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The GR Yaris...1 year and 3 months on...



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.

May be an image of car, road and text that says '福岡 331* す'

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).44137.thumb.jpg.1bf5e332867a349b3f23535ab76fcd6e.jpg


I shall not post any rear-end pics :)




Edited by iRage

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42 minutes ago, john cooper said:

Congratulation on this purchase mate, I was dreaming to own one of them but no fund anymore. 😞

Thanks ! 
I believe the car was hard to obtain outside of Japan because of limited production allocations :( Seems like that had also driven prices up with some crazy dealer markups (mosty in EU)

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Nice sometimes we feel jealous of you iRage. Car looks nice and I see it is holding up well. Just 5000kms.

BTW a GR Corolla is on the way right? Any news on that? 

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@Gummybr...yes the GR Corolla is getting revealed on 31st March U time (so 1st April 10.30am Japan time).

For now there is no news about when or if it will be released in Japan and the rest of the world. So as it is is its a US first release model, probably to make up for the US being dissapinted for not getting the GR Yaris..not that they would have bought enough of it anyway.

The Corolla Sport is supposed to get a update here in Japan in October...so most believe the GR Corolla might get announced for Japan (and the rest of the world) then.

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The GR Yaris has to be the best hot hatch of 2021 IMO. What a great car to own. Glad that you are having fun! :) 

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On 3/30/2022 at 1:08 PM, iRage said:

Thanks ! 
I believe the car was hard to obtain outside of Japan because of limited production allocations :( Seems like that had also driven prices up with some crazy dealer markups (mosty in EU)

Most the Asian's taking advantage of the "Limited" production and put their names in the list and sell them back to the public with a markup.

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11 hours ago, john cooper said:

Most the Asian's taking advantage of the "Limited" production and put their names in the list and sell them back to the public with a markup.

See that is what is interesting...it was never a "LIMITED" production car. Toyota always said they would sell a minimum of 25,000 (which is what they wanted). The limitation as because the pre-planned quotas assigned for each country was gulped up and more orders were coming in so fast that the production can't keep up. Right now if you go and order one in Japan you will get it in August...2023. Some country closed the order book indefinitely a few months ago as they ran out of the quotas for last year and this year ahead of time. In many ways it is unfair because I am sure a lot of the buyers just bought it for a quick flip. 

In Japan, unike for the GT86 in the past, there were only a very few cars on sale for flipping, about 2 or 3...but now you start to see 1.5 year old cars poping up for sale amongst new ones.

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