VERSOTILE SPACE (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Toyota's entrant in the super-large MPV segment is this Proace Verso model. Large families will like it, thinks Jonathan Crouch
Ten Second Reviewword count: 78
These days, it would be very easy to spend around £35,000 - or more - on a large MPV and still only end up with space for seven people. That may be all you want of course but even so, you might still be tempted by the thought that much the same money could buy you a smart car-like People Carrier with room for up to nine. That's the proposition on offer from this model, Toyota's Proace Verso.
Backgroundword count: 190
Toyota has rarely been a marque to miss an opportunity. That's why it's been so successful over the years. Over the last decade, the brand has been co-operating with French conglomerate PSA Peugeot Citroen in development of a new generation range of medium-sized LCVs. The Gallic marques were keen that the vehicle this would produce should also spawn a proper super-large-segment People Carrying MPV, as indeed it did, Peugeot's version named the Traveller and Citroen's tagged as the Space Tourer. There's also a Vauxhall variant, the Vivaro Life. Joining in, Toyota has created a super-large MPV from these same underpinnings too - which is what's brought us this 'Proace Verso'. Launched in 2016, this model marked Toyota's return to the large MPV segment, a market sector it'd be absent from since the demise of the Previa back in 2007. As the name suggests, this model shares plenty with the Japanese company's Proace van, but we're promised that the driving and ownership experience will be anything but 'van-like'. Smart looks, high equipment levels and sophisticated technology seem to bear that out. Let's look at this contender in a little more detail.
Driving Experienceword count: 208
As you'd expect, all the Euro6 units engines on offer in the Proace Verso are diesels and if your needs are mainly based around lighter people carrying duties and short distance urban work, then the entry-level 118bhp 1.5D unit may well be quite sufficient. For heavier payloads and longer journeys however, you'll be needing the 2.0D model which gives you a lot more pulling power and is available with either 148 or 175bhp, the most powerful unit mated to the brand's efficient 8AT auto transmission. And on the road? Well yes, it's based on a van, but the current generation of medium range vans actually handle pretty well, so this MPV might well surprise you with the way it responds through the bends Anyway, who throws a vehicle like this about? The ride should particularly impress. Special wishbone filtering is provided to dampen the impacts from our country's terrible tarmac and the variable stiffness springs and shock absorbers should deliver decent levels of comfort whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded. Refinement is also claimed to be surprisingly good for such a large, square MPV. The turning circle is pretty tight too - at just 11.3 metres - making this a surprisingly manoeuvrable vehicle for use around town.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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