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The new Toyota GR Yaris costs £44,250 – too much for a hot supermini?

Our early impressions of the Gen 2 GR Yaris suggest that it’s an improvement in every area that counts, but can it be worth £18k more than an i20 N?

When the Toyota GR Yaris first stormed on the scene, it quickly gained a reputation as a giant-killer for its ability to rough up more expensive, high-end hot hatches. Things have changed a little with the new Gen 2 version, however, as the Yaris has now become something of a giant itself in terms of price. 

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Toyota has announced that the updated GR Yaris costs from £44,250, or £60,000 for the rally-inspired Ogier and Rovanperä special editions. Ouch. A very limited number of cars will be offered to UK customers this year, and Toyota will prioritise existing GR Yaris owners – and those who joined the waiting list before order books for the old car closed in 2022 – to get their hands on the new one. 

There’s no denying that c£45k is a lot to ask for a hot supermini, but the depth of engineering behind the GR Yaris – and particularly the Gen 2 – can’t be ignored. Every key element of the new car, from its four-wheel drive system to its engine, chassis and interior, has been redesigned to make one of our favourite hot hatches even better. 

The 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine has been boosted from 257bhp to 276bhp, with an uplift in torque to 288lb ft. Stronger pistons and improved cooling help it to withstand consistent hard use, and the motor drives through a revised four-wheel drive system. There’s new Gravel mode which offers a 53:47 front-to-rear torque split, with the Track setting now automatically variable between 60:40 and 30:70. 

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The Gen 2 also gets a thicker front anti-roll bar and revised spring rates (up by 10N/mm at the front and 4N/mm at the rear), but the big news is the introduction of an automatic transmission option. Toyota has developed an eight-speed torque converter with shorter ratios than the manual and 300 millisecond shift times, with manual control via paddles on the wheel. At £45,750, the auto commands a £1500 premium. 

Toyota has responded to feedback from customers to comprehensively redesign the Yaris’s cabin and improve ergonomics. The seat is mounted 25mm lower than before and the infotainment stack is integrated into a new, curved dashboard panel (it looks much better in person than in pictures) to provide a clearer sight line through the windscreen. The rear view mirror has also been raised for this reason. 

If you want the ultimate GR Yaris, you’ll need to opt for either the Ogier or Rovanperä editions. As well as a host of cosmetic upgrades (and a wild exterior livery in the case of the latter), the rally-inspired specials get unique calibrations for their four-wheel drive systems devised by Toyota’s works drivers. Details of the order process for the new GR Yaris will be announced in May.

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