Verso 180 SX
dates : 13th June 2004/17th June 2004
Toyota's new Verso is badged as a Corolla, its body platform
in fact is based on a larger vehicle in the Toyota range,
known as the Avensis.
The Verso was designed unashamedly to make major inroads into
the European MPV market and South Africa is the only country
outside of Europe where the Verso is available.
Interestingly there is just one engine choice in the Verso
range, the 1,8-litre four cylinder unit with so-called
intelligent, variable valve timing. developing 95 kilowatts
and one hundred and seventy Newton metres of torque.
This is a willing and reliable unit, but in the Verso
installation it is a little intrusive at times, as it has to
work quite hard for its money.
With the Verso Toyota has gone for a very rigid bodyshell with
safety foremost in the designers' list of priorities.
This may account for the Verso being a little short on window
area compared to other MPVs in the market. But in its recent
European N-Cap, or New Car Assessment Programme crash test,
the Verso scored the highest number of points of any MPV to
The Verso comes in three basic forms, the 180 entry-level
model, the SX which we tested, and the TX.
On the SX model the semi-automatic Manual Mode Transmission,
similar to the Alfa Selespeed and BMW SMG systems is offered
as an option.
Like most of these transmissions, they are a bit of an
acquired taste, with gearshifts quite slow. To get a smooth
shift in the MMT version you also need to lift the accelerator
when changing, something you don't have to do with a
conventional automatic transmission.
The Verso SX comes with a full range of nine airbags for its
seven passengers, including a knee airbag for the driver.
Other luxury items standard on the SX are brake assist,
16-inch alloy wheels with two-oh-five-fifty five tyres,
automatic rain-sensing wipers, vehicle stability and traction
control and an RDS radio with a dashboard-mounted six-CD
Price-wise the Verso, like the newly-announced Volkswagen
Tauran, will be up against stiff opposition from the Renault
Prices on the Verso start from two hundred and nine thousand
for the basic model to two hundred and forty nine thousand for
the 180 TX.
The Scenic sells for significantly less than both these models
and is arguably better equipped. But it does lack the extra
two seats that the Scenic and the Tauran offer.
Car Torque is