The standard Yaris has never been applauded for the material quality of its cabin and the GRMN continues this trend. The dashboard is constructed from dark, dull plastics that lend the interior a plain and slightly low-rent ambience that is both dated and at odds with the car’s hefty £26,295 price.

Ultimately, though, the no-frills approach means there’s less to distract you from the task at hand – the driving. And since it suggests that almost every shred of the car’s budget has been spent on making that driving experience more exciting, you might even quite like the cabin treatment.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The GR-badged starter button causes the Yaris to fire up with a raspy bark, but it's one of only a few interior design features that mark this car out as something special.

A set of rather excellent-looking Alcantara bucket seats are the most noticeable addition. Although firm, they’re plenty supportive and hamstrung only 
by the fact that they are plainly 
fitted too high for an ideal driving position.

The GT86-derived steering wheel – or, more precisely, the car’s steering column – suffers from similar ergonomic problems, here not quite providing enough in the way of adjustability for reach. The sports pedals look the part, but they’re not ideally placed for heel-and-toe gearchanges.

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The Yaris GRMN makes use of a 7.0in Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system that incorporates features such as satellite navigation, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity. It’s by no means an outstanding system, being graphically quite basic and not as responsive as units offered by rival manufacturers. Nevertheless, it is at least fairly easy to navigate and operate.

Unlike an increasing number of other car firms, Toyota has refrained from incorporating all of the infotainment system controls within the touchscreen and has instead left physical shortcut buttons around its edges. They’re not particularly tactile, but their presence makes navigating through the system’s numerous sub-menus far easier when you’re on the move.

The six-speaker sound system doesn’t sound great, getting tinny and a touch distorted at higher volumes. With such an interesting soundtrack from the engine, though, this is unlikely to bother owners much.

The provision of space in the front is good, with the Yaris’s taller roofline making for plenty of head room. As a strict three-door, however, the backseats may prove to be a touch too tight for adult passengers to truly sit comfortably on anything other than a short trip to the shops. Still, it’s worth noting that, at 650mm, the Yaris GRMN does provide more in the way of rear leg room than a Mini Cooper S Works 210 and Peugeot 208 GTi, which offer 640mm and 620mm respectively.

As for boot capacity, the Toyota has 286 litres of space, again outdoing both the Mini (278 litres) and Peugeot (285 litres).

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