Jeremy Clarkson confessed he didn’t have high hopes when he booked a drive in a new Toyota Yaris. What the Sunday Times reviewer and Grand Tour presenter admits he hadn’t bargained for was the kind of driving experience the rally-bred GR version of Toyota’s hatchback delivers.
Such was Clarkson’s delight, he has named it his Car of the Year in the News UK Motor Awards.
“This is one of the most enjoyable and thrilling cars I’ve ever driven,” he said.
“This is a car that made me laugh out loud. I took it into my fields one morning and made a terrible mess, but I didn’t care because I was a complete riot.”
Apart from the grin-factor, Clarkson appreciated the performance of the three-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo engine and, in particular, the top-value pricing – starting at £30,020 and rising no higher than £33,520 for the version equipped with the Circuit Pack performance options.
GR Yaris was also honoured with the Hot Hatch of the Year title in the awards, judged by a panel of News UK’s motoring editors across its digital and print publications.
Introduced in 2020, GR Yaris was developed with direct input from the technical and driving teams at Toyota Gazoo Racing, applying skills that have helped Toyota to title-winning success in the World Rally Championship, including a new GR-Four all-wheel drive system. The winner of more awards in the UK than any other model in Toyota’s history, it has unsurprisingly proved a sell-out success with customers, with a waiting list to purchase new cars when they become available.