Toyota returns to the B-MPV market with the Toyota Verso-S, a new model that majors on delivering exceptional space and great flexibility within compact overall dimensions. In terms of size, it may be the smallest competitor in the mini-MPV segment, but clever Toyota design has produced an interior that verges on compact family hatchback levels of passenger and load space.
Toyota can be credited with originating the B-MPV concept 10 years ago when it launched Toyota Yaris Verso. It re-enters the segment at a time of significant growth: European sales have almost tripled since 2002 as more and more motorists look to downsize and take advantage of the inherent convenience, efficiency and user friendliness of the mini-MPV. These customers are not only families making a switch from conventional B-segment hatchbacks, they also include empty nesters and older people looking for smaller cars that are easy to drive, with no sacrifice in the levels of space, comfort, equipment and quality they are used to.
On the outside the five-door Toyota Verso-S is shorter overall (less than four metres long) than any of its market rivals, but within a generous 2,550mm wheelbase Toyota has crafted exceptional interior space for both passengers and luggage. Every detail was addressed in the quest for the best possible packaging, including using a slimmer front seat design and tailoring the profile of the rear door trims to add extra "foot space" for easy passenger access.
The 60:40 rear seats can be folded flat in a one-touch action, a job that is made easier thanks to extra control levers being provided in the boot, and a two-position lightweight deckboard allows for loadspace depth to be easily adjusted. On T Spirit models a maximum 1,388 litres is available with the rear seats folded down.
All versions of Toyota Verso-S are powered by Toyota's 98bhp 1.33-litre VVT-i petrol engine, delivering the lowest CO2 emissions and best fuel economy in the mini-MPV segment
When matched to a six-speed manual transmission, the system delivers 127g/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 51.4mpg. Thanks the higher efficiency of the Multidrive S CVT - the only transmission of its kind in the segment - CO2 figures are lower still at 120g/km, with an improvement in average fuel consumption to 54.3mpg (combined cycle).
Toyota Verso-S introduces Toyota Touch, a new multimedia touchscreen system for controlling audio and communications functions. It is fitted as standard to all versions of the car and comes with Bluetooth for hands-free mobile phone use and audio streaming, plus a USB port for connecting personal music players. Toyota Touch also features a trip information screen, displaying details of journey time, distance and fuel economy, including journey-by-journey comparison records.
From May 2011 owners will be able to upgrade Toyota Touch with a new Touch and Go navigation package. This provides all key navigation functions, plus the flexibility to add more advanced features and applications, accessed via Google.
Toyota Verso-S is available in two trims - TR and T Spirit. Key features of the TR include Toyota Touch, Bluetooth, reversing camera, front fog lamps, air conditioning, seven airbags (including driver's knee airbag) and one-touch folding rear seats.
T Spirit models additionally feature 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows, a panoramic glass roof (the largest in the segment) and dark-tinted rear privacy glass.
Three option packs are available: Style Pack, with additional exterior chrome trim details; Leather Pack, with premium two-tone grey leather upholstery; and Protection Pack, which provides rear parking sensors, a boot liner and scuff plates.
From May, the Touch and Go navigation package will also be available.
Through its Centre network, Toyota is offering special launch prices for the new model: the TR is available for £13,995 on-the-road, with the T Spirit costing £14,995. Opting for Multidrive S adds £1,150 to the price.Published 25 February 2011