Last Chance To Buy: Toyota Verso

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Indy Lifestyle Online

There's a new Verso about to arrive in your local Toyota showroom. The main difference is, apart from slightly sharper styling, is that all the rear five seats fold flat. The extra row of rear seats don't have to be humped out of the way. A lever on each of the two seats makes the cushions spring downwards into the boot floor-space and the seat backs come down, making the load bay completely flat. The old Verso is not so versatile, but is still a good buy.

When's it going?

There's a new Verso about to arrive in your local Toyota showroom. The main difference is, apart from slightly sharper styling, is that all the rear five seats fold flat. The extra row of rear seats don't have to be humped out of the way. A lever on each of the two seats makes the cushions spring downwards into the boot floor-space and the seat backs come down, making the load bay completely flat. The old Verso is not so versatile, but is still a good buy.

What's good about it?

Look after this Verso properly and it will look after you. It costs more than a Vauxhall Zafira, but you get what you pay for because this is a quality piece of people-moving kit. The interior looks good with some classy metal-style inserts. On the outside it looks like a people-carrier designed by Lexus, which is Toyota's premium brand.

All the GLS models have air conditioning, a CD player and heated mirrors. The more upmarket GLS has rear vents so the air-con can reach the back-seat passengers. Satellite navigation means you won't get lost, the alloy wheels look good and it has a leather steering wheel and gear knob.

Those who can afford the £1,000 could order a four-speed automatic gearbox on the petrol model. Average fuel economy on the petrol model is just under 33mpg - not bad for a people carrier - but obviously the diesel is the better option especially when it does almost 44mpg. Even with all seats up, this compact people-carrier still has some room to put a bit of luggage. .

What's bad about it?

Not a lot. Car magazine in their legendary Good Bad Ugly section described it as a 'people-carrying Avensis' - accurate - but they reckoned that was also the best reason for not buying one. It is a practical car and dull compared to a Lamborghini Murcielago but that misses the point. The rear seats are best left to the kids because it's cramped.

How much?

With a deal on a Verso at dealers and through brokers, you can always get about £1,000 off. Drivethedeal.com had a limited number of old-shape models starting at £17,300, down from £18,522.

Any snags?

You understand by now that there are no snags on a modern Toyota, provided it has been serviced properly.

FACT FILE

Launched: 2001

Engine: 2.0 VT-I, 2.0 D-4D

Performance: 2.0 VVT-I 0-60 11.4 seconds, 119mph Economy: 32.8mpg

NCAP safety: not tested but the Avensis saloon and estate has a full five-star rating

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