The start point for the best source of fleet information
Toyota has been building towards a big fleet push this year, and the new Verso is one of a trio of updated products that the firm is pinning its true corporate market hopes on.
Along with the Auris lower medium hatch and small 4x4 Rav4, the Verso is an important part of Toyota's new product activity for 2013, with all three having been launched in the first quarter of the year.
The Verso is a seven-seat mini-MPV - although there is a solitary entry five-seat model at the bottom of the range - and the styling of the latest-generation people carrier very much apes the look of its Auris and Rav4 siblings, with the sharp, angular nose and narrow grille marking it out as the latest model. The firm says new door mirrors and alloy wheel designs are among the 300 detail changes that have been made compared with the previous Verso.
The mid-spec of the three trim levels, called Icon, is predicted to be the crucial model in the range, and Toyota has offered a good level of standard equipment. DAB radio, Bluetooth, rear privacy glass, cruise control, climate control, alloy wheels and a rear parking camera are all among the extra kit offered in the £2000 step-up from entry-level Active trim, but you have to go up the same amount again to Excel specification to get auto lights and wipers, larger alloys, leather seats and keyless entry.
On the inside, there's good flexibility, with the three central seats all sliding independently to provide the best compromise for passengers and luggage, while the two rear seats, which fold flat into the floor, are just about manageable for adults, although the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer and Renault Grand Scenic offer a little more space as a result of their longer bodies compared with the more compact Verso. But there is still space for a couple of small bags behind the third row of seats.
The cabin is functional rather than lavish, but does the job. Toyota has improved the efficiency of the 2.0-litre diesel, but it's still a way off the best rivals at 129g/km.
Where the Verso does score highly is in the vital area of whole-life costs. It claims a comprehensive victory thanks to a combination of lower P11D than some rivals, a low SMR cost and the best residual by some distance of the four vehicles compared here (see 'Rivals' below), which puts a positive spin on an otherwise worthy, competent but unremarkable car that doesn't excel in any area apart from the crucial one of running costs.