If you want to carry seven people but you don't want a full-sized MPV, your options are surprisingly limited - but not as much as you might think. One seven-seater compact MPV which has been around for years, but which is still largely unknown, is Toyota's brilliantly practical Verso. Well equipped, safe, dependable, flexible and spacious, it's also very easy to use and own. It's also far less common than its rivals; perhaps it's time to look beyond the obvious?
12/01: Toyota launches the five-seater Corolla Verso with 1.6 or 1.8-litre petrol engines plus a 2.0 turbodiesel.
5/04: An all-new seven-seater Corolla Verso arrives; it looks like its predecessor and has the same engine range as before.
11/05: A 2.2-litre D-4D turbodiesel engine replaces the 2.0-litre unit; it's also offered in sporty 175bhp form.
2/07: A mild facelift brings fresh front and rear lights plus extra standard equipment.
Toyota Verso (2002-2008) Checklist
- The optional DVD player can get bashed, leading to reliability problems.
- The front brake discs are prone to scoring.
- An actuator problem can leave MMT (CVT automatic) cars with no usable gears.
- Petrol engines can use a litre of oil every 600 miles, so make sure it hasn't been running on empty.
- The paintwork chips easily, particularly on the leading edge of the bonnet.
- Some of the interior plastics aren't very durable; the steering wheel can delaminate.
- The light cluster seals can fail, leading to water getting in. Look for condensation inside.
- Equipment levels
We Don't Like
- Dull design
- High used prices