Despite being a relatively large car, the Verso is easy to drive, with all the controls being suitably weighted while visibility is excellent.
There are three engines available – two petrols and one diesel. All three engines have been praised for their efficiency, with Toyota claiming that the 1.6-litre diesel is capable of achieving an impressive fuel economy of 62mpg.
The 1.6-litre diesel unit was acquired from BMW, and was previously found in models such as the Mini Cooper D, and BMW 316d. Whilst it is the most efficient engine available on the Verso, it can be quite gruff on start up, and a fair amount of vibration can be felt through the steering column, pedals and floorpan – even under gentle acceleration. The new 1.6-litre is an improvement over the 2.0-litre it replaces, but it’s still far off the 1.6-litre diesels in rivals in terms of running costs and performance.
It's not exactly exciting, but it handles well enough
The two petrol engines come in 1.6 and 1.8-litre iterations, with the 1.8-litre version being offered on all models, aside from the entry-level ‘Active’ specification. The 1.8-litre petrol is a suitable choice if you must have a petrol engine in a people carrier. However the high running costs make them hard to recommend. The smaller 1.6-litre is inevitably the cheaper to run but it still has poor fuel economy at 42mpg.
The Verso is available with either a six-speed manual, or a CVT-automatic gearbox, although the base-model Verso specification is only available with the manual. The manual models are recommended for their increased performance and fuel economy.
If you want a fun-to-drive MPV, the Ford C-Max is a better bet. If you just want a comfortable, easy to drive family mover, however, the Verso makes much more sense.
Ride and body control are perfectly acceptable, although the Verso can feel a bit fidgety over patchy surfaces and the noise from the suspension could be quite intrusive. The Citroen C4 Picasso is more comfortable in this respect.