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Motoring Extra

Yaris a Toyota with a sporting edge


The new Toyota Yaris GR Sport.

The new Toyota Yaris GR Sport.

The new Toyota Yaris GR Sport.

Toyota Ireland is expanding its Yaris Cross compact SUV range with the introduction of a new GR SPORT grade, coming to Irish shores in the first quarter of 2023. Indicative pricing starts from €36,830.

Inspired by the multi-World Championship-winning achievements of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, the Yaris Cross GR SPORT comes with exclusive exterior and interior features and retuned suspension for sharper, and even more engaging handling. The Yaris Cross GR SPORT extends the model’s appeal to a wider range of customers, following the success of the established Corolla, Toyota C-HR, and Yaris GR SPORT editions.

The Yaris Cross GR SPORT is powered by Toyota’s highly efficient three-cylinder, 1.5-litre Hybrid Dynamic Force engine. The powertrain’s long stroke, high-speed combustion, high 14:1 compression ratio, and temperature and pressure controls help the unit achieve a high 40% thermal efficiency, resulting in excellent fuel efficiency and CO2 performance.

On the street, the new Yaris GR SPORT is distinguished by new 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with a bright machined finish. The sporting touches also include a new rear diffuser and front grille with an exclusive “hot stamp” piano black mesh pattern and discreet GR badging. A new Dynamic Grey finish is the GR SPORT’s signature colour, which emphasises its sporty character in addition to its bi-tone contrast black roof and pillars.

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In the cabin, the front sports seats have new grey upholstery with red stitching; similar bright stitchwork is featured on the steering wheel and shift lever.

The GR logo is prominently featured, on the front headrests, starter button, ‘combimeter’ and steering wheel, and there are GR SPORT-specific gunmetal silver trim inserts in the doors and instrument panel.

Yaris Cross has a proven foundation for rewarding handling thanks to the GA-B platform – the same as that featured in the European Car of the Year 2021-winning Yaris hatchback – which gives it a low centre of gravity, a highly rigid body, and balanced chassis. In the GR SPORT, performance has been sharpened with retuning of the suspension, giving the driver better steering, roll and grip feel.

In other respects, the new GR SPORT retains all the qualities that helped the Yaris Cross win the 2022 World Urban Car of the Year title. Bringing together Toyota’s mastery of compact car and SUV design engineering, it majors on quality and practicality. Customers appreciate the high SUV driving position and the car-like dynamics, virtues that reference those of the original Toyota RAV4 – the world’s first recreational Sports Utility Vehicle.

Convenience is designed-in with a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat and a split-folding deck board that allows load space to extend from 397 litres (with all seats in place) to a maximum 1,097 litres. The skilful packaging maximises interior space within compact exterior dimensions that are ideal for nimble urban manoeuvring.

As a high-grade model, the Yaris Cross GR SPORT has a rich standard equipment specification, including dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and rear privacy glass. The GR SPORT is also equipped with the Toyota T-Mate package of advanced active safety and driver assistance features.

Launched in 2021, the Yaris Cross has been a consistent top-seller for Toyota in Europe with sales of more than 77,000 units in the first half of 2022 to secure a B-SUV segment share of 7.7% and represents a 48% share of the Yaris Family in the same period.

Pre-sales of the new Yaris Cross GR SPORT will begin in the third quarter of 2022.

EVs most viewed on online site

The Audi e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model 3 are Ireland’s most viewed on the Carzone online site so far this year, followed by the Nissan Leaf, and the Hyundai Ioniq completing the top five.

As fuel prices are rising again and people become more eco conscious making the switch to an electric vehicle has never been more appealing. Carzone recently conducted market research on Irish sentiment towards electric vehicles, with over half (56%) of those surveyed stating they are considering purchasing an EV, the shift toward electric driving is building momentum in Irish society.

Given the constant fluctuating highs of fuel costs, it is unsurprising that 53% of motorists cite cheaper running costs as their main motivation to purchase, closely followed by an EV’s lesser impact on our planet (30%). Yet, the cost of an electric vehicle is still a pain point for drivers, with 69% of motorists saying the initial purchase cost was a barrier for them with, as well as concerns around range-anxiety and ease of charging.

The government has a goal to have almost 1 million electric vehicles in the fleet by 2030.