Toyota Yaris: The sporty supermini

Dependable, safe, spacious and reliable. These are the adjectives used to describe the Toyota Yaris, but we’d like to add ‘sporty’ to the mix, and before you raise an eyebrow, cast your eye over these racy Yaris editions, which have been present since 2001.

Yaris T Sport, first-generation (2001 & 2003)

Yaris T SPORT first generation red

The Yaris T Sport, with its large front air intakes, six-spoke alloy wheels, side skirts and rear roof spoiler, first whetted our appetite for sportier Yaris models. Powered by a 1.5-litre VVT-i petrol engine; it put out 105bhp, did 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, and had a maximum speed of 118mph. It was the first Toyota to wear the T Sport badge.

Yaris T Sport first generation interior

The interior benefited from a three-spoke, perforated leather steering wheel, a leather gear knob, woven sports cloth seats and carbon-fibre effect door trim. In 2003, the model received a host of minor upgrades, including near ‘teardrop’ headlights.

Yaris T Sport rear

Yaris 1.8 SR (2007) and SR (2006 & 2008)

Yaris SR 1.8

Toyota turned up the heat on the second-generation Yaris in 2007 by introducing a properly hot ‘SR 1.8′ model, which had a 1.8-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine under the bonnet.

Based on the Yaris T Sport Concept of 2006, it boasted 131bhp and a healthy 173Nm of torque. Visually, the car was striking, and featured unique LED tailights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a full body kit. Lowered suspension gave a firmer, sportier ride, and Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control were fitted as standard, keeping the extra power in check.

Yaris second generation nav

Prior to the introduction of the 1.8 SR model, a lower-powered SR grade featured in the line-up of the second generation Yaris from launch, which came with a choice of 1.3 VVT-i and 1.4 D-4D engines. It was revised in 2008 and gained a fully integrated audio system with removable TomTom satellite navigation unit – a first in the B segment at the time.

Externally, the model boasted Toyota Motorsport 16-inch Pit Lane alloy wheels, Toyota Motorsport lowered sports suspension, a rear roof spoiler and chrome exhaust finisher. The motorsport vibe continued inside with a brushed alloy gearshift knob and premium front scuff plates.

Yaris SR 1.8 night

Yaris SR, third-generation (2011)

all new Toyota Yaris metro

The third-generation Yaris made its debut in 2011 and was a good deal sharper than the curvaceous model it replaced. Sporting (see what we did there?) one of the earliest manifestations of Toyota’s ‘Keen Look’ design language, the model featured a distinctive concave upper grille up front, flanked by slender, horizontal headlights.

Yaris SR third generation interior

The increased aesthetic dynamism of the third generation Yaris meant a sporty version was on the cards from day one, and from launch, the ‘SR’ grade was offered. Under the bonnet was a 1.33 VVT-i petrol engine and the model was available in three- and five-door bodystyles.

The smartest ever Toyota Yaris

A choice of transmissions was offered with a six-speed manual or a ‘Multidrive S’ gearbox available; the latter featured a manual override and sequential seven-step mode that the driver could operate using either the gearshift lever or paddle shifts on the steering wheel.

To give a sporty look, 16-inch ‘smoked’ alloy wheels were fitted, along with a rear roof spoiler, front fog lamps, part-leather upholstery, rear privacy glass. Lowered suspension ensured a more focused ride. The SR grade was deleted from the Yaris line-up in January 2014.

Yaris Sport (2014)

Toyota Yaris Sport European

The Yaris Sport – due to go on sale in the UK on August 1 – represents the return of the sporty Yaris. Available in a fresh new ‘Piri Piri’ paint colour and rocking rims that wouldn’t look out of place on Need for Speed, it has added a dose of desirability to the range. A rear spoiler, LED daytime running lights, and privacy glass that Kanye and Kim would approve of, mean the Yaris Sport packs a visual punch. Inside, customers can specify an eye-popping red dashboard for no extra cost.

Toyota Yaris Sport launchPop the bonnet, and it’s business as usual, with the well-renowned 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i engine fitted, and a choice of six-speed manual and Multidrive S automated manual transmissions. Sports suspension ensures a ride on the right side of firm. It’s available to order now and is priced from £14,995*.

Toyota Yaris Sport European 2

See also:

2014 Toyota Yaris prices and specs
15 Yaris highlights from 15 years at the top

Where next?

If you would like to test drive the new Yaris, leave a comment below and we’ll be in touch shortly.

*Excluding customer saving, see Toyota UK website for details.
By Eliott Farr


  1. Please don’t tell me the only yaris with disk brakes is the sport why all the safety kit and you put drum brakes on the rear if this is the case toyota are going back wards

  2. Nice model but really Toyota, how can you call it a Sport when it has exactly the same engine and performance as an Icon? You are way behind the likes of the Fiesta and Polo for driveability and performance. Why not bring back the T-Sport? But this time put a turbocharger in it and suddenly people will take notice of the Yaris.

  3. Awaiting delivery of my 2014 Yaris Sport Multidrive in Chilli Red with Piri-Piri trim and Style and Protection packs….Due delivery early October 2014
    This will replace my Yaris Trend

  4. Had to reluctantly switch to a Seat Ibiza FR this year to get the performance and specifications I had in my Yaris SR 1.8. Previously owned several T.Sports and kept my SR for 6 years in the hope Toyota would produce a similar Yaris. I am disappointed I had to switch after so many years with Toyota but the Seat Ibiza is very good too. My son is very happy with my old SR though.

  5. Hi Yvonne
    Thanks for your post.
    Sorry to hear you had to switch but we do appreciate you taking the time to comment and provide us with your feedback about why. We do pass such comments back to the product team so this can be considered for future product reviews. Good to hear that your SR is till in the family and being used by your son.
    Thanks again.

  6. Very impressed with the new look.
    We currently drive a 2006 Corolla SR which we have owned from new and are considering changing to a Yaris. Which would now have to be the Sport .

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