Toyota to launch new Verso compact MPV

Toyota is looking to increase its share of the compact and family car market with the launch of a brand new compact MPV early in 2013.

The latest Verso, which was first unveiled at the Paris motor show in September, has a number of new features and a different style and the Japanese manufacturer is hoping it will be a big success in the compact market alongside the new Auris.

The keen-edged headlamp units, narrow, full-width upper grille and larger trapezoidal lower grille adhere to the usual Toyota "family" design and new door mirrors and new wheels are among over 300 detail changes.

The model boasts new upholstery designs and trim materials, with instruments, controls, lighting and graphics features also improving on the quality of the car's interior.

Meanwhile, the 2.0 D-4D diesel engine has been altered for better torque delivery at low revs and quieter running and CO2 emissions have been cut by 10g/km to bring them in below 130g/km.

And there will now be three different options in the new Verso range, with the Icon, Excel and entry level five-seat Active with a 1.6 Valvematic petrol engine and six-speed manual transmission.

The basic Active has front fog lights, air conditioning, electric front windows and Hill-start Assist Control. And there is also a seven-seat version with the Easy Flat folding system for the rear seats.

The Icon also offers cruise control, a DAB digital tuner, rear privacy glass and folding electrically adjustable door mirrors as well as brand new two-tone, machine-finished 16-inch alloy wheels.

And the top of the range Verso Excel has larger 17-inch alloy wheels and premium features such as leather seat bolsters, roof rails, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers as well as Smart Entry and Start. Pricing and car finance options are yet to be confirmed.

Toyota is also releasing its new fourth-generation RAV4 and Auris Touring Sports estate in 2013 and the car maker is hoping all three models will help it to increase its representation and market share to a new high.

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