Fleet News

Toyota Corolla Verso T3 2.0 D-4D



THE annoying squeak in our Corolla Verso has steadily been getting worse, as reported by several drivers. As yet we have not found a cure for it, although it emanates from behind the dash on the passenger side.

But after more than 8,000 miles, the Verso remains otherwise problem-free: the 2.0 D-4D diesel engine seems to have become quieter as the miles have piled on, although it is still quite audible at low revs and wind noise at motorway speeds is still excessive compared with some rivals.

At £15,495 on-the-road, the Verso is competitive with the likes of the Renault Scenic dCi Dynamique 105bhp (£15,270) and Vauxhall Zafira 2.0 DTi Comfort (£15,990), and with a CO2 figure of 164g/km, it falls into the 18% tax band under the new CO2-based company car tax regime. It means a tax bill of £1,104 for a 40% tax payer under the new rules.

That is highly competitive compared with the Scenic (157g/km) and gives the Corolla a useful edge compared with other mini-MPVs - notably the Zafira (178g/km), Mazda Premacy 2.0 TD (177g/km) and Fiat Multipla JTD (177g/km).

We are also impressed with the fuel consumption, which has averaged around 45mpg in our hands. That compares well with the Scenic (47.9mpg combined) but betters the Zafira (42.8mpg).

Most drivers should easily exceed this figure, meaning around 50mpg is within reach of many - not bad for a large-ish car.

As the name implies, the Verso is versatile: the built-in child seat in the rear, revealed from the rear seat at the touch of a button, is novel and certainly useful as it means small children can easily see out of the windows - a boon on long journeys.

The downside is that it is uncomfortable for adults after only a few miles, though if used as a child carrier, surely one of the prime reasons for choosing the Verso, this is unlikely to be a problem.

Opinion is divided in the office about the Verso's looks – some say it is innovative and handsome for the type of car it is, with a dose of style that is missing from some rivals.

Others are less convinced, though all agree on the general build and finish, which is impressive. Apart from the dash rattle - which may well be attributable to the early production status of our car - everything is solidly screwed together as you would expect of Toyota, and the general design is pleasing and well thought out.

Together with Toyota's three-year/60,000-mile warranty and 20,000-mile service intervals, the Verso adds up to a sensible package that is likely to offer hassle-free motoring.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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