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Toyota Verso

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      30.07.2010 02:37
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      A great family car with lots of good features

      Really cannot believe that there have been no other reviews for this fab car. The Toyota Corolla Verso was with us for just a month, but we loved it and didn't want to give it back. We had it as a hire car and it was everything and more that a family could have wanted and more than we expected.

      Toyota have had a bit of a bad press of late, with certain of their models having been recalled for a number of potentially hazardous issues. At the time when we had the Verso there had been no such issues reported with that model and I don't think its been affected by the recent recalls.

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      The model we had was a top of the range Toyota Corolla Verso T Spirit. It had a punchy 1.8i engine but also comes in a smaller 1.6 version and a 2.2l diesel set up. The Verso is a large car and as such I feel that it does need the larger 1.8i engine. The 1.6 is considered by some to be a little lacking for the size of the vehicle, but is a little more economical when you get to the pumps.

      The T Spirit model that we had was fantastic. We loved it! It came with a nice set of alloy wheels which set the car off a treat and made it look smart and modern,the body coloured front and rear bumpers also made the car look well finished. The windows were all electrically powered and the drivers seat height was adjustable.

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      The addition of an electro-chromatic rear view mirror which really took the glare away from the bright headlights of cars behind the car at night time, was a really nice touch that can save your eyes from becoming over taxed when faced with a brightly lit car close to your bumper on a dark road. The dimming effect that the rear view mirror had was a really well thought out feature.

      Air conditioning was a bonus too and we used that on and off, although we did find that it tended to dry our throats a little too much, so had to keep a bottle of water in the car to sip on longer drives. This is something that we haven't found on many cars, so perhaps the air conditioning unit was due for a service.

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      The car that we had was the full 7 seat version of the Verso, not that we tried all 7 seats very much, but they were there if we had needed them. They are smaller then the normal seats in the car and are of the pop out of the boot area type. They are mostly suitable for younger children or perhaps very small light adults. I feel they are best considered as something to use on shorter trips as leg room is tight when using these seats.

      The boot of the car is roomy and you can fit several large cases into it. Its deep and also wide and offers plenty of space when the extra 2 seats are not in use. When the additional seats are fully used, the boot space is very limited indeed so this is something to think about if you will be needing the extra seats on a regular basis.

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      The sound system that came in the car was quite good, with plenty of base and a good balance of over all tone. The usual radio, with the capability to switch on traffic updates was also present. The T Spirit model that we had came with a set of built in tv type screens that were set into the rear of the front headrests, which was only available as standard kit on that model.

      We found that we were able to plug in some of the old skool type console games, that come with a controller built in to them and play with ease. We thought that the fact that you could use them to play Pac Man and Donkey Kong was really cool and there were often discussions over who was going to sit in the back and play.

      As far as I know you could also play dvds on the screens but we didn't got around to trying them out with a dvd, so I cannot comment on how clear the picture quality was when using a dvd.

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      The Verso has some really good safety measures built in as standard. There are lots of airbags. You get a drivers, passengers, drivers knee and side airbags, as well as curtain airbags. This makes a total of 7 airbags in the car. The car we had was also fitted with ESP or electronic stability programme, which was standard on this model but was an extra at the time on all other models in the range.

      The only down side that I can see to the car is the fact that its a bit thirsty. Whilst its a big old lump of car to drive about in, we did expect that it would fair better than it did with its mpg. As recent Toyota cars have made improvements to their fuel consumption I cannot say for sure if this has improved over the last year or so, but when we had the Verso, we were lucky to get 34mpg on a combined drive cycle and a not very good 30mpg in and around town.

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      Figures are better with the diesel model, but as ever the diesel model is more expensive to buy. So when considering if you need to splash the cash and go for a diesel model you do need to weigh up what kind of driving you will be doing and what distance you may be covering over the course of a year.

      If you are not covering between 14/15,000 miles per year then you may as well opt for the cheaper petrol version as it can take 3 to 4 years of driving for you to break even on the extra cost of buying and fueling the diesel model.

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      In summary this is a really nice car to drive. Its reliable and steady and has many great safety features as standard kit. The Euro Ncap rating for the Verso was a very good 5 star rate, which makes it a safe bet for the family. Other than the slightly low mpg I cannot fault the car, so it gets a full 5 star rating.

      Whilst it may have been slightly surpassed in the exterior styling stakes over the last few years inside the Verso exudes class and safety and this makes for a very comfortable drive.

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