I’ve now owned my Toyota Yaris GRMN for nine months and twelve and half thousand miles, so it’s time for a short update.
Since I collected it in March 2018, my car has only been spared miles when there’s been a press car about. It’s covered the length of the country a couple of times and deep into France twice. It’s braved the centres of both London and Paris. It’s also been so great on back roads that I find myself doing more and more of my shipping in neighbouring towns, just for the fun of getting there and back. Most surprisingly of all, it’s an exceptional mile muncher with only the lack of cruise control and its tiny fuel tank being any kind of Achilles’ Heel. The seats are ultra-supportive and the driving position is great once you’re used to the height.
The engine seems to have bedded in and is now smoother than when new. It’s certainly become more economical, regularly nudging 35mpg on mostly-motorway journeys. That might also be down to driver behaviour. I’ve found that, point-to-point, it needs something very special to beat a GRMN. Even when I’m not trying, it’s so compact and grippy that corners simply disappear. Acceleration is never a problem but remaining at legal speeds on UK roads takes concentration, especially motorways.
It took a while, but I’ve even come to terms with the standard Toyota Touch2 nav system that annoyed me so much when new. It took a few months to find all the correct settings for routing and receiving traffic information. Playing podcasts or music streams remains a pain and, well, it’s still not CarPlay or Android Auto.
My only remaining grumble is aesthetic - the way the “gonad of noise reduction” hangs down when viewed from the back of the car. As the steel changes colour with heat it’s becoming more obvious, so when the weather warms up I’ll be purchasing a can of barbecue paint to sort that out.
I don’t want to change the exhaust itself because the balance of sound is just right from inside - growly but not “ASBO” in town, quiet at cruise, and nuts when you really floor it and the induction kicks in.
As you’d expect, it’s a Toyota so nothing has broken. It’s used a couple of hundred millilitres of oil and there’s been a small overflow from the supercharger coolant reservoir. It seems to be “a thing” with these. I’m monitoring it and if there’s a recurrence I’ll get it repaired under warranty.
In all though, this car is even better than I hoped it would be when I placed my initial order about 15 months ago. I was terrified it was going to be too uncouth to use as my daily, but the “big car” speed and comfort mean longer journeys are never an issue. It’s very much a “Those Who Know” car. To most it’s a noisy Yaris with silly stickers, but I’ve been interrogated in petrol stations and car parks enough times that I can give an impromptu guided tour.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.