• Home
  • Advice
  • Brands
  • Partners
  • News
  • Reviews
  • Forum
  • New car ratings

New car test drive

Toyota Yaris GR Sport test drive

Toyota has introduced GR Sport to the Yaris in an effort to capture some of the GRMN hot hatch magic, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

Would you like to be kept up to date with the latest from The Car Expert?

The Car Expert Gold Partners

(click each logo to read more)

Toyota Yaris GR Sport test drive 1
Toyota Yaris GR Sport test drive 2
Toyota Yaris GR Sport test drive 3
Toyota Yaris GR Sport test drive 4

What’s the Toyota Yaris GR Sport like inside?

While inside the GR Sport is not a far cry from the rest of the hybrid’s range, there are a number of introductions to mark it out against the rest of the line-up.

Front occupants will find themselves hugged tight by Ultrasuede-upholstered semi-bucket seats which provide good levels of comfort, while the driver is sat in front of a steering wheel borrowed from the GT86 — much like the GRMN, albeit with the exclusion of the red 12 o’clock stripe as seen in the full-whack car. Switch the car on, and the TFT display in the gauge cluster will also throw up a little GR animation.

Those additions aside, it’s all very much standard Yaris Hybrid. That means seating for five — though don’t expect adults to be comfortable in the back — along with a generous 286 litre boot, and plenty of hard plastics used throughout the cabin.

What’s under the bonnet?

As mentioned, this is effectively a racy-looking Yaris Hybrid — meaning it’s powered by a four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine paired up to an electric motor to produce 98bhp and 125Nm of torque.

Toyota Yaris GR Sport engine | The Car Expert

With that sent to the front wheels via a CVT, 0-60mph comes in 11.6 seconds while a top speed of 103mph is possible. When it comes to efficiency, Toyota claims the car can achieve 56-60.1mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 89g/km of CO2.

If you look at the GR Sport as a younger brother to the GRMN, the powertrain is going to be a massive letdown. It’s a far cry from the Lotus-sourced supercharged 1.8-litre found in the full-fat Yaris, instead offering very little in the way of fizz or fun.


Sure, it’s efficient, but it’s a real mismatch for the chassis. Speaking of…

What’s the Toyota Yaris GR Sport like to drive?

Toyota has made a real effort with the chassis to try and upgrade the driving dynamics of the Yaris Hybrid, here introducing Sachs Performance suspension found on the GRMN as well as an anti-roll bar for increased stiffness, while also wrapping its 17-inch alloy wheels in sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE50 tyres.

The effects are certainly noticeable. The car inspires confidence when driven harder, and there’s far more grip than you could ever really need — which in itself highlights the main issue of the GR Sport; the powertrain-chassis mismatch.

It leaves a sense that a more potent and characterful engine would’ve really made this an exceptionally fun car, or that sticking with the GR appearance and not bothering with the racy mechanical upgrades would’ve resulted in a perfectly fine, nice-looking thing.

As it stands, it’s just a very firm car sitting in a weird middle ground.


We like — nay, adore — the idea of a baby Yaris GRMN. That car is astonishing, and a cheaper version that could capture some of its hot-hatch spirit while being more useable would be an appealing prospect.

The GR Sport is not that car though. While the chassis has the potential to deliver on fun, it’s let down by a powertrain that never really feels at home when being pushed. And when you do drive it with efficiency in mind, the racier enhancements just comprise on the car’s comfort too much.

There’s a lot left to be desired from the GR Sport, and hopefully that’s a gap Toyota will choose to fill.

Similar cars

Ford Fiesta ST, Suzuki Swift Sport, Vauxhall Corsa GSi

Key specifications

Model as tested: Toyota Yaris GR Sport
Price (on-road): £20,735
Engine: 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid
Gearbox: continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT)
Power: 100hp
Torque: 125Nm
Top speed: 103 mph
0-60mph: 11.6 seconds
Fuel economy (WLTP combined): 56-60.1 mpg
CO2 emissions: 89 g/km

For the best independent and impartial car buying advice on the internet, always check with The Car Expert:

  • Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and the latest offers from car manufacturers
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our latest articles as soon as we publish them
  • Bookmark our site so you can check back regularly
Ryan Hirons
Ryan Hirons
Articles by Ryan Hirons are provided for The Car Expert by the Press Association. They include test drives of the latest new LCVs and features on various aspects of automotive life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Be the first to know

Would you like to stay up to date with The Car Expert?

Latest new car reviews

Toyota Supra test drive

The new Toyota Supra delivers a unique driving experience that's one of the best of any modern sports car, and co-development with BMW has served the car well.

Audi SQ2 test drive

The Audi SQ2 is a very capable car, with great performance and all the trimmings you expect. The only frustration is the easily-confused gearbox.

Toyota Camry test drive

As a car to get from one place to another without fuss, it’s hard to go wrong with the Toyota Camry. It's easy to drive, spacious enough and efficient.

Volkswagen T-Cross test drive

The little Volkswagen T-Cross looks like being another successful SUV for VW. It blends style and practicality into a package that’s perfect for the city.

BMW X7 test drive

The BMW X7 is a genuine Range Rover alternative that undercuts it just enough on price to be noteworthy while presenting a more engaging driving experience.