The new Toyota Corolla Verso has achieved the highest possible five-star rating for passenger crash protection in Euro NCAP testing.

The seven-seat Verso, which went on sale in the UK on 1st May, also performed strongly in the new child protection testing, with an equal best-in-class four-star rating.

The Corolla Verso is fitted with an 18-litre driver’s knee airbag, capable of reducing the load on the driver’s knees by 40% in the event of a frontal impact. Eight other airbags are fitted as standard to all Corolla Verso models. Driver and passenger front airbags have dual-stage inflators, combined with a seat position sensor on the driver’s side and a front impact severity sensor mounted behind the front bumper. Also standard is a two-stage seatbelt reminder which activates a warning light and persistent buzzer if front seat passengers fail to buckle-up within a set period of time.

The Corolla Verso uses Toyota’s MICS (Minimal Intrusion Cabin System), originally used in the Avensis. Components are designed to help absorb and disperse energy from front, rear and side impacts, so minimising cabin deformation.

The active safety package includes a wider track, thicker anti-roll bars and the use of rebound springs for greater stability and improved road-holding. A new brake control system incorporates the latest ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control and Brake Assist.

The Corolla Verso is also the first car in Europe to offer Toyota’s Cornering Assist Monitor, a front-mounted miniature camera that helps the driver “see” through blind corners at junctions by means of real time images transmitted to a centre dashboard display screen. This comes as part of the package for T Spirit models that also includes Rear View Monitor with Park Assist system, which provides images from behind the vehicle for safer and simpler reversing manoeuvres.