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Why Lease The GR Yaris?

Photo of Alex Bradley by: Alex Bradley

Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.

Toyota GR Yaris Review 2023

The Toyota GR Yaris is a performance-based version of the standard Yaris hatchback. With aggressive sporty styling and exhilarating on-the-road performance, the GR Yaris is ideal for those who want a bit of fun. 

Rivals to the GR Yaris include the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type-R, Ford Fiesta ST, and Renault Megane RS. 

Our Toyota GR Yaris review covers:

Toyota GR Yaris Key Features

  • Aggressive exterior styling 
  • Simple and well-designed interior
  • 141-litre boot
  • A 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine 
  • Three trim levels 

Toyota GR Yaris Pros and Cons:


  • Amazing performance, especially on country roads
  • Powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine 
  • Can still be used for daily driving 


  • Tiny boot 
  • Rear space is limited 
  • Interior needs a refresh 

Design, Practicality and Boot Space

The exterior of the GR Yaris looks like someone has taken the standard Yaris and modified it for a Mad Max film. Its exterior design is aggressive, featuring a wide front grille, a rear spoiler, and dual exhaust pipes. 

As a performance-based car, practicality isn't high on GR Yaris's priorities. There's more than enough space in the front for two six-footers; however, the rear seats are only acceptable for children. It's also only a three-door car, unlike the Ford Fiesta ST, so rear passengers have to squeeze in and out. 

Toyota GR Yaris exterior

Boot space comes in at 141 litres, which isn't great. There's probably enough room for a weekly shop or a couple of small suitcases, but that's about it. You can fold the rear seats 60/40 if you need more space. 

Interior and Trims

The GR Yaris's interior follows a simple design that's good on the eye and easy to use. Although the materials aren't as premium as in the Volkswagen Golf GTI, there are a few nice touches, such as a leather gear stick and steering wheel. 

On the dashboard, you get an eight-inch infotainment system that features a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. If you want a sat-nav, you'll need to upgrade to the aptly named Convenience Pack trim. The system as a whole is quite outdated and is fiddly to use.

You also get a 4.2-inch digital instrument display behind the steering wheel, which gets a head-up display on the mid-range trim. 

Three trims are available for the GR Yaris: GR Yaris, Convenience Pack, and Circuit Pack. 

GR Yaris has 18-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels, LED lights, rear privacy glass, front sports seats, ultrasuede upholstery, a leather steering wheel trim, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a reversing camera, anti-lock braking, and Toyota safety sense. 

Convenience Pack has an eight-speaker JBL premium sound system, satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert. 

Circuit Pack has 18-inch BBS 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, GR performance-tuned suspension, and red brake callipers with the GR logo. 

Power and Performance

Now, finally onto the part you've been waiting for. Under the bonnet, the GR Yaris has a 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine paired with four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. 

The petrol engine is superb to drive, coming with a power output of 257hp and shooting from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds, quicker than the 320hp Honda Civic Type R. 

When you initially get on the road, the engine feels a bit lacklustre at first, but put your foot down and it comes to life, accelerating rapidly and pinning you to the seat. Trust us, it's good fun! 

Toyota GR Yaris interior

On the road, the GR Yaris is up there with the best hot hatchbacks to drive. Its cornering is almost faultless, and its suspension is good at high speeds. 

Around town, the GR Yaris certainly won't blow you away. A car that's been designed for the open road, the suspension is a bit firm at low speeds and manoeuvring through narrow streets can be a bit tricky thanks to a bigger turning circle than the original Yaris. 

Get to motorway speed, and the GR Yaris gets into its comfort zone. The engine accelerates to 70mph with no issues at all, and there's a range of driver assistance systems suited to help you on the motorway, such as lane-keep assist and cruise control. 

Find yourself on a country road, and the GR Yaris comes into its own. The steering has the perfect amount of feedback for an engaging drive, and the six-speed manual gearbox is precise and easy to use. 

Furthermore, its 60:40 front-rear four-wheel drive system has great road grip and encourages you to corner at speed. If you want the perfect balance, select 'Track' mode, which splits it 50:50 and allows you to truly drive like a racing driver. You can also select 'Sport' mode, which distributes 70% of the power to the rear wheels, making it much more responsive in the corners. 

Leasing vs Buying

Prices for the new Toyota GR Yaris start from £30,384.00 OTR* or to lease from £433.17 per month.

Looking to get behind the wheel of the Toyota GR Yaris? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts is one of the UK's largest car leasing brokers and offers a range of leasing deals to suit your every need.

Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.

*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.