Fleet News

Toyota Corolla Verso 2.2 D4D

Toyota

Review

WHILE Toyota has been successful at selling cars in the past few years, its diesel/petrol ratio has been below that of the more mainstream fleet players. In the MPV sector diesels account for 30% of Toyota sales, compared to the overall market’s 55%.

In a bid to address that imbalance, and raise the ratio to 41%, it has injected some fire into its diesel armoury by launching a new engine into the Corolla Verso range – a 2.2-litre unit offering either 134bhp or 175bhp, making it the most powerful performer in its class. It replaces the old 2.0-litre unit and the higher power version will also be introduced next year in the Avensis and RAV4.

The Corolla Verso has been steadily making new friends since its introduction in May last year, competing with the Vauxhall Zafira, Renault Scenic and Volkswagen Touran.

Although only the size of a lower-medium car, it offers seating for up to seven people, and if necessary a flat floor and two seats up front.

At launch, the Corolla Verso offered two petrol engines at 1.6 and 1.8 litres and the old diesel which, with a 0-60mph times of 12.6 seconds, didn’t exactly set the Tarmac alight.

The new engines are aimed ‘to meet the needs of drivers for whom more sporting performance is a significant factor’, according to Toyota.

Behind the wheel

WE’VE already sung the praises of the Corolla Verso from the rooftops on several occasions. It’s hugely practical, not bad looking for a mini-MPV, superbly comfortable – in the front at least – and handles well.

We were impressed with the old diesel engine when we drove it at the car’s launch in April last year, and if that engine was good then the new 175bhp version, which I drove at its launch in Marbella, is a stunner.

It’s not just that this is the most powerful performer in its class that makes it stand out – it’s more the huge swathes of torque on offer that almost make the six-speed manual gearbox redundant.

Just stick your foot down in any gear and the car will surge forward like a Trojan. There’s something faintly comical about such a worthy, practical car having a turn of speed such as this.

Driving verdict

THE new engines make a great car even better but we would recommend the lower powered version for fleet purposes – after all, it has got more than enough power for most family needs. Performance in the 175bhp unit is impressive. It is the most powerful unit in its class, yet offers combined fuel economy figure 41.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 178g/km.

Acceleration from 0-62mph comes up in just 8.8 seconds and top speed is 128mph. Torque is 295lb-ft at 2,000rpm. The lower-powered unit offers 228lb-ft at 2,000rpm, 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 122mph, while offering a combined fuel economy of 44.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 167g/km.

The range will be offered in T2, T3 and T Spirit guises with prices starting at £16,100.

Toyota Corolla Verso 2.2 D4D factfile:

Model D-4D 140 D-4D 180
Max power (bhp/rpm): 134/3,600 175/3,600
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 228/2,000 295/2,000
Max speed (mph): 122 128
0-60mph (secs): 9.4 8.8
Fuel consumption (mpg): 44.8 41.5
CO2 emissions (g/km): 167 178
Transmission: 6-sp man 6-sp man
On sale: November Prices (OTR): £16,100-£20,900

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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