The new Yaris Verso mini-MPV does not go on sale until January. That was apparently too long to wait for someone so they stole a demonstrator from the forecourt of one of Toyota’s London dealers.
The Verso has very good built-in security measures such as engine immobiliser, alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, Thatcham-approved alarm and remote central locking with double locking security locks. In this case however, the thief had his job made easy as the keys had been left in the car!
The thief no doubt exploited the punchy 1.3-litre 16v VVT-i 85bhp engine that gives a 0-62mph acceleration in just 12.5secs and a top speed 102mph to make his getaway.
The Verso’s fold away rear seats – it is a full five seater that has a load area to beat bigger MPVs and estates yet is no bigger than a small hatchback – would make plenty of room for transporting stolen goods, although Toyota would rather it was used for mountain bikes, push-chairs and the weekly shopping.
The good news is that the car was recovered a few days later. Maybe the thief liked the car, but realised that he’d rather have the peace of mind that Toyota’s three-year, 60,000 mile warranty brings and you can only get that when you buy the car.
For those who want a Verso but draw short of breaking the law to get one, it will go on sale on 6 January 2000 from £10,995 on the road.