Toyota GR Yaris review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Toyota GR Yaris 2021 infotainment
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  • Toyota GR Yaris 2021 infotainment
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  • Toyota GR Yaris 2021 front seats
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RRP from£30,020
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Once you tick the box for the Circuit Pack (the go-faster goodies we mentioned earlier make it well worth having) the Toyota GR Yaris is priced very much in line with larger and more powerful hot hatches such as the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Type R, Renault Mégane RS and VW Golf GTI. You might think that such a price tag is a bit rich for a hot hatch similar in size to a Ford Fiesta ST, but you have to remember that in raw performance terms the GR is right up there with the grown-ups. 

Toyota offers impressive finance deals from time to time, meaning you can have a GR Yaris on your drive for a lower monthly cost than a Civic Type R or Golf GTI. While a 1.6-litre, three-cylinder engine pumping out 261bhp isn’t going to be as parsimonious on fuel as a diesel, the official fuel economy figure of 34.3mpg means running costs shouldn’t break the bank. 

Toyota ranked an extremely impressive third place out of 31 manufacturers in the What Car? Reliability Survey, with only Lexus and Mitsubishi finishing higher. The manuacturer's five-year/100,000-mile warranty is standard, and one of the best in the business. 

Euro NCAP is yet to crash test the GR, although other Toyotas that share a similar platform have received the maximum five stars. The GR Yaris comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, Lane Trace Assist (a system to keep you in the centre of your lane) and road sign recognition as standard. Blind-spot monitoring is available if you opt for the Convenience Pack. An immobiliser and alarm are both standard.

Toyota GR Yaris 2021 infotainment

Overview

Don’t let the fact that it shares a name with Toyota’s regular five-door Yaris hatchback fool you – the GR is a truly special machine. Not only does it pack the firepower to embarrass far more expensive performance cars, but it’s also perfectly suited to UK roads, with its startling all-wheel drive traction, diminutive dimensions and incredible high-speed composure. As long as you’re prepared to live with a few compromises on the practicality front, what you’ll be getting in return is one of the most characterful and entertaining hot hatches of the last decade, especially if you opt for the Circuit Pack.

  • An absolute riot in the bends
  • Scintillating straight-line performance
  • Competitive finance deals
  • Limited rear seat space
  • Bland interior
  • Poor rear visibility

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