Inside story

The design of the GR Yaris’s interior reflects the car’s performance, particularly around the driver’s cockpit. The instrument cluster arrangement is the same as the standard Yaris but with additional functions related to the car’s specific sporty qualities. The 4.2-inch TFT colour multi-information display adds an all-wheel drive indicator showing the torque distribution and mode selected for the GR-Four system and a turbo pressure monitor. The analogue meters have white figures with red pointers for high, at-a-glance visibility.

The three-spoke GR sports steering wheel has a smooth-grain leather cover and is formed with a cross-section (the GR grip) calculated to provide a snug fit in the driver’s palm. To keep the spokes narrow, toggle-type auxiliary switches have been designed. The bottom spoke is finished in Smoke Silver and features the GR logo in a chrome frame. The position of the column has been set to support a comfortable driving position with a range of manual telescopic and tilt adjustments.

The rest of the interior is finished in black with Smoke Silver trim details around the door handles, centre console, steering wheel and side air vents.

Seating-wise, the front sports seats give high holding performance. A thicker urethane pad in the cushion reduces pressure beneath the base of the pelvis, while the pad beneath the base of the spine has been made thinner, with the internal rear rod moved forward, increasing pressure and improving support.   The driver’s seat has a range of height, fore-aft and seatback angle manual adjustment. To make rear seat access easier in the three-door version, the front seats have an increased forward tipping angle.

The two rear seatbacks have a 60:40 split-folding function and are equipped with Isofix child seat anchor points with top tethers. Further back, the luggage compartment has a 174-litre capacity. With the rear seatbacks folded, there is enough space to carry a set of four large tyres or a bicycle. With the accessory battery housed beneath the deck board, the car comes with a tyre repair kit in place of a spare wheel.

Three versions of GR Yaris are available in the UK. Standard interior specification includes GR-Four all-wheel drive, Ultrasuede seat upholstery, dual-zone climate control and a multimedia system with smartphone integration and an eight-inch touchscreen. Drivers can then specify either of two option packs (Circuit or Convenience) as part of their car’s specification.

Connectivity and infotainment

The multimedia system is operated by an eight-inch display mounted centre stage of the dashboard, featuring both button and touchscreen controls. Its opening sequence graphics show the GR logo. It provides smartphone connectivity via both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing the driver or passenger to pair their phone.

The standard audio system is a six-speaker arrangement; an eight-speaker premium JBL system is provided in the Convenience Pack, together with satellite navigation. Bluetooth and a USB port are included as standard.

In Europe, the car is equipped with eCall, which will automatically report the car’s location to an emergency operator if there is an impact which triggers an airbag. There is also an SOS button that can be used to contact a call centre and summon emergency help. If the vehicle is stolen, it can be tracked and its location found by contacting the Toyota Smart Centre.

Advanced driver assistance systems

All versions of GR Yaris are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, a suite of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions.

The latest Toyota Safety Sense employs a combination of a monocular camera sensor and millimetre-wave radar. The pre-collision system with vehicle detection now operates at higher speeds while its day and night pedestrian detection, daytime cyclist detection, collision mitigation support functions, intelligent adaptive cruise control, lane trace assist, fatigue monitor and emergency steering assist

The Convenience Pack helps the driver with safe manoeuvring with the addition of a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, plus front and rear parking sensors. The car is fitted with a reversing camera as standard.


Throughout GR Yaris there has been a focus on saving weight, making use of lightweight metals and materials used in key areas.

In a first for a Toyota model, the roof is made of a new forged (rather than woven) carbon material, C-SMC (carbon sheet moulding compound), which saves 3.5kg compared to a steel roof and helps lower the car’s centre of gravity.

Aluminium is used for the bonnet, tailgate and front doors, marking a weight reduction of about 24kg. Overall, the body shell contains around 10 per cent aluminium and weighs about 38kg less than the previous generation Yaris hatchback. Thin-sheet steel is used in the wings and side members, with light and strong high-tensile steels in critical areas to ensure the car’s structure can safely absorb and dissipate impact forces.

The doors on the three-door GR Yaris are made from aluminium and have a hard-top design with frameless windows. This reduces the step and allows the glass to sit tighter to the body, improving its sealing performance at high speeds and removing the need for door reinforcement.

The tailgate has been redesigned to fit with GR Yaris’s lower roof line and three-door body shape. Both the inner and outer panels are made of aluminium, further reducing the car’s mass.

The rear bumper is made of TSOP (Toyota Super Olefin Polymer) which allows for a thinner construction, achieving a 38 per cent weight reduction. TSOP also offers an environmental benefit, being easily recyclable.

The GR Yaris Circuit Pack equips the car with lightweight forged alloy wheels with highly rigid spokes. These further reduce the car’s overall weight, by 10kg.

On the road

On balance, the cabin is typically Toyota – practical and comfortable. Its climate controls are, mercifully, separate from the touchscreen with easy-to-operate rotary dials while driving. It is built at a Toyota Gazoo Racing production facility, created within Toyota’s Motomachi plant in Japan. Rival models include the Ford Fiesta ST and Hyundai i30N.