Toyota GR Yaris Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Saturday 30th September


What is it like on the inside?

You sit high, but that’s a rally car thing – it helps visibility. You soon get used to it, and if you sat lower the steering wheel would only be at a funny angle, tipped away at the top. As it is, the driving position is bang on, and the controls all operate with more precision than any other hot hatch bar the Honda Civic Type R. And the seats, soft, yet well-padded, are great. Not harshly aggressive, just comfortably bolstered.

The gearlever has been raised 50mm, but could have been raised further to place it even closer to the steering wheel. Too much rally maybe. The important thing is that the GR Yaris doesn’t feel anything like a standard Yaris when you get in. Sure, it has the same door cards and heating controls, but the dashboard (two analogue dials with a small LCD screen between) is simpler and clearer, there’s a simple rotary controller for the modes in front of the lever and a little plaque that says ‘developed for the FIA World Rally Championship’. Which the GR Yaris has now won, by the way. You don’t get that on Aunt Mabel’s hybrid.

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Better still, it feels robust. The stiff chassis means there’s no squeaks or rattles and although material quality is no better than average, it’s lifted by having metal pedals, and Alcantara steering inserts. There’s also a useful phone tray below the centre screen. But the overall impression is that this is a well engineered and built car that feels like it’ll stay the course. It’s worth knowing Toyota says it takes ten times longer to build than a standard Yaris, constructed not on the normal line, but GR’s facility within the Motomachi factory.

It’s cramped and dark in the back. You know Toyota didn’t really plan on you using the rear seats because not only is head and legroom very limited, but the front seat doesn’t tilt and slide nicely. Nor is the 174-litre boot exactly big. Who cares. If you want the car, you’ll make this work for you. And you do want the car. You really do.

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