RE: Toyota GR Yaris (Convenience Pack) | UK Review

RE: Toyota GR Yaris (Convenience Pack) | UK Review

Sunday 22nd November 2020

Toyota GR Yaris (Convenience Pack) | UK Review

The Circuit Pack model is brilliant. What about the other one?


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Unless you've been quarantining in a Scottish bothy, you'll likely know that the GR Yaris has arrived and is a big hit with virtually everyone lucky enough to have driven it. But until now all of those drives have featured the Circuit Pack, which adds (among other things) a brace of mechanical limited-slip differentials for its ยฃ3,500 premium. In the standard model - which this one is, albeit with the Convenience Pack added - you do without the Torsen hardware, relying on the multi-plate clutch at the centre of the the GR-4 system do distribute power front and back, without it going side to side. Question is, does that leave the entry-level car with one arm tied behind its three-door back? Or is it in fact a usefully cheaper way into what is still a brilliantly homologated hot hatch?

You certainly don't lose out on the ability to attract attention. Apparently everyone has read the reviews since Nic drove around Surrey unheeded, because in deepest Somerset the white Yaris with black wheels did not go unnoticed. Admittedly some of the queries were slightly wide of the mark - "is this the new hybrid, mate" - (confirmation of Toyota's brand status in UK if ever you needed it) but the basic GR, which differs visually from the Circuit Pack precisely nowhere except the 15-spoke alloys and brake caliper colour, is now on people's radar.

You'll be familiar with the cabin by now; I can confirm that after 500 miles of driving it gets no more exciting to behold than the pictures suggest. But it is certainly functional, with good space for four adults, touch points that feel decent enough and an infotainment system that operates swiftly - and thanks to the Convenience Pack (an option not available to Circuit Pack buyers) - with the added attraction of a satellite navigation button that actually works. Yes, the seats are mildly too high, but the wheel and gear lever and pedals are adroitly organised. That much you knew already.



The new 261hp engine is also unchanged. Start it up and it still projects a coarse, yet not particularly loud three-pot thrum. Initially all the intent is delivered by the increased stiffness of the GR's unique GA-B platform - a combination of the Yaris's GA-B front end with the rear of the C-HR's GA-C underpinnings. But the irrepressible 1.6-litre motor is easy to unpack: it produces the same 266lb ft of torque from 3,000-4,600rpm, accessed by the same slick-to-use six-speed manual 'box. While the latter is not on par with the FK8's oily masterpiece, you're probably going to appreciate it.

Don't expect the absence of those limited-slip diffs to make a noticeable difference at conventional road speeds. The adaptive drivetrain itself functions in exactly the same way, and permanent all-wheel drive means that it still accelerates with growing excitement after a tiny amount of lag low down. It sounds great in a blast furnace kind of way, even if some of the noise is definitely being amplified via the speakers (of which there are more thanks to the Convenience Pack). Nic failed to test the iMT auto blip mode, but I can report that it's spot on - although heel and toeing it yourself is inevitably more rewarding.

Aside from a fractionally slimmer rear anti-roll bar, there are no hardware changes in standard car's chassis aside from the alloys which are cast (the lighter Circuit Pack BBS wheels are forged). Otherwise Toyota says the difference is all in the suspension tuning. Certainly it has not dulled the GR's impressive bump absorption - it rides admirably well. The front end is still terrific, too. You can fling the Yaris at corners with confidence and perfectly predict the outcome, thanks in no small part to feedback offered by the steering. On a dry road, the standard car is never found wanting for more lateral performance or agility - even with its Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres swapped out for Dunlop SP Sport Maxxes. Don't expect them to feel overworked either; the chassis is too evenly footed for anything like that.



This is true even when the GR-4 system is in 'Sport' mode, where 70 per cent of available torque is diverted rearward, delivering hip-wiggling rotation when you're really on it. In its default mode, where 60 per cent of remains at the front, the nose tugs you through and out of a corner like a conventional AWD hot hatch; in 'Track' it nails each corner down flat. Which would suggest that - as Toyota engineering team implied a fortnight ago - you're not going to be yearning for the Circuit Pack on your favourite B-road.

Or not in the dry at least. In the drizzle, possibly. But only if you're very keen to use the lower grip limits to unlock the car's full potential. Obviously the basic merits of the chassis balance is retained no matter what the weather, but you might notice a split second of understeer, just as you're likely to find that exiting a wider slip angle (which is hilariously easy to develop) is not perhaps as fluid a process as it might otherwise be. It is in those slightly fraught moments that you'd likely appreciate an increased flow of torque to the inside wheels.

On track that feeling would no doubt be amplified. Unsurprisingly, Toyota says the Circuit Pack car definitely laps quicker, and alongside the stickier Michelins, lighter unsprung mass and Torsen's assistance, this experience bears that claim out. (Let's not forget either that Toyota built the GR to work on gravel - and in that situation you'd absolutely want the car to find every transitional millimetre of traction.) But on the road the composure, pace and positivity of the Yaris are still in remarkable abundance. Which means that in the standard car you're getting 90 per cent of the performance for 89.5 per cent of the cost - and this being Toyota, the close relationship of those ratios is probably not coincidental. We'd be delighted with either. But slightly quicker and poorer and happier in one.


TOYOTA GR YARIS | SPECIFICATION

Engine: 1,618cc, inline-three, turbocharged
Transmission: six-speed manual, all-wheel drive
Power: 261hp@6,500rpm
Torque: 266lb ft@3,000-4,600rpm
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds
Top speed: 143mph (electronically limited)
Kerbweight: 1,280-1,310kg
MPG: 34.3mpg
CO2: 186g/km driving
Price: ยฃ29,995 (ยฃ32,175 with Convenience Pack)











Author
Discussion

Gareth9702

Original Poster:

246 posts

95 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Toyota - a company that fills the world with anonymous and functional transport. But ... they still care enough about performance to produce this Yaris, the Supra, and the GT 86. The Yaris seems the exceeding expectations and its inevitable sales success should hopefully encourage Toyota to keep producing desirable cars.

Honeywell

533 posts

61 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
So the base model is the one to have? Interesting. Chris HArris said that the springs were too stiff on the model he tested which had the circuit pack.

Interesting car.

ecsrobin

12,396 posts

128 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Gareth9702 said:
Toyota - a company that fills the world with anonymous and functional transport. But ... they still care enough about performance to produce this Yaris, the Supra, and the GT 86. The Yaris seems the exceeding expectations and its inevitable sales success should hopefully encourage Toyota to keep producing desirable cars.
I’ve read dealers on here reporting selling 5 a day since the reviews started coming out!

Considering dealerships aren’t allowed customers. Toyota dealers must be very happy!

Esceptico

3,691 posts

72 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Honeywell said:
So the base model is the one to have? Interesting. Chris HArris said that the springs were too stiff on the model he tested which had the circuit pack.

Interesting car.
I suspect the long term residual value of the circuit pack will be higher but not sure high enough to offset the additional £3500. The cheaper model is probably the better buy but I would still be ticking the circuit pack box if I ordered one.

rodericb

2,917 posts

89 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Honeywell said:
So the base model is the one to have? Interesting. Chris HArris said that the springs were too stiff on the model he tested which had the circuit pack.

Interesting car.
The article looks to be saying they'd prefer the track pack. But if you really wanted to have the electronics and want to roll your own suspension, diffs and wheels you'd go for the convenience pack. Such as Kaaz clutched diffs, Eibach adjustable dampers, Enkei or OZ lightweight wheels.....

ecsrobin

12,396 posts

128 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
rodericb said:
The article looks to be saying they'd prefer the track pack. But if you really wanted to have the electronics and want to roll your own suspension, diffs and wheels you'd go for the convenience pack. Such as Kaaz clutched diffs, Eibach adjustable dampers, Enkei or OZ lightweight wheels.....
Although it would be cheaper to get the circuit pack and fit sensors and better sound system.

Diffs are £3,000+ for the pair and £4,000+ for the lightweight wheels and tyres.

bennno

7,051 posts

232 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
I’m getting a standard one in 2 weeks, I’m not going to see benefit of lsd’s on road and would prefer slightly more suspension compliance and 3500 extra in bank.

Fetthobler

42 posts

51 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
This is designed as a rallye car. But I can’t understand why the high spec it’s offered as a circuit pack, rather than rallye pack.
I can imagine the Rallye pack being equipped with all the cool stuff, but without the harsh suspension. Why don’t they offer a rallye suspension, that has more travel to eat up the bumps and holes of a bad B-Road?
Maybe there will be this kind of pack in future.
If not, I’ll get the circuit pack, and install KW V3 suspension with softer suspension. Or maybe there will be something appropriate on the market soon, with maybe a slight rise in height as well.
I’m thinking of an Ariel Nomad type of vehicle, but with more comfort and weather protection smile

nuttywobbler

232 posts

25 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Don’t really understand why anyone would buy a convenience spec car to be honest - why go to the bother of buying a rally homologation special, only to forgo the better diffs, suspension, wheels? If you want a head up display and comfier suspension, buy a 3 Series. It’s all or nothing with this car fo me.

The circuit pack cars will be the ones everyone wants on the used market and in years to come.

ecsrobin

12,396 posts

128 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Fetthobler said:
This is designed as a rallye car. But I can’t understand why the high spec it’s offered as a circuit pack, rather than rallye pack.
I can imagine the Rallye pack being equipped with all the cool stuff, but without the harsh suspension. Why don’t they offer a rallye suspension, that has more travel to eat up the bumps and holes of a bad B-Road?
Maybe there will be this kind of pack in future.
If not, I’ll get the circuit pack, and install KW V3 suspension with softer suspension. Or maybe there will be something appropriate on the market soon, with maybe a slight rise in height as well.
I’m thinking of an Ariel Nomad type of vehicle, but with more comfort and weather protection smile
Like this:


Venisonpie

1,291 posts

45 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.

Onehp

1,575 posts

246 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Fetthobler said:
This is designed as a rallye car. But I can’t understand why the high spec it’s offered as a circuit pack, rather than rallye pack.
I can imagine the Rallye pack being equipped with all the cool stuff, but without the harsh suspension. Why don’t they offer a rallye suspension, that has more travel to eat up the bumps and holes of a bad B-Road?
Maybe there will be this kind of pack in future.
If not, I’ll get the circuit pack, and install KW V3 suspension with softer suspension. Or maybe there will be something appropriate on the market soon, with maybe a slight rise in height as well.
I’m thinking of an Ariel Nomad type of vehicle, but with more comfort and weather protection smile
Agree. I'm waiting for a more rally version, if it comes. I do suspect that the circuit is named partly as such because it is more relevant than rally for most owners. Reviews sometimes complain supension is hard, but it certainly has a lot of travel and compliancy too compared to other hot hatches, as far as I could discern from reviews. So I do suspect it will be good, true WRC suspension is more expensive then the whole car, but you said, some more travel again and maybe extra progression using hydraulic bumpstops would be cool...

Edited by Onehp on Saturday 21st November 07:36

ecsrobin

12,396 posts

128 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Venisonpie said:
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.
rofl get with the times grandad! That’s light for a modern hot hatch with AWD.

Current fiesta ST is 1262kg
Type R 1380kg

Onehp

1,575 posts

246 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Venisonpie said:
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.
For a 4wd 260hp car with matching hardware (unlike tuned cars) it's good. A C-segment but fwd only hot hatch are 100-200kg heavier with simlar power, a C-segment 4wd 2l are 200-300kg more... Its proper light for the money (without using massive amounts of carbon fibre or 100% bespoke carbon or aluminium structures).

(talking about real weighed weights, GR Yaris weight won't inflate with common options like others, it's already there)

Onehp

1,575 posts

246 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
ecsrobin said:
rofl get with the times grandad! That’s light for a modern hot hatch with AWD.

Current fiesta ST is 1262kg
Type R 1380kg
Yep. But Fiesta is EU weight, irl it's about 1200kg kerb so not too shabby either. Type-R real weight is 1400-1420kg thereabouts.

Elatino1

1,061 posts

24 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Venisonpie said:
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.
What lighter modern AWD cars can you think of?

An impreza from 1995 was 1250kgs and that is a very light AWD car.

ecsrobin

12,396 posts

128 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
What lighter modern AWD cars can you think of?

An impreza from 1995 was 1250kgs and that is a very light AWD car.
Exactly.

A quick look and A35 AMG and RS3 are quite a bit heavier (unsure about EU weight vs non EU weight as mentioned above)

And it’s lighter than an Evo TME which it’s been compared to numerous times for obvious reasons.

Onehp

1,575 posts

246 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
What lighter modern AWD cars can you think of?

An impreza from 1995 was 1250kgs and that is a very light AWD car.
And a death trap in comparison, later ones are knocking on 1500kg and more

s m

20,377 posts

166 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
Venisonpie said:
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.
What lighter modern AWD cars can you think of?

An impreza from 1995 was 1250kgs and that is a very light AWD car.
If it actually weighs less than 1300kg that’s a good result

Audi S1 3-door on 18s was one of the few modern similar cars I can think of and that turned in at 1365kg on the scales at Millbrook, ready to drive, half a tank of fuel - test date May 14

Be interesting to see the Autocar full test

Baldchap

3,812 posts

55 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
quotequote all
Venisonpie said:
This is a great little car but 1300kgs? Crikey.
Real world wet weight on a Golf R is 1600kg.

1280kg is 90's territory, they're just not allowed to lie by declaring boggo spec, dry weights any more.