Since we’ve been talking so much about minivans, I thought it was time to start talking about the minivan of one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers and so I’ll start with the Toyota Verso I.

The Toyota Verso I really is the odd one of the Toyota family. Toyota is a manufacturer focused on mass-produced, practical, and economical cars. They have small city cars like the Yaris, they have family cars like the Auris and Avensis, and they have SUVs like the Rav4 and Land Cruiser, but they don’t have minivans. They had the Yaris Verso and the regular Verso and that’s about it. In fact, I had a quick look on Toyota’s website and they currently don’t have minivans for sale. And the Yaris is a special case because the Yaris was an experimental car for Toyota. They built an crossover version, they made it a minivan, they made it a sports car, and they tested hybrid systems on it. Like napkins or lubricants, the Toyota Yaris was used for more than just its original purpose.


And then we have the Toyota Verso I. A minivan based on the Avensis T27, that nobody bought. And that’s because the Avensis T27 was good enough as it was and nobody really felt the need for more, from a Toyota atleast. Yes, of course, somewhere later in it’s production life the BMW engines comes along. Yeah, sure, the Toyota Verso I was the safest minivan of its day. But we actually have such a boring combination that codeine feels like Red Bull compared to the Verso. First, we have a boring brand, Toyota. Secondly, we have a boring music genre, minivan. Combine the two and you get the car equivalent of the radio music you subconsciously listen to in the morning traffic. It’s like watching a show hosted by Harry Metcalfe. Very good quality content, but so boring it makes me fall asleep. And even if I were to fall asleep at the wheel of a Verso, the chances of dying are very slim.

Toyota Verso I Engines


  • 1.6 N/A of 132 horsepower – The entry-level engine that nobody bought. Which is easy to understand, because having this engine in that cramped 7-seater version is performing exactly as you’d expect it to be. It’s like having Sweet Anita drive. It’s not going to turn out well.
  • 1.8 Valvematic of 147 horsepower – The only petrol engine available with an automatic gearbox, and again it was shunned by buyers more than Macklemore was shunned by agents once the pandemic hit. Beware of the Valvematic unit, which can cost half the car’s value when it breaks down. Not “if”, but “when” it breaks down.



  • 2.0 D-4D of 126 horseppwer – On the Toyota Verso I you have the opportunity to catch the last train with the legendary 126 hp 2.0 D-4D engine. An ancient, reliable, and capable engine. An old-fashioned engine, but one that has been retired by emissions regulations. Big shame.
  • 2.2 diesel of 150 and 177 horsepower – Here you have to watch out for engines as if you have to watch out when you just arrived in the balkans after a few years of working abroad and you have to watch out for your wallet, watch, clothes, slippers, teeth, wig, and everything else that can and will be stolen from you. You included. The 150 horsepower 2.2 D-4D engine is fine, but the 177 horsepower 2.2 D-CAT is notorious for head gasket issues, which costs a few thousand euros to repair. That’s the main reason why the Rav4 with this engine is so cheap on the used market.


Toyota Verso I General Issues

  • The electronic parking brake will dissapoint you just like that chick who told me to meet her in the garden of the Solihul mental hospital and never showed up. Turns out she didn’t even exist. But at least I fished a boot in the lake of the garden. I cooked it. I ate it. Still better than cafeteria food.
  • The steering column is another common issue with Toyotas of that era so you have to prepare yourself metaphysically, spiritually, and especially financially.
  • It’s not the best-soundproofed car possible so you’ll hear pretty loudly what’s going on outside the car, starting at speeds from 15 km/h. If you can go so fast in an Toyota Verso I.


Toyota Verso I verdict

I don’t get it either. I just don’t get it. No, I don’t. I don’t understand this car. We’ve got the most family-friendly car from the most family-friendly car manufacturer. Not even Peppa Pig isn’t as family-friendly as the Toyota Verso I. Then why nobody bought it?

What engines do you recommend? For petrol, you’ll probably go with the 132 horsepower 1.6 naturally aspirated, but most likely you’ll go with the 126 horsepower 2.0 D-4D diesel.