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Toyota Proace Verso review 2020

Find out more about the Toyota Proace Verso in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£24,540
Average Price
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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Loads of derivatives available
  • Spacious
  • One of the better-looking large MPVs

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Poor to drive
  • MPG

    44 - 58

  • CO2

    128 - 150 g/km

Model review

Toyota is no stranger to the MPV market – having a range of ‘Verso’ models available in the UK for some time, while models sold over in Japan are very popular to import over to these shores. 

But if you want a new large Toyota MPV today, with the exception of the Prius+, the only option is the Proace Verso

Introduced in 2016 as the MPV version of the Proace van, this large model can seat up to nine and shares a platform with the Citroen SpaceTourer and Peugeot Traveller – each offering huge practicality. 

Available with a choice of diesel engines and various body sizes and lengths, it’s an interesting if niche choice for those valuing practicality above all else. 

Latest model

Four years after reaching showrooms, the Proace Verso remains an appealing choice – and arguably one of the better-looking van-based MPVs you can buy. 

So, for the 2021 model year, Toyota has only made minimal changes to this model, which mainly focus on offering greater value for money. All nine-seat versions now come with satellite navigation, while rear parking sensors – a particularly useful feature on a car of this size – now feature on all eight-seat models as well. 

Value for money

Large MPVs like the Proace don’t tend to be cheap. That’s true of the Toyota, which costs from £33,120, though it’s worth considering just how much space you get for your money. The Proace Verso’s starting prices are also noticeably cheaper than its sibling products – the Peugeot Traveller and Citroen Spacetourer. Prices soon creep up, though, especially if you go for the top-spec VIP version, which costs nearly £50,000.

But even greater savings are available by looking at used models, with one-year-old examples with around 20,000 miles on the clock available for as little as £22,000, which is a huge saving off list price. 

Looks and image

Van-based MPVs are never really known for their style – it’s hard to disguise the boxy shape and commercial vehicle roots at the end of the day. However, the Proace Verso is definitely one of the more stylish large MPVs on offer, with a smart front end giving it a fresh and modern look. There are also no cheap unpainted plastic bumpers on any of the range, either, which helps to add to the appeal. That said, it’s worth choosing the mid-spec Family version to get alloy wheels – the steel wheels on the entry-level Shuttle model just look a bit too cheap. 

The more modern exterior look is also carried through to the cabin as well, with all but the lowest spec model coming with a clear seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, which is easy to use. The quality is also equally on par with Peugeot and Citroen models, and certainly feels a bit more upmarket inside than the van it's based on, though still durable and hard-wearing. 

Unsurprisingly for a large van-based MPV, the Proace Verso isn't particularly exciting to drive, with a lot of body roll and somewhat underpowered-feeling engines, with the exception of the flagship diesel option. On motorways, though, it’s a very sensible and comfortable choice, but on rougher roads it begins to feel unnecessarily harsh. 

Space and practicality

Space is where the Proace absolutely excels, and there are few roomier cars on sale today. You can choose it in Compact, Medium or Long guise, which are 4.6m, 4.9m and 5.3m long respectively. Strangely, the higher up the trim levels you get the less seats you get, too, with Shuttle models offering seating for seven, Family for eight and VIP for seven.

All versions are roomy, but if you intend to fill every seat regularly, the Compact could prove a bit small, as there isn’t a huge amount of space if adults are sat in the two rows of rear seats. That said, the Compact’s shorter size makes it much easier to manoeuvre than the two larger versions. 

In terms of boot space, the Compact offers 224 litres with all seats in place, the Medium has 627 litres and the Long has 927 litres, while the third row of seats are removable, too. 

Engines

Diesel engines continue to be the best option in large MPVs like the Proace, so that’s all you’ll find under the bonnet of this Toyota. 

The entry-level option is a 118bhp 1.5-litre mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It will hit 60mph in 11.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 99mph. 

Next up is the more powerful 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel option, which also features a six-speed manual transmission. Despite additional power, though, it’s actually slower to 60mph than the smaller engine – reaching it in 12.8 seconds and hitting a top speed of 113mph. 

At the top of the range is a 174bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s noticeably the quickest – hitting 60mph in 8.6 seconds and reaching a claimed 114mph flat out.  

Running costs

Despite compact diesel engines, the large weight and size of the Proace Verso means it won’t be all that cheap to run. 

The most efficient model is the small 1.5-litre engine, which will return up to 44.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 170g/km. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the 174bhp 2.0-litre, which returns 37.1mpg, with CO2 emissions as high as 199g/km on VIP versions. 

Things to look out for

As the Proace Verso is quite a niche model, not a huge amount is known about its reliability, though with sister products from Peugeot and Citroen both proving dependable, there should be little to worry about. 

You also get a longer warranty with the Toyota than you do the other two – the Proace Verso’s lasting five years and 100,000 miles. 

Rivals 

The closest two models to the Proace Verso are in fact its sibling products, the Peugeot Traveller and Citroen SpaceTourer, both of which offer a slightly tweaked interior and different styling. 

However, you should also consider the Ford Tourneo Custom, while if you have more money to spend, the Volkswagen Caravelle and Mercedes V-Class are both good choices. 

Depreciation

It’s a relatively niche market for large MPVs like the Proace Verso, and that doesn’t work in its favour when it comes to depreciation. With as much as £10,000 available off nearly-new models, it’s a car that certainly makes much more sense to buy used to avoid that initial depreciation hit. 

Which Proace Verso to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.5D Combi Medium 5dr

Most MPG

1.5D Combi Medium 5dr

Fastest Model (0-60)

2.0D 180 Family Compact 5dr Auto [8 speed]

Trims Explained

Three trim levels are available on the Proace Verso, with equipment highlights and pricing as follows.

Shuttle

The standard Shuttle version features nine seats and is really aimed at taxi transport, as shown with its relatively low spec. However, it still comes with automatic air conditioning, automatic lights and wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. You also get colour-coded bumpers, heated door mirrors, front fog lights and electric windows.

From £33,120

Family

As its name suggests, the Family version is aimed more towards private buyers. It instead comes with eight seats (due to a lack of middle front seat), along with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless start and entry, a heated tailgate and seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation. You also get plenty of standard safety kit, along with a carpeted floor and useful folding tables.

From £36,695

VIP

At the top of the range is the VIP trim, which is exclusively sold in a more upmarket seven-seat guise with a long wheelbase. It comes very well-equipped, including a panoramic glass roof, captain chairs in the second row, a premium sound system and electrically adjustable front seats. Other features include electric sliding doors, rear parking sensors, Xenon headlights and leather massaging seats. It does come at a price, though.

From £49,305

Summary

  1. Hugely practical large MPV
  2. Available with seven, eight or nine seats
  3. Big boot
  4. Huge discounts available on nearly-new models
  5. Three diesel engines to choose from
  6. Long five-year warranty
  7. Disappointing to drive
  8. Expensive to buy new
  9. High CO2 figures
  10. If practicality is a priority, it’s hard to go wrong with the Proace Verso

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