Toyota Yaris GR Sport – Sporting looks with economic and comfort bonusses

There was a time when if presented with a small car and an automatic gearbox you would probably opt for a taxi. They were pretty terrible, a few still are today, but many small automatics have moved on much more than people realise. One of most fun and best small automatics is Toyota’s Yaris GR Sport.

Priced from €24,549/£21,460 there is a single powertrain across the line-up, except for the rally inspired GR, a 1.5 litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and drives through an e-CVT automatic transmission. There is the Yaris Hybrid 5-door hatch range, the Yaris Cross pseudo SUV and a rally inspired GR.

The focus of my attention is the Yaris GR Sport, which has the standard powertrain but a more sporting look inspired by the rally bred GR. Three other trim levels are on offer and the GR Sport shares top billing in the range at €27,936/£24,420, and comes with an enviously generous range of standard equipment.

Privacy glass, dual zone air conditioning, smart entry and start, auto lights and wipers, powered and heated door mirrors, adaptive cruise control, LED lights including high beam assist and particularly comfortable front sports seats. Fitted with 18-inch alloys wheels and in my test car’s case extra cost, but looked wonderful, pearlescent Scarlet Flare maroon/red paintwork.

The new Yaris has a presence! It doesn’t look like your average small urban hatch but on the other hand hasn’t adopted that overly aggressive look which, in many people’s eyes blights so many otherwise good cars. With GR badging and a sporting stance the GR Sport rides on 40 profile tyres, so although the ride is firm it’s not uncomfortably firm. There is a higher than expected level of road noise but it’s not such that it would impede your aural comfort on longer journeys.

It may not be a hot hatch but it is dynamically well sorted and great fun on twisty roads. The CVT transmission is actually very good, not always the case with e-CVTs, and even under enthusiastic acceleration makes tidy progress. Super comfortable seats make this a really good long distance car if needed, and returning an average 59 mpg it’s not going to cost either.

This is a terrific little car and combines the best of sporting looks with economic and comfort bonusses. Perhaps surprisingly, as a fan of large engine luxury barges, this Yaris is one I would be very, very happy to have gracing my driveway.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Toyota Yaris GR Sport

Price: €27,936/£24.420

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged hybrid petrol developing 116bhp

Gears: e-CVT Automatic

Performance: 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 9.7 seconds/Maximum Speed 173 km/h (108 mph)

Economy: 4.4l/100km (64.2 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)

Emissions: 99 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.


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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.

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