Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There are five different engine choices in the Verso line-up – two petrols and three diesels. The two petrols engines are a 1.6-litre and a 1.8-litre, both of which are VVT-i units. The smaller engine has 109bhp and a 0-60mph time of 12.7 seconds but it struggles with a full load and gets noisy at higher speeds. The 127bhp 1.8-litre version is a better choice although it lacks the pulling power of the diesels.

There’s a 2.0 D-4D unit with 114bhp but this was replaced in October 2005 by a superior 2.2 D-4D which is more refined and offers punchier performance with 134bhp on tap. In-gear acceleration is particularly good while the engine never gets coarse, even when revved hard. There’s a range-topping 180 model which has 175bhp, making it one of the most powerful diesel people carriers on sale and it’s quick too with a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds.

Despite its name the Verso doesn’t share it’s platform with the Corolla hatchback – instead it sits on a completely unique platform. It’s capable on twisty roads although body control could be better but there’s plenty of grip – however as with most MPV’s the steering doesn’t provide a great deal of feedback, even though it is well-weighted. Around town the Verso is impressive as it’s easy to park and offers good all round visibility.

It’s also relaxed when cruising and handles long motorway runs with ease.