Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Toyota Verso Excel 1.6 D-4d

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Toyota Verso Excel 1.6 D-4d

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Gibson

SINCE its debut in 2002 the Toyota Verso has proved a popular choice in the European family car market, shifting in excess of 650,000 units, of which 52,000 have been sold in the United Kingdom.

Initially not blessed with the most exciting looks, its appeal was boosted considerably by a facelift in 2012 which introduced a stylish new nose, echoing that of the popular Auris hatchback and reflecting the Japanese car maker's more up-todate design language.

A narrow main grille sits above a more imposing and muscular lower one incorporating a full-width lip spoiler and flanked by sunken fog lamps. Coupled with a revised rear bumper with integral low-level diffuser, it gives the Verso a sportier look and a more planted stance on the road.

But not resting on its laurels, Toyota has tweaked its MPV again and the headline change is the introduction of the 110bhp, 1.6-litre diesel engine featured in this car, the only oil burner available in the range, replacing the previous 2.0-litre option.

Sourced from BMW, renowned for the performance of its diesels, it offers the sort of improved efficiency which will appeal to company users as well as families. Paired with a six-speed manual transmission and, for the first time in the Verso, an automatic start and stop system, fuel economy improves by 8%, to 62.8mpg on average, while carbon emissions are lower by 10g/km at 119g/km.

Acceleration isn't lightning at well over 12 seconds for the 0-62mph sprint, or brisk stroll in this case, but that's not the point here and a top speed of 115mph is more than adequate for any family motor.

Maximum torque is reached at 1,750 revs but only lasts to 2,250rpm, meaning there's plenty of versatility in town traffic but it you want some extra oomph at cruising speed you will need to work the gears.

The steering is light but accurate, the elevated ride height offers good all-round vision and the chassis is set up for comfort . Vital for the success of any MPV, of course, is how well it strikes the balance between internal space and not becoming too big and unwieldy.

With the Verso, Toyota has always erred on the side of keeping the car as physically compact as it can, so getting into those tight spaces at the supermarket is not a problem. …

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