If you want to fault the GR Yaris, here’s where you can: This is obviously not the cabin of a normal S$200k car. The cockpit has the same general layout as the Yaris Cross, with the switchgear, cupholders, and cubby spaces remaining the same.
There’s less space all around though, what with the sport seats, lower roof, and three-door body shape. Besides the open shelf on the centre console, the cup-holders are tiny, and there’s really not much space to stow your knick-knacks – this becomes important later on.
It’s mainstream Toyota stuff, and what we would expect from a sub-S$90k compact hatch: lots of plastics and sturdy but uninspiring design, aside from the ‘GR’ badges, the manual gearbox, and the red-trimmed leather sections.
Hot hatch or no, Toyota didn’t leave out active safety – there’s forward collision warning/mitigation, lane keeping, and adaptive cruise control, though no blind spot monitoring.
In spec terms, Singapore’s GR Yaris-es come with the overseas ‘Track Pack’ as standard, slapping on Torsen LSD on both axles, 18-inch BBS forged wheels, higher-performance suspension, a HUD, and flat underbody for better aero.
Behind, there’s only room for two people, and the tiny 174-litre boot (compare the normal Yaris at 286-litres) can fit a week’s worth of shopping – and strap the eggs down lest they become scrambled. Even if you flip the seats down, don’t even think about cramming a normal bicycle back there.
But you don’t buy a car like this to look downwards. It’s a compact car interior, but once you start the car up you know where all the money went.