Geneva Motor Show: 2009 Toyota Verso unveiled

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 26, 2009

The Verso, one of Toyota's most successful world cars, has been introduced as a third-gen model at the Geneva Motor Show. Since it was started, the MPV has experienced numerous modifications.

For instance, the Easy Flat-7 system has been made more user-friendly. The five seats at the back can be folded individually with just a pull of a lever to permit more cargo room.

It is claimed by Toyota that there are 32 possible variations that can be accomplished with Easy Flat-7. The Verso comes with more storage bins and slots in contrast to the backpack of a mountaineer. The Verso will be opened in the UK this April with three engine versions, two of which will be gasoline-powered.

The 1.6-liter VVT-i powerplant currently generates 132hp (98kW) and torque of 160Nm. It comes with a 161g/km CO2 emission rating, while the larger 1.8-liter has a potency yield of 147hp (110kW) and a top torque of 180Nm.

The diesel engine available is 2.0-liter D-4D comes with 126hp (93kW) and a maximum torque of 310Nm. Later this year, though, a 2.2-liter turbo diesel will be available with 150hp (112kW) and a torque of 340Nm.

This powerplant is not new since its just a carry over from the present Verso model. The powerplants are paired with a 6-speed manual or the latest Multidrive CVT.

In the interior the Verso utilizes LED Technology to illuminate the footwells for more convenient interior access. The center console is freed from the gear lever since it has been located near the steering wheel. The sense of spaciousness is further enhanced by the enormous panoramic sunroof.

Press Release

Toyota Verso

The Toyota Verso combines true multi-purpose vehicle flexibility and practicality with the comfort and driving enjoyment of a conventional passenger car. It is the no-compromise, compact C segment MPV choice.

With the launch of the Space Cruiser in 1984, Toyota established itself as one of the pioneers in the MPV category. Since entering the C segment in 2002, the company has recognised that flexible interior packaging alone is no longer sufficient for increasingly demanding and discerning C-MPV customers.

The original, 2002 Corolla Verso and the second generation model launched two years later were both derivatives of contemporary C segment products.

Today, changing the name of Toyota's new C-MPV emphasises the use of a newly adopted platform for the Verso, carefully tailored to meet the increasingly varied demands of today's MPV customer. The name change also reflects the fact that the compact MPV is no longer the extension of the C-segment; it is a segment in its own right.

The C-MPV segment reached maturity in 2005, representing 9.3% of the European market. This figure has declined marginally to 8.4% in 2008, yet the segment still remains the fifth largest in Europe, with 17% of customers migrating from the D segment in the same year.

Unsurprisingly, 57% of the new Toyota Verso's projected 57,000 customers for 2009 will be families, attracted to the Toyota C-MPV by its versatility, roominess and comfort. However, there is also a growing number of 'empty nesters' who need the flexibility of a multi-purpose vehicle to cater for their active lifestyles. They now make up 28% of potential sales.

Hence, the Toyota Verso will be a lifestyle choice rather than merely a life-stage consequence. It has been developed specifically for a 'Progressive Modern Mainstream' European customer target group who, typically, are early adopters of innovations. And this is reflected in every facet of the new Verso's development.

Toyota's unique 'Dynamic Lounge' concept combines state-ofthe- art exterior and interior styling with the ultimate in space, comfort, practicality and flexibility. It offers class leading occupant and pedestrian safety features, and the ride quality, acoustic comfort and dynamic abilities of a conventional passenger car.

Within an all-new interior, an improved Toyota Easy Flat-7 seating system offers more space, greater comfort and easier operability, with a particular focus on enhanced second and third row accommodation.

Toyota Optimal Drive technology has been introduced throughout the Toyota Verso range offering engine power increases of up to 20%, and fuel economy and CO2 emission reductions of up to 12%. A five engine line-up features 126DIN hp 2.0-litre, and 150 and 177DIN hp 2.2-litre examples of Toyota's D-4D turbodiesel technology, as well as 1.6-and 1.8-litre Valvematic petrol units offering class-leading power and CO2 emissions.

With a class-leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.295, a longer wheelbase, increased front and rear tracks and extensively revised suspension geometry, the new Verso's enhanced driving dynamics offer improved handling, body control, stability and ride comfort.

The Toyota Verso combines upgraded active, passive and pedestrian impact safety features with a highly rigid, impact absorbing body shell incorporating a high percentage of high tensile steel. Toyota's new C-MPV is engineered to fulfil the maximum 5-star rating safety requirements in the stringent Euro NCAP crash test programme.

Capitalising on an investment of more than 1 billion Euros and reinforcing the Adapazari plant's reputation for exceptional build quality, the new Verso will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey.

'Dynamic Lounge' concept

Toyota's 'Dynamic Lounge' concept is far from simply an interior styling and packaging exercise. It focuses on every key attribute of a C segment MPV to ensure that the Toyota Verso combines stateof- the-art exterior and interior styling with the ultimate in space, comfort, practicality and flexibility. It offers class leading occupant and pedestrian safety features, and the ride quality, acoustic comfort and dynamic abilities of a conventional passenger car.

The 'Lounge' element of this unique concept is reinforced through the comfort, quality, convenience, atmosphere and roominess of an all-new interior. The Verso's 'Dynamic' content is expressed through powerful external and interior design elements and advanced driving dynamics.

Dual-Zone exterior design

In comparison to the model it replaces, the Toyota Verso has increased in length by 70mm to 4440mm, increased in width by 20mm to 1790mm, and remains 1620mm in height.

Building on the dynamic character of the previous model, the new Verso takes Toyota's distinctive design language a stage forward, giving it a fresh and unique interpretation. Innovative, dual-zone exterior styling divides the vehicle into two distinct zones, clearly expressing the combination of functionality and dynamism inherent in the new MPV's 'Dynamic Lounge' concept.

Seen in profile, the Toyota Verso's dual-zone styling is clearly expressed by a strong character line which flows from the leading edge of the front bumper, rising through the lower edge of the doors before sweeping upwards through the 'C' pillar to define the roof mounted spoiler. Two distinct zones are thus delineated; Zone 1, the bonnet and cabin, and Zone 2, the chassis and rear loadspace.

The front of the new Verso is characterised by distinctive bonnet lines that flow from the base of the 'A' pillars. A confident, horizontal twin-bar grille curves down and around a prominent Toyota emblem. Large, powerful headlamp clusters pulled tightly back into the front wings and a deep air dam further reinforce the new MPV's broad, muscular stance.

In profile, sharply delineated front wheel arches compliment the dual-zone character line, blending softly into the upper wings to generate a second character line which reinforces the wheel arch before locating the aerodynamic door handles as it runs back along the vehicle waistline.

To the rear, a practical, top-hinged tailgate flanked by generous, high-visibility lamp clusters, is rebated deeply into the rear bumper, both continuing as a feature line along the upper flanks before tapering away at the rear lights helping to accentuate the car's silhouette.

A range of newly designed 16" and 17" wheels compliment the Toyota Verso's dual-zone design, and ten body colours are available including five new colours: silver metallic, red, blue metallic, dark blue metallic and dark purple.

Smart wave interior design

Further reflecting the Verso's 'Dynamic Lounge' concept, the all-new interior is dominated by the 'Smart Wave Dynamism' of the dashboard design, lifting the cabin styling far above the conventional functionality of a traditional MPV.

The design incorporates advanced switchgear ergonomics, and places the gear lever as close as possible to the steering wheel. The powerful, vertical definition of the centre console separates the focused functionality of the driver's zone from the relaxed comfort of the front passenger's zone.

The two zones are interconnected by a crisp 'wave' line running the full width of the fascia, which houses the driver's instrument binnacle. The binnacle, containing cylindrical speedometer and rev' counter dials, is offset to maximise the driver's view of the road ahead whilst still remaining within his field of vision.

Ambiance, colour choice and the quality of materials are all fundamental to the 'Dynamic Lounge' concept. As the Toyota Verso is approached and opened via the remote key fob, door mirrormounted puddle lights illuminate the ground beside the car, and discreet, orange LED front footwell lighting welcomes occupants as the doors are opened.

A blend of soft-touch, technical grain on the upper dashboard and leather grain on the darker lower dashboard accentuates the sense of space and roominess within the cabin. This high quality finish is complimented by titanium-finish highlights to the instrument panel, centre console steering wheel and door handles.

The airy, spacious atmosphere of the cabin is further reinforced by the largest, one-piece, panoramic sunroof in the C-MPV class. Stretching from the windscreen head to beyond the B pillars, the sunroof is 1160mm long, 1180mm wide and features an electrically powered lamella blind which may be opened to any point within the length of the sunroof.

Improved driver's visibility

A height adjustable seat allied to reach and rake adjustable steering offers Verso customers of all sizes an ideal driving position. Visibility has also been improved through a number of measures.

Increasing the driver's hip-point by 25mm to a height of 640mm has significantly reduced the under-bonnet blind spot by 1550mm. The addition of a small, fixed front quarterlight window further improves manoeuvring visibility. Door mirrors, now measuring 35.5mm higher and 15.4mm wider, have been made some 40% larger without increasing the Toyota Verso's overall width.

The new Verso also features a built-in conversation mirror in the overhead console. Another European first for Toyota, this allows the driver to see rear seat occupants whilst talking, and keep an eye on children.

The rear windscreen features a 10% larger blade wiping area, and rear visibility is further improved through a rear-mounted camera. In models without a satellite navigation centre console screen, the camera image appears within the rear view mirror. This system allows the driver to see what would otherwise be a blind spot when reversing.

Both halogen and High-intensity discharge (HID) Toyota Verso headlamp options have broader, longer beam patterns for improved night visibility. The LED rear and high-mounted stop lights not only use 88% less energy than conventional bulbs, but illuminate more rapidly. When travelling at 100km/h, following motorists have an additional 180 milliseconds, or six metres, of warning time.

Toyota Easy Flat-7 seating

The Toyota Easy Flat-7 system offers 32 different seating permutations and is already acknowledged as one of the most practical, flexible and intuitive seating designs available. The Verso's system has been substantially revised to benefit from the new MPV's 30mm increase in wheelbase length. Providing individual seats in both second and third rows, it offers simplified operability, a larger seat sliding range, more legroom and improved seat comfort throughout.

Height adjustable front seats benefit from improved shoulder support, and a seat base that has been lengthened by 20mm and thickened by 5mm. The height of the seat cushion has been raised by 40mm. And the 'couple' distance between the first and second row occupants' hip-points has been increased by 50mm to a best in class 975mm.

Accessed through rear door openings of identical size to those in front, the second row seats also benefit from 20mm longer cushioning and improved support. Second tier sliding distance has been increased by 30mm, to both improve legroom and third row access. Each of the three middle row seats may be independently slid through 195mm, and a memory function returns each backrest to its previously selected angle.

Benefitting from a new, low profile headrest design which eliminates the need to remove headrests at any time, all second and third row seats may be individually folded flat. Third row folding has been simplified through a one-handed, single-action pull-strap mechanism. Third row seatbacks also now include reclining pitch adjustment for added comfort.

Loadspace and storage

Completely flat with second and third row seats folded, the Toyota Verso's loadspace has been extended in length by 185mm to 1830mm, and widened by 240mm to 1585mm. With all three seating rows in place, luggage volume has increased from 63 to 155 litres, amongst the best in segment.

Beneath the rear loadspace, a new, Trunk Management system is ideal for storing valuable items out of view. Its capacity varies according to five or seven seat usage, and the choice of full-size or emergency spare wheel. This space also provides storage for the luggage tonneau cover when not in use.

As benefits a true multi-purpose vehicle, the new Verso offers a comprehensive range of storage compartments. These include a twin compartment glovebox featuring a cooled upper section large enough to hold a 1.5 litre bottle and a lower section offering ample space for books and maps, a spacious centre console box, an overhead console and generous door pockets. A drawer beneath the front passenger seat offers readily accessed concealed storage. And both driver and front passenger benefit from additional pockets for mobile phone and MP3 player storage.

The second row features seat back storage beneath aviationstyle, fold-out tables with integral cupholders, generous door pockets and twin underfloor storage bins, each large enough to store a spare pair of shoes.

Noise, vibration and harshness

Particular attention has been paid to the minimisation of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) intrusion into the cabin. The Toyota Verso not only offers best-in-class NVH properties for a C-segment MPV, but also matches those of many D-segment passenger cars.

In addition to the use of traditional acoustic damping techniques, the new Verso features the world's first application of a twopiece upper and lower liner on the cabin side of the bulkhead. Liner density is optimised only at the most critical points, thus minimising unnecessary weight gain. A second acoustic liner on the engine side of the bulkhead combines with under-bonnet insulation to further reduce engine noise intrusion.

Tuned floor silencing panels have been installed beneath the seats and in the spare wheel well. The new Verso also introduces Toyota's first application of a new acoustic material with an isolation film that combines insulation and absorption of noise in the foot wells.

Dashboard vibration has been minimised through cruciform bracing which ties the instrument panel structure to the 'A' pillar, cross car beam and floor. A second beam, bracketed to the floor, runs across the car beneath the rear seats. In addition, fender liners and resin rocker mouldings help reduce stone chip clatter, and an insulator between the 'A' pillar and the inner wing further isolates the cabin from noise intrusion.

In conjunction with a comprehensive aerodynamics package which awards the Toyota Verso a class-leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.295, these extensive NVH measures combine to reduce cabin noise by a significant 2.5 dBA over the previous model.

Toyota Optimal Drive technology

Toyota Optimal Drive showcases a combination of wide-ranging advanced technologies and internal improvement programmes designed to maximise power and responsiveness, yet minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

These diverse core technologies focus on three key aspects of powertrain development:

Firstly, the reduction of powertrain weight through the use of super-lightweight and highly compact engine components and transmissions, as achieved with the 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i engine.

Secondly, the minimisation of mechanical losses through the adoption of Valvematic technology, a further development of Toyota's Variable Valve Timing - intelligent (VVT-i) - first introduced in Europe on the Toyota Auris 1.6-litre in 2006 -, new roller rocker technology, smaller, lighter pistons, low viscosity oil and new, manual and Multidrive S transmissions. And thirdly, the maximisation of combustion efficiency. This has been achieved within the Verso petrol engine range through the adoption of high, 11.5:1 compression ratios, the refinement of intake port and combustion chamber design, and the introduction of piston cooling by oil jet.

All new Verso D-4D units benefit from an upgraded fuel injection system, including new piezo injectors with 2,000bar common rail pressure.

The Toyota Verso is the ninth model to benefit from Toyota Optimal Drive. A five engine line-up features 126DIN hp 2.0-litre, and 150 and 177DIN hp 2.2-litre examples of Toyota's D-4D turbodiesel technology, as well as 1.6-and 1.8-litre Valvematic petrol units offering class-leading power and CO2 emissions.

The application of Toyota Optimal Drive across the new Verso range has effected a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. The overall Verso CO2 average has been reduced from 174g/km in 2008 to 168g/km in 2009. In 2010, which will be the first full year of Verso sales, the figure will reduce further to just 162g/km. These figures play a significant role in supporting Toyota's goal of achieving whole-fleet CO2 emissions of 140g/km in 2009.

Valvematic petrol engines

Offering class-leading efficiency, power and torque, Valvematic is a further development of Toyota's highly successful Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (Dual VVT-i) system.

Valvematic takes VVT-i technology a step forward by adding lift and duration control to the inlet valve variable timing. This improves intake airflow volume and speed management - and, subsequently, combustion process management - to deliver more power for less fuel consumption, with reduced CO2 emissions. The adoption of Valvematic also reduces friction and pumping losses under light engine loads, further lowering fuel consumption.

Valvematic efficiency is further improved through the adoption of a variable length inlet manifold. This acts as an accelerator at low to medium engine speeds, maximising inlet air speed for optimum combustion efficiency. At higher engine speeds the manifold is fully open. This allows air to travel via a shorter route, maximising the volume of air entering the combustion chamber and, hence, engine power output.

The adoption of Valvematic technology within the Toyota Verso petrol engine range has resulted in reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 12%, and increasing engine power by up to 20%.

Mated to a new, 6-speed manual transmission, the new 1.6-litre Valvematic engine develops 132DIN hp, 22DIN hp more than the 1.6-litre VVT-i unit it replaces, whilst maximum torque has been increased by 10Nm to 160Nm at 4400 rpm. Conversely, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 20g to 158g/km and combined fuel consumption is a frugal 6.7 l/100km.

The new 1.8-litre Valvematic affords similar power increases over its 1.8-litre VVT-i predecessor. Power has been increased by 18DIN hp to 147DIN hp, and maximum torque boosted by 10Nm to 180Nm at 4400 rpm. The engine may be mated to a new 6-speed manual transmission or a new Multidrive S transmission, an example of Toyota's latest continuously variable transmission technology.

Equipped with 6-speed manual transmission, the engine's CO2 emissions have been reduced by 22g to 162g/km and combined fuel consumption is only 6.9 l/100km. When equipped with the Multidrive S transmission, CO2 emissions are 165g/km and fuel consumption is 7.0 l/100km.

D-4D diesel engines

The Verso's range of upgraded D-4D diesel engines also benefit from the Toyota Optimal Drive strategy, maximising performance and driveability whilst minimising fuel consumption, and CO2 and particulate emissions.

New generation piezoelectric injectors control the fuel volume and the timing of the injection more accurately. This, in combination with higher common rail injection pressures of 2000 bar, results in shorter injection times. The result is a revised powertrain range offering CO2 and fuel consumption reductions of up to 18%.

Every D-4D turbodiesel in the new Verso range readily meets Euro 5 emission regulation standards. The 2.0-litre unit may be equipped with either a Catalytic Converter (CCo) or a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). All 2.2-litre engine variants are equipped with Toyota's Diesel-Clean Advanced Technology (Toyota D-CAT), which incorporates a Diesel Particulate and NOx Reduction filter (DPNR).

A DPF catalyst purifies hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide but also, simultaneously, reduces particulate matter. The particulate matter is trapped in the filter's substrate walls. The engine management system then burns off the soot so that the DPF is self-cleaning and requires no long-term maintenance.

Operating in a similar fashion, a DPNR further reduces particulate matter and NOx emissions to levels far below Euro 5 standards. An Exhaust Port Injector (EPI) injects fuel into the exhaust gas flow for secondary combustion in the catalyst chamber, minimising both NOx and particle matter emissions. A highefficiency Exhaust Gas Recirculation cooler (EGR) further reduces NOx emissions.

The Verso diesel engine range introduces a newly available 2.0-litre D-4D unit, available with a DPF. Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, it delivers 126DIN hp and maximum torque of 310Nm from 1800 to 2400 rpm. CO2 emissions are as low as 140g/km on units fitted with a CCo, and 146g/km on those with a DPF. The Toyota Verso 2.0-litre D-4D 7-seater has a best-in-class CO2 emission level for the110-140DIN hp power range, the core of the C-MPV segment.

The revised 2.2-litre D-4D diesel engine block now delivers 150DIN hp and maximum torque of 340Nm between 2000 and 2800 rpm. This engine features Toyota D-CAT emission control and a new 6-speed automatic transmission. It generates CO2 emissions of 178g/km and returns an average fuel consumption of 6.8 l/100km.

Carried over from the previous model range, a second 2.2-litre D-4D turbodiesel, also available with a 6-speed manual transmission, delivers 177DIN hp and maximum torque of 400Nm from 2000 to 2800 rpm. CO2 emissions have been reduced by 19g to 159g/km.

New manual, automatic and Multidrive S transmissions

A new six-speed manual gearbox with wide-spread ratios has been designed to optimise fuel consumption and lower CO2. Fuel economy has also been improved by reducing mechanical losses through the use of low friction bearings, low viscosity oil, and an oil separator to decrease oil stir.

NVH has been reduced by developing high-strength oval and conical components. The use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) has resulted in the perfection of gear tooth geometry, and optimised transmission case shape, bearing support and strengthening rib layout.

The new six-speed automatic transmission provides a fast, smooth gear change while maintaining an impressive level of comfort by eliminating harsh shift shocks. The new transmission features Toyota's AI-SHIFT Control (Artificial Intelligence Shift Control). AI-SHIFT Control monitors throttle opening and brake signal input, as well as vehicle and engine speeds, to automatically adjust the shift pattern to suit the owners driving style.

AI-SHIFT Control incorporates a 'Sport' mode offering a more aggressive shift pattern. The driver can also change gear manually, either with the sequential shift gear lever or via steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

Toyota engineers have also added a "Sports Direct Shift Response" mode to manual operation of the new transmission. Incorporating 'lock-up' between second and sixth gear to exploit the engine's full rev' band, this mode delivers a sporting drive similar to a fully manual transmission, complete with throttle "blipping" during downchanges.

Multidrive S showcases Toyota's latest Continuously Variable Transmission technology. Via two cone-shaped pulleys and a high-strength v-profile steel belt, the transmission delivers an infinite number of ratios. The system continuously and seamlessly adjusts the pulley ratio to optimise engine torque and fuel consumption, whilst always employing the most efficient engine speed.

During harder driving, the transmission simulates the behaviour of a conventional, seven-speed automatic gearbox. This helps to eliminate whining sounds normally associated with this type of transmission under hard acceleration. During kick-down, the transmission reverts to its normal behaviour to optimise power delivery.

A 'Sport' button offers further optimisation of power and throttle response, for greater driver control. Multidrive S also features a sequential manual seven-speed mode, operable by either the gearshift lever or steering wheel mounted paddle-shifts.

Eco-driving indicator and gear shift indicator

An Eco-driving indicator is included in the instrument binnacle of Verso models equipped with automatic transmission and Multidrive S, helping to support an eco-friendly, low emissionstyle of motoring.

On manual models, a newly adopted gear shift indicator prompts the driver to shift up or down a gear for maximum fuel efficiency. Monitoring driving conditions, vehicle speed and throttle inputs, the system can help reduce fuel consumption by 0.5 - 3.0%.

Cost of ownership

Cost of ownership is one of the fundamental considerations for customers in the highly competitive European C-MPV segment, and has been a key consideration in the development of the new Verso.

Customer feedback places the Corolla Verso at the head of ownership cost and satisfaction surveys; a trend the new model has been developed to maintain.

Tax efficient Toyota Optimal Drive

The application of Toyota Optimal Drive across the Verso range ensures that the new C-MPV not only demonstrates the optimum balance between performance and emissions, but also that its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are amongst the lowest in the segment.

The 2.0-litre D-4D manual transmission Toyota Verso boasts CO2 emissions of only 140 / 146g/km, and the 1.8-litre Valvematic just 162g/km. These significant reductions in CO2 emissions will offer owners a tax advantage in many markets, including Portugal, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands.

Low insurance

Typical Verso insurance ratings in the UK will be Group 14 for petrol models and Group 15 for turbodiesel versions. In Germany, the same models will qualify for Groups 16 and 19 respectively. These low ratings have been achieved, in part, by the design development of numerous, easy-to-repair, insurance-friendly components such as bolt-on front end structures and easily replaced headlamp clusters.

15,000km service interval

Toyota's 15,000km service interval schedule is designed to offer customers best-in-class servicing maintenance and repair costs. Component replacement cycles have been extended without compromising reliability, durability or safety, or the use of expensive synthetic oil. The carefully considered layout of the engine bay and component access has also helped to minimise labour time and, therefore, costs.

All engines use a maintenance-free timing chain and 45% less expensive oil filter elements. Thin, long reach spark plugs not only improve cylinder head cooling but are 23% less expensive.

Three year / 100,000km warranty

The new Verso carries Toyota's three year / 100,000km warranty, but many components are designed to last more than double that time. All engines use a maximum number of maintenance-free components, and even the tyres have been chosen to offer the best balance of performance and durability.

Driving dynamics

With an all-new, high-rigidity body shell offering a 5% improvement in torsional stiffness, a 30mm longer wheelbase, front and rear tracks increased by 23 and 48mm respectively and extensively revised suspension geometry, the new Verso has been designed to offer all the agile handling, body control, stability and ride comfort of a conventional passenger car.

Class-leading aerodynamics

With a class-leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.295 and a lift coefficient of -0.056, the Toyota Verso's carefully considered aerodynamic design is fundamental to body control, high speed stability, the reduction of wind noise and improved fuel economy. From the outset, wind tunnel analysis focused on the clean homogeny of the bodywork design, making the use of secondary, add-on aerodynamic trim components unnecessary.

Particular attention has been paid to the flow of air beneath the MPV. A smooth underfloor with engine, fuel tank and rear floor covers, wheel spats and a wing-shaped vertical fin to the rear all contribute to the streamlining of the airflow, the control of vertical body movement and the optimisation of both front and rear lift coefficients. The result is a flatter straight line ride, a more controlled yaw response, and enhanced rear stability, most notably in cross-winds.

Revised suspension

A re-engineered MacPherson strut front suspension system now features dual top mounts. A stiffer, outer mount locates the spring and a softer inner mount locates the damper. The dual mount format combines optimum handling with low noise transmission and first class ride comfort.

The front suspension further benefits from an increase in caster angle to 6.5 degrees and increased roll rigidity of 1,720Nm/deg, contributing to excellent straight line stability, and improved steering feel and agility. In addition, the mounting of the front anti-roll bar on ball joints further optimises steering feel.

Chosen for its compact, lightweight design offering minimal intrusion into the loadspace, the rear torsion beam suspension system with integral anti-roll bar has also been revised. The trailing arm angle has been optimised to enhance steering response, whilst separating the spring and damper mounts has improved packaging efficiency, ride comfort and handling.

Through the direct mounting of the end plate to the arm end, torsional rigidity has been increased by 50% to 1400Nm/deg. Roll rigidity has been increased to 1020Nm/deg and the system's lateral steer force has also been improved.

Electric power steering

A first for Toyota in Europe, the variable assistance Electric Power Steering now features active steering force compensation. If the system detects a steering input speed too high for the required vehicle response, it will automatically reduce power assistance delivery to limit steering input and, hence, promote smoother driving.

In addition, when the steering column torque sensor detects vibration from the wheels, an active vibration control programme within the ECU can produce a compensating signal to reduce the vibration before it reaches the steering wheel.

These two steering systems combine to produce improved steering response, outstanding ride comfort, improved body control with a significant reduction in pitch and yaw, and enhanced straight line stability.

Through the optimisation of the gear box stroke, the Verso turning radius has also been reduced by 0.4 metres to just 5.4 metres, significantly improving low speed and parking manoeuvrability.

Brakes and tyres

Incorporating Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, the new Verso is equipped with the latest Bosch ABS 8.1 and ESP 8 braking and stability systems. Offering significantly reduced stopping distances, the new Verso is fitted with 320mm ventilated front discs, whilst 2.2 D-4D versions are fitted with 295mm ventilated discs. All versions feature 297mm solid rear discs.

16" and 17" wheels are fitted with 205/60R 16 and 215/55R 17 tyres respectively. Offering shorter stopping distances and reduced rolling resistance, the tyres also contribute to lower fuel consumption, whilst their reduced vertical stiffness further improves ride comfort.


With upgraded active, passive and pedestrian impact safety features and a highly rigid, impact absorbing body shell incorporating an increased percentage of high tensile steel, the Verso is engineered to fulfil the maximum, 5-star rating crash test requirements in the new, more stringent Euro NCAP crash test programme.

Active safety

The Toyota Verso may be equipped with the full range of active safety systems, including a latest generation Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) which takes into account road conditions, speed, load and bodyshell dynamics to automatically distribute braking forces more effectively.

Vehicle Stability Control+ (VSC+), incorporating Steering Torque Assist, counteracts understeer or oversteer by independently applying appropriate braking force to any of the four wheels, whilst simultaneously applying counter-steering torque to help the driver stabilise the vehicle.

A Traction Control System (TRC) contains wheel spin on low or split surfaces, whilst Steering Torque Assist further helps to counter yaw moments under braking and acceleration.

Brake Assist (BA) monitors brake pedal depression speed to determine whether an emergency-braking manoeuvre is intended. If the driver applies insufficient braking force yet the system recognises the need for emergency braking, it will automatically increase the hydraulic pressure in the system to optimise braking efficiency.

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) increases vehicle control on steep upgrades when stopping and starting on slippery surfaces. The HAC system is designed to help prevent the vehicle from rolling backward as the driver's foot moves from brake to throttle pedal when pulling away on a gradient.

Passive safety

The Toyota Verso is fitted with seven airbags, as standard: driver and front seat passenger front and side airbags, a front passenger knee airbag, and side curtain airbags that now extend the full length of the cabin, incorporating the third seating row.

The front seats are equipped with cable-operated anti-whiplash headrests, and there is a seat belt reminder in the instrument binnacle for all seats. In addition, driver and front passenger energy absorbing pads are built into the front foot wells to reduce lower leg injuries.

Side impact shock is channelled across the car's floor pan and roof strengthening beams whilst, a first for Toyota, energy absorbing pads are fitted at the rear door belt line and the rear passenger's hip-point to reduce injuries. A high resistance seat rod located beneath the rear seats and secured on each side of the cabin by aluminium and resin hybrid stiffeners further helps to absorb side impacts and reduce injuries to the rear seat occupants.

Pedestrian impact safety

The Toyota Verso's bonnet features an energy absorbing structure and a crushable cowl at its rear edge. Significantly, the wiper motor and attendant linkage has also been relocated lower on the firewall, allowing for a longer impact stroke if a pedestrian is hit.

Furthermore, the bonnet hood lock is well distanced from the upper bonnet surface, the vehicle front incorporates upper and lower leg impact absorbers, and additional absorbers located where the rear edge of the bonnet meets the upper fender are designed to further mitigate pedestrian impact injuries.

Grade line-up

Available in Verso, Verso Luna, Verso Sol and Verso Premium grades, the new Verso offers a comprehensive standard equipment specification, even on entry level models. All grades benefit from the Toyota Easy Flat-7 seating flexibility system.


The Verso grade is equipped with: 7 airbags (including side airbags for the third row seats), front active headrests, Vehicle Stability Control plus (VSC+) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), LED rear lamps and welcoming puddle lights, a CD/MP3 compatible stereo with 4 speakers and automatic door locking. Further features to enhance comfort and convenience include an overhead storage console, second row under floor storage, a loadspace management system and a conversation mirror enabling drivers to establish eye contact with rear passengers. Options on this grade include front fog lamps and driver / passenger seat heating.

Verso Luna

To the comprehensive Verso grade specification, Verso Luna adds manual air-conditioning, front fog lamps, a leather steering wheel and gear lever, rear electric windows, a CD/MP3 compatible stereo with 6 speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, a bespoke seat trim, and passenger seat under tray and second row aviation tables. Further comfort and convenience features include a cooled glovebox, a middle console box, a larger armrest and a rear 12V plug. Options include cruise control with speed limiter (not available with the Multidrive S transmission), dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, entry level full-map navigation with DVD, panoramic sunroof and 16" alloy wheels.

Verso Sol

To the Verso Luna grade specification, Verso Sol adds dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 16" alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, rear view camera display (shown within the rear view mirror), smart entry with push start button, rain and dusk sensors and a seat trim upgrade. Further comfort and convenience features include door courtesy lamps, integrated sunshades for rear side windows and driver/passenger seat heating. Options include a more advanced full-map navigation system with a 10 GB hard disk drive (incorporating rear parking camera), panoramic sunroof, privacy glass and 17" alloy wheels.

Verso Premium

To the Verso Sol grade, Verso Premium adds 17" alloy wheels, an in-dash 6 CD changer, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with auto levelling and cleaning, a panoramic sunroof and rear privacy glass. Options include an advanced full-map navigation system with a 10 GB hard disk drive (incorporating rear parking camera).

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