toyots gr yaris

Toyota Unveils GR Yaris Lookalike in Japan Boasting 118 HP and CVT

Behind the rally-car styling and aggressive GR badging, the Toyota GR Yaris RS hides a disappointing secret – this hatchback is no hot rod. While its hyper hatch twin commands the spotlight with nearly 300 horsepower, the cheaper RS model is a lukewarm economy car wearing an ill-fitting costume.

Don’t let the appearance fool you. Although the RS borrows the looks of the critically acclaimed AWD turbocharged GR Yaris, under the sheet metal it’s a far cry from the real performance icon. The RS soldiers on with a meager 118 horsepower from its naturally aspirated 1.5-liter three-cylinder, sending power solely to the front wheels via a buzz-killing CVT automatic transmission.




This is no driver’s car. It’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing trying to piggyback off its sibling’s well-earned reputation. Toyota hasn’t even updated the RS model with the peculiar dashboard arrangement found in the legit rally rocket. Instead, the interior looks like it was lifted straight from a budget rental car.

But the disguise seems to be working on some buyers lured in by the GR branding. At around $18,000 the GR Yaris RS costs nearly half as much as the critically-acclaimed AWD turbocharged version, which starts above $30,000. That’s a big price gap for what feels like false advertising.

Look closely and there are telltale signs this isn’t the real deal. The speedometer, for example, only reads to a optimistic 112mph rather than the 174mph limit in the 300 horsepower GR model. This imposter is not fooling anyone who loves driving.

While the 2024 GR Yaris turns up the heat with more power, the RS remains an underwhelming economy car hiding behind a world-beating reputation it doesn’t deserve. Buyers would be wise to avoid this sheep in wolf’s clothing.