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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With a pumped bodykit, arch-filling 17" alloys and, of course, an oversized exhaust pipe, the Yaris SR certainly looks unlike your regular Toyota supermini.

It's also got the power to match the looks: a 1.8-litre 131bhp VVT-i engine lets the Yaris SR sprint to 62mph in 9.3secs and it'll reach 121mph before running out of steam. However, there's something not quite right in the world of the Yaris SR, as it's not actually that good.

To start with, the seating position is absolutely dire - the seat itself is too high, the pedals are weirdly offset and the steering wheel just doesn't adjust to any sort of decent position.

And as much as the aforementioned bumpers and wheels help the Yaris become more aggressive - it just looks dull. Take, for example, the horny Clio 197 with its F1-inspired rear diffuser; or the upcoming Corsa VXR with its, um, Clio-inspired rear diffuser. In that company, the Yaris SR just blends into the tarmac. Even a Panda 100HP looks the business compared to it.

Punch the starter button to fire up the engine and you're greeted with an eager, but somewhat soulless engine note. This is not a car that eggs you on to bounce off the rev limiter through every gear change. The manual gearbox has a mushy movement and, as it's only got five gears, you'll be turning the stereo up to drown out the whining noise at high speeds.

Electric power steering, the curse of many a modern car, has also cast its spell over the SR. There's just no feel, no indication as to when the front tyres might start to slip. So you've got no chance to adjust your throttle or steering inputs before the stability and traction controls flash and beep their way into action.

What Sport Suspension?

It's also apparently got tuned sports suspension, though you'll be hard pushed to notice it as you wallow in and out of corners. Yes, sports suspension doesn't have to be so hard that you wince every time a bit of broken tarmac gets in the way, but it should keep body movements controlled so as to make for a more inspiring drive.

Through corners, the SR washes wide into understeer all too quickly and on fast stretches it never inspires confidence. The engine might give reasonable performance on paper, but can leave you floundering mid-overtake as you wonder what happened to all the power you thought you had under your right foot.

It's not all doom and gloom though: the SR carries with it all the safety kit bestowed on lesser Yaris models, including an airbag for your knees. Personally, I'd forgo all nine airbags and put my trust in the seatbelt if it meant there was some excitement to come from driving it.

To further add insult to injury, Toyota is also offering this flagship model with a 1.3-litre petrol and even a 1.4-litre diesel, neither of which tops 90bhp. They don't even have the 1.8-litre's good looks, as the smart 17" alloys are ditched for a set of 15s - they do come with a brushed aluminium gear knob as compensation though.

So there you have it, the Yaris SR - a car which delivers not a lot in an expensive package. Oh yes, the price -
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