In-depth reviews

Toyota GR Yaris review - Interior, design and technology

Although the cabin is a little plain, Toyota’s commitment to designing a proper driver’s car is clearly evident in the GR Yaris

From the outset, Toyota identified that the GR Yaris would have to meet specific targets for downforce, aerodynamic performance and stability, with the only exterior parts shared with the basic Yaris supermini being the headlights, rear lights, door mirrors and the shark fin antenna on the roof.

The body had to be specifically designed to meet the requirements of the World Rally Championship and, compared to the regular Toyota Yaris model, the GR is 55mm longer, 60mm wider and between 45-95mm lower in height due to its sloping roofline.

Toyota’s three-door design for the GR brings a coupe-like profile, while the tapered roofline has a functional purpose in helping to move air over the rear spoiler which helps to create useful downforce. The overall impression is of a squat, purposeful machine, with powerful-looking rear haunches just giving a hint of the Renault 5 Turbo.

There are two equipment grades to choose from over the base car; the Convenience Pack offering extras such as a head-up display, sat nav, an upgraded audio system and parking sensors. The top-of-the-range Circuit Pack focuses purely on driving dynamics with forged alloy wheels, a limited slip differential and tuned suspension. Strangely though, you cannot mix any part of the two specification packs, so a Circuit Pack car will not come with sat nav, for example.

Once sat in the Toyota GR Yaris’ grippy Ultrasuede sports seats, there’s not much else within the cabin that differentiates it from the standard Yaris model, although a thicker sports steering wheel with GR badging and redesigned dials with a speedo that tracks up to 180mph, offer some sense of occasion.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The entry-level and Circuit Pack cars feature an 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Choosing the Convenience pack brings Toyota’s Touch 2 navigation system along with a JBL sound system with eight speakers. 

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