For starters...I do not drive it nearly as much as I would like to (or should). I am barely reaching the 5000km mark now....however, the 5000km that I have put on have been rather exhilarating long drives...so there is that.
The car does sound like a tractor on start up
For the most part, the car has been a pretty trouble free car. Although the car is not practical, with limited rear passenger and cargo space, we have made it work; and the car has become our long distance cruiser. The car feels very safe and planted than the Corolla, so when ever we hit the highway, its always the Yaris. Using the car for a while has made two things obvious:
1. Toyota has not spent much money on the nicities: For what you pay for it; what you get is almost everything that is mechanical. Apart from the to front premium sports seats, everything else about the interior (including the faux leatehr rear seat) just feels cheap. Its full of black cheap plastics. However, there is a bit of contrast in texture that makes it somewhat acceptable. In fact the high gade (Z ?) standard Yaris and Yaris Cross have much nicer interiors. Heck..the GR Yaris doesn't even come with a reverse camera and standard in Japan and only comes if you get the Safety Sense package which is a 250,000yen extra (but having safety sense reduces some taxes and insurance premiums a bit so what it eventuallly costs you is a little bit less). Heck..sports car right ?
2. Everything that has been done to the car has been done for a reason : When you whip the car around you feel the ho the low weight roof has helped to place most of the weight on the bottom of the car. The wider rear track and the longer suspension travel makes complete sense when you are ripping around a bumpy b-road. Although the car can be a bit jittery around town, at speed it just eats up the bumps like it doesn't exist. Also, the way the car pivots (again courtesy of the different track widths).
The car is very playful...as techie as it is, it is also obvious that the car is not as refined as the Evo or the WRX in terms of the AWD (and even power delivery). It is sheer grunt. As a result, the GR Yaris is a car that you have to constantly drive when you are driving at the limit. When you drive an Evo or WRX, even if you shut off your brain for a few seconds, pick a line and stepat the gas; you feel the AWD system working to keep you on track and deliver the optimal power to get you in and out of a corner. The GR Yaris...not so much...you have to listen to the car and you as the driver needs to know what you should do to get you through that corner. So if the Evo/WRX are semi automatic, point and shoot cameras; the GR Yaris is like a completely manual camera from the late 70s. On the topic of constantly driving and listening to the car: the car is very communicative. What gives me the biggest kick is the little twitch it does in the rear when it reaches a point of underseering or oversteering
Maintenance wise I have not done anything other than the 1000km check up which was the end of the break in period. The break in was pretty fuss free except for the rear diff having a knock everytime I let go of the clutch. This was fixed after a fluid change (along with every other fluid) at the 1000k check up. Other than that there was a safety inspection after the 1st year and now the next oil change is up (1 year after the 1000km checkup because I do not use the car that much).
Being a bespoke car and perhaps not going throughthe rigorous QA of standard Toyota cars, somethings are a bit of a miss. The carbon fibre wrap (that covers the actual carbon fibre roof) doesn't have any treatment on it so it is easy to get dirty (I use a lot of product to keep it clean). As a result many other owners have had their roofs develop a white patch.
Then there is a rubber beading that runs along the roof gutter where the carbon roof joins the metal body. The beading has a tendency to shrivel up on the rear-end. So it doesnt neatly fit in the back. Then the trunk mounted battery has a breather valve itha hose running to the floor of the trunk for the gases and any battery fluid to escape. Unfortunately the battery fluid gets splattered on the under carraige and leaves a rust trail. Other than that...the only thing I have about the car is that the plastics scratch easily and the brake pads release a lot of dust (which is a pain to clean).
I shall not post any rear-end pics