Used Toyota Verso Review (2009-2018) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Toyota Verso Exterior Front

Toyota Verso (2009-2018)

The Toyota Verso's superb build quality and spacious interior are just a couple of the many attributes that add to its family appeal

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  • Comfortable long-distance
  • Practical for families
  • Reliable
  • Rear seats are difficult to access
  • Basic cabin
  • Uninformative steering
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What's the Toyota Verso like?

When a car company knows its cars are good enough to give a 5-year warranty from new, you know they're almost certainly going to be reliable and long-lasting.

That’s one of the attributes most people already know is true of Toyota’s range, and the 7-seat Verso people carrier is no exception.

This is a family car that’s not just reliable but practical. The rear five seats fold individually to make a myriad of people and luggage combinations.

And the quality and finish, both inside and out, are exemplary, if a little on the dull side.

That quality reaches all the way to the car’s high level of safety, and in the Euro NCAP crash test it reached the top of the list.

The latest updates in 2013 and 2014 brought a revised nose with an improved front end look and sharper headlights, plus numerous other changes both outside and in.


There are three engines available after 2014, and the biggest seller – of which many more will be available used – is a 1.6-litre diesel supplied by BMW.

This replaced Toyota’s own 2.0-litre unit and has higher economy – 62mpg government average – and low emissions of just 119g/km. Performance is fair, with 0 to 62mph in 12.6 seconds.

The two petrol engines are a 1.6-litre with 130bhp and a 1.8-litre with 145bhp. The 1.6-litre, with a manual 6-speed gearbox, is capable of 41mpg and covers the benchmark sprint in 11.6 seconds, while the 1.8-litre, driving through a continuously variable automatic gearbox, takes 11.0 seconds for the sprint and is capable of 43mpg.

Driving Experience and Practicality

The suspension majors on comfort – which is just as it should be in such a vehicle. The ride is excellent over all surfaces, helping to make it a very good long distance cruiser.
Peter Hayward

Wind noise is kept to a minimum and the cabin is a refined and quiet place to travel.

The handling doesn’t instil confidence in the driver because the steering has very little feel. It was improved after 2013, as were the suspension settings to give better road-holding, but it’s still not up to the best.

The front and middle rows of seats are well-shaped and supportive, and there's good space for passengers using them.

But the third row is only large enough for children and access is difficult.


Equipment in entry Active models includes remote locking, air conditioning, electric front windows, USB and hill start assist.

Mid-range Icon adds alloy wheels, electric rear windows, touchscreen infotainment with DAB radio, Bluetooth and a rearview camera, while top Excel models have bigger alloys, part leather trim, front parking sensors and sat nav.

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The Toyota Verso is a practical car that provides a comfortable ride and enough space for up to seven, making it ideal for family getaways. Performance isn't up to the standards of some rivals, but many will choose the Verso because they want a car that's dependable and as safe as an MPV gets.