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Toyota Verso 160 SX

Broadcast dates : 6th November 2005
12th November 2005

The Toyota 1,6 four-cylinder is the same engine as used in the Corolla 1600 sedan, but re-profiled with slightly more torque, probably achieved by different intake ducting and minor electronic tweaks.

The SX model is a fully-specced seven-seater, with the full Verso range of interior luxury items.

The air-con has anti-pollution filtration, there are heater and air ducts for the rear seat passengers, the windscreen has a special sound absorbing construction, and there are satellite controls on the steering wheel.

All this means it weighs in at not far off the 1400 kilogram mark, and it has a larger frontal area than the Corolla.

And talking of frontal areas, weíre still not too sure we like the new Toyotas Corporate bull-nose used on its imported products.

But overall, the Verso is a good-looking vehicle with distinctive rear taillights, prominent front wheel arches, and an overall classy look.
Unlike the 1,8 litre versions which come with a semi-automatic option, the Verso 160 is available only in five-speed manual form.

We have previously praised the Verso chassis for its car-like ride and grip, with none of the ponderousness or top-heavy feeling often associated with MPVs.

The width of the car at just over 1,5 metres not only means plenty of elbow room, but allows a wide track for excellent stability.

The Verso SX also comes with seven airbags and an impressive list of safety features, adding to its suitability as a momís taxi.

These include ABS brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and stability control. The Verso is a five-star NCAP vehicle and it certainly feels like it, even though itís no rocket ship at Reef Altitude. 

With not much torque, fuel consumption is very dependent on how and where you drive it.

The Car Magazine estimated index figure of 12,6 litres-per-hundred kilometers may well apply in day to day commuting, where the Verso 160 driver will often rev the engine hard through the gears.

And, talking of gears, Hendrik found he never really got to grips with the high-mounted lever situated close to the steering wheel.

Open road ability is good once the Verso gets into its stride, and freeway fuel consumption will drop below the nine litres per hundred mark at the speed limit.

Performance-wise itíll accelerate to a hundred in under 13 seconds at the coast, but probably take over 15 seconds at The Reef, where the 17 per cent power drop becomes a real factor in small-engined large cars.

Overall we found performance adequate for its intended purpose, and we were impressed with the honesty of this sub R200 000 package.

Toyota Verso 160SX
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 598 cc
  • Power: 81 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 150 Nm @ 4 800 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 12,6 seconds
  • Top speed: 184 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 10,2 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R197 700
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