Looking now at the rather gawky, dated Yaris Verso, it's hard to grasp that upon its release it was pretty groundbreaking. The concept of a supermini MPV may not raise eyebrows these days but at the turn of the century the Yaris Verso was unique and opened the market for a rash of imitations.
Despite this the Yaris Verso was never a big seller for Toyota, who gave up on the concept by 2005. The UK originally had access to the car in 2000, with an entry-level model and a very short-lived Premium. Both had the same 1.3-litre VVT-i 85bhp unit under the bonnet and a five-speed manual gearbox. A year later the Yaris Verso landscape was updated to give new trim designations of GL and GLS.
The design underwent some refreshment in 2003, with a redesigned front end and updated interior trim details and equipment levels. At the same time safety equipment was beefed up and the trim levels renamed again.
Bang for your buck
The Toyota Yaris Verso campaigned on its practicality, but claims to transport five adults in comfort are a bit of a stretch. However if the half-width centre rear seat is folded down and used in its other incarnation as an armrest, this makes a very handy little four seater. The same can also be easily removed and stored in the boot, giving rise to an unusual feature: a side-hinged boot door with an interior handle allowing rear passengers to enter from the back in addition to the rear passenger doors.
However the Yaris Verso for sale really shines used as a two seater, as with those rear seats folded down the boot develops a cavernous 2160 litres of cargo space. There are also copious little cubby holes ensuring no space is wasted in any area. This car works particularly well for seniors, as its large door apertures and low ride height make access easy for the less agile, plus a couple of interior grab rails and a low boot lip for easy cargo loading.
You'll notice the GS and GLS trim are the most popular used Toyota Yaris Verso models available and both are well kitted out. Standard features include electric wing mirrors and front windows, central locking, two airbags, power steering and ABS. Upgrade to the plusher GLS for air conditioning, front fog lights and alloy wheels. You may find some versions containing elements from the options list such as satellite navigation or a four-speed automatic gearbox.
As far as looks go, probably the less said the better. The Yaris Verso never won any fans on appearance alone and while it's not badly designed it's hard to see past that awkward, boxy shape.
What you'll pay
While the Yaris Verso may not win any beauty contests it is very good value. You should easily find early models under £2,000. Post 2003 facelift you're looking at closer to £3,000 and up to a couple of thousand more from the end of the line models. The fact that there aren't that many around is only partly a symptom of slow uptake, it's also due to high customer satisfaction, so you'll probably have to put some effort into hunting down specific colours and trim combinations.
What to check
Toyota has a non-nonsense reputation so just look for scruffy trim and a full service history.
Beautifully affordable, with a clutch kit going for £150, a starter motor for £100, a radiator for £200, a replacement exhaust for £250 and £21 for a pair of brakes, front or rear.
How it drives
The Yaris Verso is frugal and competent. It's not likely to get you any speeding tickets and, while you'll get absolutely zero frisson of excitement from throwing it around corners, it will keep you smartly on the road, even with that high centre of gravity. The ride is smooth and the steering is light but not unresponsive.
Criticisms of the standard Yaris' lack of refinements have been resolved here with additional soundproofing and a new silencer, but you may instead be deafened by the rattling of interior trim, particularly the parcel shelf.
The used Yaris Verso is uncool, but for those with more practical concerns it pretty much does what it says on the tin, without costing you too much money – and on the plus side you may be spared from constant chauffeur duties for image obsessed teenagers who are embarrassed to be seen in it.