Vehicle trend analysts predict that the compact MPV could take off again as young families outgrow their compact hatchbacks and sedans. Toyota wants to tap a resurgent MPV market with its re-designed 2013 Verso just launched in South Africa with three derivatives (S, SX and TX) with three engine options (1.6, 1.8 and 2.0) and two transmissionsImage galleryThe new model, Toyota says, has design cues borrowed from other new models such as the Yaris and Auris with their signature trapezoidal grille, redesigned bumper and amended headlights. Standard on all models are daytime running lights; TX models get high-intensity discharge headlights. The even higher-specced TX gets a black paint finish to the headlights and a body-coloured spoiler.TX models have 16” alloy rims, entry-level S models 16” steel with caps. The rear has a low-level diffuser and redesigned lights and the Verso will be available in a choice of seven colours. The new design improves aerodynamics by 10%. THREE ENGINESThe range comprises two Valvematic petrol engines, a 1.6 and a 1.8, and the diesel 2.0 D-4D. The 97kW 1.6 is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox and has a claimed fuel consumption of 6.8 litres/100km. The 108kW 1.8 is available with a choice of six-speed manual or a constantly variable transmission. Fuel consumption figures are seven litres/100km (manual) and 7.1 (auto). The 0-100km/h dash is dispatched in 10.4sec by the manual and 11.1 by the CVT.The turbodiesel engine produces 91kW/310Nm and mated to a six-speed manual. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.5 litres/100km and the car can sprint from 0-100km/h in 10.1sec.INTERIOR TWEAKSThe cabin has new trim detailing and a piano black paint finish. The glove box is finished in soft materials and the door trim, armrests and steering wheel are clad in soft leather. Chromed trim has been applied to the instrumentation, air vents, gear shift and doors. The door handle is finished in a new dual-colour paint.According to Toyota: “The presentation of instrumentation and switches has been harmonised through more consistent lighting and font sizing.” Instrumentation is back-lit in white whiled the air-con dials and window switches are illuminated in orange. S and SX models have fabric seats, TX models leather. These flagship units are also equipped with auto locks and push-button ignition.The seven-seat Verso offers 32 seat position variations with individual seats in the second and third rows and second-row slide adjustment of 195mm.Load space is listed as 1.5m long and 1.4m wide with the seats folded flat. With them upright, luggage volume is 155 litres and with the third row seats folded 440 litres.PRACTICAL MPVThe new Verso carries over the three grade strategy of its predecessor. However, with an enhanced interior and an increase in standard equipment for each grade, Toyota says it now represents better value for money.Standard on all models are front fog lights and heatable, power-adjustable external mirrors, height adjustable front passenger seat, two-tone 16” alloy rims, cruise control and touch-screen display with a reversing camera.TX grades have chromed accents, leather trim, dual zone air-con. The higher specced models benefit from a sensor pack which automates wipers and headlights adjustment and dims the rear-view mirror and rear side window sunshades.Vehicle stability control is standard across the range.PRICESVerso 1.6 S - R261 900Verso 1.6 SX - R284 300Verso 1.8 TX - R314 200Verso 1.8 TX CVT - R326 100Verso 2.0D TX - R329 900The Verso is sold with a three-year or 100 000km warranty, a five-year or 90 000km service plan and a roadside assistance plan.