also help those who know they are doing their bit to help protect the environment for future generations.
Just one model is offered with a very good specification level at €34,995. That compares with the higher spec Prius which has a price-tag of €31,205.
The Prius+ promises exceptional fuel economy at 4.1L/100km (or 68.7mpg ) and CO2 emissions of only 96g/km (VRT band A2 ), resulting in low €180 annual road tax. Achieving the great fuel economy return is boosted by the aerodynamic exterior design, as well as handling stability and vehicle quietness
The Prius+ is a highly practical family vehicle, offering increased space and passenger accommodation. The three rows of seats accommodate seven passengers comfortably and each row is positioned 45mm higher than the previous row to aid forward visibility, just like in a cinema or theatre. The car is the first Toyota hybrid to carry a lithium ion battery, which is a lot smaller and lighter than conventional hybrid battery packs and fits between the front seats, thus not intruding on cabin space.
With the exterior silhouette of a stylish estate car, the Prius+ is more visually appealing compared to the many traditional MPV style.
And the new interior design features an advanced dashboard and centre console architecture for improved ergonomics, with a good specification including the 'Toyota Touch' screen, rear view camera, Bluetooth, USB, six speakers and more.
The new Prius+ offers a spacious interior for seven passengers and ample luggage capacity. The wheelbase is 80mm longer than that of a standard Prius. The vehicle rear overhang is also 50mm longer, ensuring that both passenger accommodation and loadspace are significantly more spacious that those of the standard Prius. The new Toyota full hybrid’s seven-seat format features three, independent, sliding/split/folding second row seats and a 50:50 split/folding third tier for maximum versatility. The couple distance between front and second row seats is 35mm longer than Prius. And the couple distance between first and third row seats is a class-leading 1.63mm. The second knee room has been further improved by 25mm through the use of a thin, curved front and second row seat-back design. Toyota has also applied this to the third tier.
Following the Prius and the Auris hybrid, the launch last year of the Yaris Hybrid has made Toyota’s full hybrid technology available to an even broader customer base. Now, the Prius has become the first full hybrid vehicle available as a complete, stand-alone model range with the Prius+ the first full hybrid seven-seat vehicle added to the line-up.
The respective combined CO2 emissions of 89g/km and 96g/km represent unprecedented environmental credentials. And the two models will expand the Prius customer base and subsequent sales; the Prius+ targeting growing Irish families who require the space and flexibility of a larger, seven-seat vehicle.
Stylish new Toyota Verso MPV also arrives
The stylish new third generation Verso MPV features Toyota’s bold new design language with a clear family identity, improved interior quality and styling. It also has a revised 2.0 litre D-4D (diesel ) engine with better torque delivery and lower CO2 emissions.
The stronger exterior design language bringing new levels of dynamism and desirability to the Verso model range and does catch your eye much more than the current model.
The revised interior, including the harmonizing of instrumentation and switchgear, as well as enhancing perceived cabin quality through new trim detailing works well.
The new model is more refined. Lower noise, vibration and harshness levels offer greater cabin comfort. Toyota's 'Easy Flat' seating system offers true MPV flexibility, with 32 different seating permutations for maximum versatility. In addition, enhanced driving dynamics for improved ride comfort and a more responsive, engaging and enjoyable drive.
The Verso has undergone the biggest changes any Toyota model has seen to date with some 470 new parts used to create its stylish new look. The 2013 Verso also sees the introduction of a five-seater version available in Terra grade. The new Verso features several key improvements, offering customers greater levels of style, dynamism, comfort and desirability to make it a compelling, no-compromise compact C-segment MPV choice.
a spec upgrad
The Verso-S has has the specification enhanced for 2013. The changes are to the Luna grade which now features rear privacy glass as standard along with cruise control and grey stitching on steering wheel and gear lever. In conjunction with these changes, SkyView (panoramic roof ) has also been added as standard specification resulting in the Luna grade being renamed Luna SkyView.