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 also performed strongly in the new child protection testing, with an equal best-in-class four-star rating.

Features unique to the Corolla Verso in its class include an 18-litre driver’s knee airbag. Toyota has developed the technology of the system to achieve a 40 per cent load reduction on the driver’s knees in the event of a frontal impact similar to the official test.

The knee airbag is one of nine airbags 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, and, Toyota says, unique within the compact MPV segment, 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.

Toyota says that the structure of the Corolla Verso is particularly strong and rigid, using a development of 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 – another claimed segment first – for greater stability and improved roadholding.

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.

Thierry Dombreval, Toyota Motor Marketing Europe’s Senior Vice President Sales and After Sales, said: “The five-star rating achieved by the Toyota Corolla Verso in the Euro NCAP tests demonstrates our strong commitment towards making cars that are not only more rewarding to drive, but are also safer.”