If you love cars, you will be hard pressed not to find the Toyota GR Yaris to be an extremely attractive proposition. You won’t find an aftermarket boy-racer look here, just an immensely well-executed homologation hero with input from Toyota’s motorsport arm Gazoo Racing.
Everything about the GR Yaris judged so well, from the usable 257 horsepower its turbo three-cylinder engine generates to the sappy but dynamic proportions of the hot hatch – if you just look at it, you’ll want to get in and drive.
Ok, if it was your daily driver you might find the ride a little tough and there will be some who can’t understand the terms “Yaris” and “30k” in the same sentence, but that’s just trivia because we think the GR Yaris is inspired. Buy one if you can.
About the Toyota GR Yaris
Although recent history suggests otherwise, Toyota actually has a pedigree in making rally-inspired four-wheel drive street cars. But unlike the high-performance Celica GT-Four of the 1990s, the GR Yaris doesn’t use the ubiquitous 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, instead its 257 horsepower comes from a custom-made, turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder unit.
The fact that an entirely new engine was created for this homologation special really sums up Toyota’s approach to the GR Yaris. This is a true bespoke project with the support of the company’s motorsport division, Gazoo Racing.
The only parts shared with the stock Yaris are the lights and wing mirrors, while there’s a carbon fiber roof as well as an aluminum hood, tailgate and doors to reduce overall weight.
Car group tests
And if you really want to put the anorak on, you’ll be impressed with Toyota’s dedication to making sure the GR Yaris has a suitably stiff body. Compared to the base Yaris model, 259 additional spot welds are used in production, most of which are concentrated around the joint areas for strength.
You can’t point to any particular rival to directly compete with the GR Yaris, such is its remarkable engineering and the car’s price tag. The cheaper Ford Fiesta ST is a sublime hot-hatch thoroughbred, while the Hyundai i20 N will be a strong performer at similar prices, but neither does it go to the extreme that the Yaris GR does in the pursuit of performance.
For those willing to part with more cash, the larger Honda Civic Type R is one of the best front-wheel drive hatchbacks you can buy, and our hot car of the year too, while avid drivers also stick with the 261bhp BMW might be interested in 128ti.
All of these are worthy contenders in their own right, but Toyota’s commitment to the GR Yaris project shines through, with company president Akio Toyoda himself involved in the development of the car and eventual release.
If you are looking for a GR Yaris then choosing a GR Yaris is pretty easy. All cars use a six-speed manual transmission with permanent four-wheel drive. You can opt for the standard car for a little under £ 30,000 or add the extra kit from the Convenience Pack for an additional £ 2,000, while the Circuit-Pack model’s lighter forged alloy wheels, limited-slip differential and tuned suspension mean it. is at the top of the range and costs almost £ 33,500.