Toyota Verso (2009): first photos of new MPV

Published: 24 February 2009

Toyota today shows off its new Verso – one of the most sensible ways of transporting seven passengers we can think of. No, the new 2009 Verso won't set the world on fire, but it will provide no-nonsense, cleverly thought through people carrying duties for the masses.

The new Verso arrives in April 2009 and continues where the last Verso left off: there is seating for seven arranged over three rows, and the styling is very evolutionary, as we've come to expect of Toyota.

That said, the usually conservative car maker keeps us guessing by mixing up the radical (iQ clever clogs city car, FH-TS Supra-alike concept car) with the wantonly cautious (Auris Golf clone, straight-down-the-middle Avensis family car). Guess the new Verso straddles both camps, with its neat engineering allied to ultra-safe style.

Toyota Verso: the engineering story

Clever engineering? Well, the new Verso MPV, 2009-style, increases power and torque by up to a fifth, says Toyota, while simultaneously lowering carbon and consumption by up to 12%. Very zeitgeisty.

Those engines will be 1.6 and 1.8 Valvematic petrols in the UK with a six-speed manual or Toyota's new Multidrive S CVT on the larger engine. Dervheads can pick the 2.0 or 2.2 D-4D engines.

Needless to say, Toyota is at great pains to point out the new Verso is designed specifically for Europe. Chief engineer Masato Katsumata said: 'Handling performance has been enhanced and, with support from our European engineering teams, the vehicle has been fine-tuned to ensure it gives stable and smooth performance on every type of European road.'

To boost interior space, the new Verso has swollen by 70mm in length and 20mm between the axles. More impressive for such a practical, upright car is the 0.29Cd drag figure. A slippery customer, the Verso.

And the seats?

The Verso boasts the latest iteration of Easy Flat, Toyota's answer to fold-flat pews (the seats lower more easily and return to their original position). All five rear chairs are stowable individually, with a mind-boggling 32 different seating permutations possible. Perfect for children's party games.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet