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Toyota Yaris GRMN: Spotted

Missed out on one of the hundred UK GRMNs? Here's one for sale, and with some money off...

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It's impossible to discuss the Toyota Yaris GRMN without soon after bringing up what it costs. Yes, it was a special project, made in very small numbers and featured some pricey hardware, although if you baulked at the thought of a £26k Yaris, you weren't alone.

That said, the UK allocation of 100 examples did sell out, and that money bought access to an ownership club unlike any other. Beyond the subjective appeal of owning such a rarity, GRMN buyers were also treated by Toyota to events that included driving the car on track at Silverstone. And never underestimate the appeal of feeling like a valued customer, whatever cash is being splashed.

The Yaris felt like something different in the sector, too. There hasn't been a small hot hatch in many years that's felt so at home on track. It's a car that can be driven hard for mile after mile and lap after lap without protest, every mechanical component feeling durable and resilient like a proper little road racer. Alright, so it was never the most adjustable little pocket rocket out there, the understeer fairly dogged once it's set in, and the standard tyre should be stickier - but the GRMN's stamina is laudable and very enjoyable. Great engine, too - you may have heard...

Given the Yaris's collectible status, its entertainment value, relative rarity and cost, to discover one for sale already is a real find. For those tempted by a used one, part of the GRMN's appeal is its relative simplicity - there's one spec, no performance pack to look for or optional wheels that are worth having. Indeed it was only the stickers, and whether they remained or were removed, that buyers had to agonise over (this owner opted to have them taken off, which apparently 15 per cent of customers agreed with).

Having covered 4,000 miles seemingly very carefully (look at the trip computer readout!), this GRMN looks in fine fettle for another owner to take on. The advert itself reads nicely too, the owner having upgraded the headlight bulbs and never unwrapped the Gazoo Racing gift pack. Driving pleasure is not always about driving fast, says this Yaris driver, but that doesn't mean you have to adhere to that logic...

At £21,000 this GRMN is still one of the pricier hot hatches in the segment, cars like this Fiesta ST and this Polo GTI available for the same money or less with fewer miles. No surprise, really, given the price difference new. What you won't get with those cars, though, is the GRMN's sense of focus and its bespoke nature; the impression of car being created because its makers really wanted to, despite the obvious obstacles in the way. The GRMN feels considerably more special than you would ever expect of something Yaris derived, and most certainly warrants attention for those that missed the original allocation. Lastly, if you don't think the full Gazoo Racing Master of the Nurburgring vibe is present with this car, then there's also one available resplendent in full sticker livery - spoilt for choice!

1,798cc, supercharged 4-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 212@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 184@5,000rpm
MPG: 37.6 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 170g/km
Year registered: 2018
Recorded mileage: 4,300
Price new: £26,295
Yours for: £21,000

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