POTENTIAL owners of seven seater cars in the compact MPV market are now spoiled for choice because there are so many to choose from making it rather difficult for them to select the best one for their particular needs writes Bryan Longworth.
However, one such car that should be considered is the latest Toyota Verso which is built at the Toyota plant in Turkey and which now has much more appealing styling and is a car with very good residual values that is good news when it is time to say goodbye to the vehicle.
The eight model range has a five seat entry level model alongside the seven seater versions but this is only likely to have limited appeal as most owners will go for the Verso with seven seats.
The two third row seats which fold flat into the floor are only suitable for kids and with them being used for passengers there is very little rear room for luggage as is the case with most seven seater cars.
However, with the two back seats folded flat as they are likely to be for much of the time if my experience of owners of seven seat cars is anything to go by there is a large amount of load space.
On the road prices start at £17,495 rising to £23,445 for the Verso 2.0 D-4D Excel which was the car I have just been testing that had several options fitted that increased the price by over £1600.
The diesel engine linked with six speed manual tranmission provided a top speed of 115mph a zero to 62mph time of 11.3 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 53.3mpg.
There is no doubt that Toyota stylists have now given the latest Verso much more showroom appeal because it looks much sleeker than the previous model which was rather bland and it will have much more street cred especially on the school run.
It also continues with Toyota’s reputation for build quality with a roomy and comfortable interior a well designed fascia with user friendly controls and instruments plus a high driving position and a nice feel about the steering.
The large speedometer is easy to see despite being sited in the middle of the fascia but I would have preferred it to have been in front of the driver and not to the left of the driving position.
As one would expect from the top model it is loaded with standard equipment that includes DAB radio, satellite navigation and a rear view camera that makes reversing much easier and safer.
While the latest Verso which has a five year warranty cannot be said to have sexy styling it is a much better looking car in every way and with other improvements makes it a much more tempting buy in the quality sector of this market segment.
My Verdict: Ideal for school run mums.
Model: New Toyota Verso 2.0 D-4D Excel.
Engine: Four cylinder diesel.
Output: 125bhp @ 3600rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 115mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 11.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 53.3mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 129g/km.
Price: £23,445 on the road.