The recently launched Toyota Corolla Verso brings new levels of convenience and versatility to the compact MPV sector, but without sacrificing exceptional value for money. From the earliest design stages, Toyota has sought to minimise cost of ownership, from the cost of parts to the length of time it takes to complete routine servicing.
Success in this area has helped the new Corolla Verso secure best or equal best-in-class insurance group ratings across the range. These start at 5E for the entry-level 1.6 VVT-i T2, the lowest for any seven-seat MPV on the UK market. The 7E rating for the 1.8 VVT-i T2 model is also lower than all its direct market rivals and the 6E and 7E groups for the 2.0 D-4D diesel models are equal to the current best-in-class.
Attention to parts prices has resulted in costs for the new model coming down by 33 per cent for frontal collision repairs and 31 per cent for rear-end collision work compared to the first generation model.
At the same time, the cost of typical front and rear crash replacement parts, such as body panels, light units and radiator, is more expensive for most of the Corolla Verso’s key rival models, including the Ford Focus C-Max, Vauxhall Zafira, Volkswagen Touran and the Renault Scenic. Where the Scenic is concerned, the same basket of parts is more than 30 per cent more expensive.
Not only are parts cheaper, they have also been designed for quicker and simpler replacement, saving more money on labour charges. Intelligent cost-reduction measures include aluminium bumper reinforcements with a new cross section and crush boxes and retaining stays for the headlights which are separate from the headlight housing, which helps protect them from severe damage in a minor collision.
The Citroen Xsara, offering only five seats, may be cheaper than the Corolla Verso in terms of crash repair costs, but any advantage it holds is soon lost when regular maintenance items are considered. Here the combined cost of oil and air filters, brake pads and spark plugs is more than 52 per cent greater than the total for the Toyota. In this regard, the Corolla Verso represents better value than any of its principle competitor models.
Total maintenance time up to 62,500 miles (100,000km) has also been reduced compared to the previous model: by 27.5 and 22.2 per cent for petrol and diesel engines, respectively. This has been made possible by the adoption of longer life spark plugs, air filter and coolant. Plug replacement is now at 50,000 miles, filter at 40,000 miles and coolant at 90,000 miles.
In terms of specification, the new Corolla Verso also outperforms other compact MPVs which at first glance may have an attention-grabbing on-the-road price. For example, not one can offer the driver’s knee airbag that is standard on every Corolla Verso and no equivalent model can match the provision of automatic climate control, standard on T3 and T Spirit models. Other key equipment features that come as extra-cost options on most rival models include rain-sensing wipers, an electrochromic self-dipping rear view mirror and cruise control (all standard on T3 and T Spirit models).
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