Toyota is innovative with satnav in Europe. Some versions of its Yaris have been offered with an audio system that includes a portable TomTom navigator

Toyota is innovative with satnav in Europe. Some versions of its Yaris have been offered with an audio system that includes a portable TomTom navigator

Toyota is introducing satellite navigation that can find the 'greenest' route as well as the fastest.

The new Touch & Go system can work out an ‘ecological' route designed to minimise emissions and fuel consumption over the course of a journey.

It will be introduced from May in the UK as a GBP500 option on the new Verso-S small MPV which goes on sale at the beginning of March.

Using a compatible mobile phone, drivers and passengers will also be able to connect to the Google local search database and, by using Google Maps, a destination can be entered into the system from home with the mobile serving as a modem to transfer information automatically.

Connectivity to the cell phone also enables the owner to manage SMS messages through the system, reading messages and sending replies - although not while you're driving.

Later in the year Toyota plans to introduce an app facility to provide information on local fuel prices, weather forecasts and available parking with more apps being rolled out in future via the internet.

The system will be incorporated into the Toyota Touch multi media platform fitted as standard on the new model. This includes a dash-mounted 6.1-inch touch screen which can be connected via Bluetooth to cell phones and is compatible with MP3 players and iPods as well as housing the screen for the rear view reversing camera.

Customers buying the Verso-S before May, can have the sat-nav system retrofitted.

Unlike most carmakers when they launch a new model, Toyota GB boss Jon Williams is not chasing bright young thrusters, but going for the older generation empty-nesters.

"We are looking at customers who have a little more time on their hands, needing a car with good flexibility in terms of carrying passengers or cargo and who perhaps don't do that many miles."

The Verso-S will be available in two trims, TR, and T-Spirit and powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine with either a six-speed manual or seven-step continuously variable transmission.

In the UK, CO2 emissions of 120g/km with CVT (lower than the manual) means no road tax in the first year. The entry level TR grade starts at GBP14,645, although Toyota is offering a launch price of GBP13,999 for six months.

Williams said he expects the biggest seller to be the T-Spirit grade, with its spectacular panoramic sunroof, at GBP15,745, with a launch price of £14,995.

CVT costs an extra GBP1,000.