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Toyota Yaris GR Circuit: Reviewing The Pocket Rocket

19 Sep 2023

Currently available on the Tangelo website, the 2021 Toyota Yaris 1.6T GR Circuit is a high-performance subcompact car that packs a punch. Powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine delivering 257 horsepower, the Yaris GR Circuit accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, meaning there is plenty of performance to be enjoyed in this Japanese pocket rocket.

With its aggressive styling, exceptional handling, and engaging driving experience, it’s a true driver's car. And whilst we have a used Toyota Yaris GR Circuit available at Tangelo, we’ve looked a little deeper into the popular hatch’s appearance, performance, handling, and technology…

What does GR Circuit mean?

‘GR’ stands for ‘Gazoo Racing’, which is Toyota's performance and motorsport division, whilst ‘Circuit’ quite blatantly suggests the car is designed with a strong emphasis on high-performance driving.

When combined, ‘GR Circuit’ summarises the finely tuned and optimized Yaris intended for a more spirited, and intense driving experience. It signifies a sportier and more performance-oriented variant within the Yaris line-up.

External Appearance

When it comes to how it looks from the outside, the 2021 Toyota Yaris GR Circuit is a fine example of Toyota’s fusion of performance and aesthetic flair into one exciting package. Overall, its exterior design is a head-turner from every angle.

Starting with the front, you're greeted by an imposing grille with a distinctive pattern that’s flanked by sharp LED headlights. This aggressive front not only looks fierce but also serves a functional role in cooling the high-performance engine beneath. The front design hints at the power and excitement that await the driver, in other words, it optimizes ‘GR Circuit’.

As you move along the sides, the Yaris shows off its athleticism with flared wheel arches that house eye-catching alloy wheels, giving the car its muscular and confident stance. These prominent wheels not only enhance the car’s aesthetics but also play a significant role in improving stability and handling.

At the rear, a prominent spoiler sits above the hatch, providing both a visual statement and functional downforce for high-speed stability. The dual exhaust pipes sound and look fantastic, and come together to emphasize the car's spirited nature. Overall, the Yaris GR Circuit stands out wherever it goes with its combination of aggressive and elegant look, making it a visual delight for enthusiasts and onlookers alike.


The interior design of the Yaris GR Circuit is a balance between sporty functionality and driver-focused ergonomics. Stepping inside, you're greeted with an atmosphere that hints at the car's performance-oriented nature.

The seats are a highlight, offering a blend of comfort and support with well-placed bolstering to keep you snug during spirited driving. Wrapped in premium suede-like material, they add a touch of luxury to the cabin. The driver's seat is especially well-positioned, ensuring a clear view of the road and easy access to controls.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands and is adorned with convenient buttons for audio, phone, and cruise control. This design encourages you to stay connected and in control without distractions.

The dashboard and centre console are logically laid out, putting essential functions within easy reach. The infotainment system features a responsive touchscreen interface with user-friendly menus. It includes must-have features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, catering to modern connectivity needs.

Technology and Driver Assists

Although the Toyota’s primary focus is on high-performance driving rather than cutting-edge tech, the Yaris GR does impress with a range of technology and assists that keep drivers and passengers both entertained and informed.

The car features a user-friendly infotainment system with a responsive touchscreen display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are included, allowing seamless smartphone integration for navigation, music, and hands-free communication. This ensures drivers stay connected during their exhilarating journeys.

The Toyota also boasts a digital instrument cluster that provides essential information in a clear and customizable format. It's a modern touch that keeps drivers informed about critical metrics like speed, navigation directions, and performance data.

When it comes to assists, the Yaris offers a decent array of features that contribute to driver safety, comfort, and convenience. The list includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Overall, the GR Circuit strikes a balance between performance and technology. While it may not have the most cutting-edge tech in its class, it offers a suite of features and driver assists that enhance the overall driving experience while delivering thrilling performance on the road.

Performance and Handling

Being a pocket rocket that offers an exciting and engaging drive, performance and handling are two of the Yaris’ most prominent strengths, and where the car really comes into its own.

At the heart of the Yaris GR Circuit is a potent 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-3 engine producing 257 horsepower and 361 Nm of torque. This power is sent to all four wheels through an AWD system, allowing for blistering acceleration and superb traction. With a 0-60 mph time of just 5.5 seconds, this subcompact car punches well above its weight class in terms of performance.

Where the Yaris GR Circuit truly shines is in its handling. The lightweight chassis, responsive steering, and AWD system combine to offer exceptional agility and precision around corners. The car feels planted and composed, inspiring confidence whether you're navigating twisty mountain roads or darting through city traffic. It provides a level of driving engagement that is rare in the subcompact car category.

And despite its sporty nature, the Yaris GR Circuit's suspension strikes a decent balance between performance and ride comfort. It can handle rough roads without punishing occupants, making it suitable for everyday driving.

Adding to this is the Yaris GR Circuit's delightful exhaust note, which is really music to the ears of car enthusiasts. It produces a combination of pops and crackles, especially during throttle lift-off, adding to the overall sensory experience.

Like what you see?

If the dynamic appearance, exhilarating performance, and exceptional handling of the Japanese hatch have caught your eye, then you’ll be pleased to hear that at Tangelo we currently have a used Toyota Yaris GR Circuit 2021 available online. With just 9,600 miles on the clock, the car is in fantastic condition and awaiting its next lease of life.

What’s more is that at Tangelo we make finding your next car very easy indeed! With used car finance and used car part exchange available, our expert team is on hand to find the car that works for you. We also offer home delivery across mainland UK, or collection from our Customer Hub in Exeter, whatever works best for you.


Used Toyota Yaris GR Circuit

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