I know what GTI stands for - what's this SR badge doing?
SR stands for ‘sporting and refined’, says Toyota, perfectly describing its new ‘warm’ hatch. The Japanese manufacturer might be able to turn out hybrids by the thousands, but their recent sporting pedigree is pretty poor. There’s no more WRC, the F1 team has yet to win a race, and the Celica, MR2, and the T-Sport brand are no more. So SR it is, then. This sporting sub-brand is here to inject some much-needed enthusiasm into the Yaris range, and the Toyota brand as a whole.
So what does SR spec get you?
On the 1.3 petrol and 1.4 diesel you get a rather mundane rear spoiler and chrome-tipped exhaust. Rather more interesting is the 1.8 Dual VVT-i for £13,495. Along with bigger bumpers front and rear, there's a new engine that gets its first outing in the Yaris. Variable timing on the intake and exhaust valves means 131bhp at 6000 rpm, 128lb ft at 4400rpm, and a run to sixty in 9.3 seconds. It's not going to dislodge the Renault Clio or Mini as our favourite hot hatch, then; perhaps the most redeeming feature is the LED rear lights which smarten the whole car up.
Is it any better inside?
It depends what you think of the standard Yaris interior. It’s still spacious for such a small car, but the dash plastics remain cheap and flimsy. You do however get a leather steering wheel and sports seats trimmed with a new upholstery fabric. And wait, there’s more: the central electronic display has been replaced by analogue dials, presumably because the standard dials can’t keep up with the SR’s ferocious acceleration. Then again, perhaps not; this is aimed more at the Suzuki Swift Sport than the Clio 197.