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2007 Toyota Yaris 1.8 SR


I can hear the collective sighs now. I have bought another one. I had mentioned elsewhere that the Corolla wasn’t really gonna work this winter. I tried looking at other things, I really did - Land Rovers again, Daihatsus, christ even old London Taxis were on the list.

I didn’t want a Toyota, I get too attached to them and it annoys me when they get car park damage, get lashed through our salty winters, that sort of thing. Specifically, did not want a Toyota.


I started looking seriously a couple of weeks ago when I came back off holiday, enquired about a few things but when a Mk1 Yaris T Sport came up something pinged inside me, my heart is still in the Toyotas. Sadly the seller messed me about and it didn’t come off, but another came up 2 hours away. Made the drive to find it had been in an undeclared accident and was a bit shorter on one side than the other, not for me either that one.

After that it was 3rd time lucky, however I’ve just realised I got home in the dark and mega rain so don’t really have any pictures, so I’ll carry this on later when I have. If you want a nosey though, think of a 2nd gen Vitz RS with a 1.8 and you’re about right. Oh, and it’s Decuma Grey, so continues my trend of buying cars that look like the ones in the press pictures.


It always was, my man, it always was :joy:


Spent the first couple of days I had this pretty much cleaning - previous owner had a couple of dogs so there was a fair old amount of hair under the seats etc., I won’t post pictures of that but after about 8 hours on the interior it looks and smells almost like new in there, which is excellent.

There was a small rattle from the back end over light bumps at slower speeds, so took it for it’s first decent run of 60 miles today and called back in at the garage I use to get a look on the lift. After going at everything with the pry bar, checking top mounts etc, we found that it’s the driver’s side shock itself making a noise when you change direction - possibly explained by it being that really well known component brand, not KYB, not Sachs, but “Top Quality.” It seems to work, just makes a noise.

However, more pressing was that there’s a bit of spring broken off on that side. Only about an inch at the bottom but enough it should probably be done soon, so the shocks need to be half off anyway. Expected a massive price so was pleasantly surprised to find KYB rear springs for less than a tank of petrol.

Hard to tell exactly how it drives so far given the weather has been extremely British this week, but coming from the Blade it feels even more light and nimble than the Yaris has a reputation for. Ride is a little jiggly at times as you would expect from the lowered suspension and massively bigger wheels but not unpleasant, and road noise is much much lower than I expected.

Gearing is pretty close so it can be a bit buzzy if you press on at motorway speeds but the gearchange itself is lovely, one of the best I’ve had - before anyone questions if it’s better than the GT86, it’s just different, the GT86 is very bolt action and precise, the Yaris is just very easy and nice.

Engine is weird, it’s out of an Avensis so it’s mega smooth and quiet, pulls pretty well in the mid range and gives it a useful amount of poke. It’s still a Yaris with it’s weird interior bits and loads of practicality, just with some extra spice, absolutely the definition of a warm hatch.


That’s the rattles sorted then. Extra pain in the arse credit goes to that shiny new silver bolt you can see on the bottom of the shock there, which held the job up by a day and a half while I waited for it to come.

Still, not it’s fault, the fault of whoever had fitted it last who’d absolutely mullered it with an impact wrench.

One rattly sod for your perusal:

It’s got a hologram on it, that’s how you know it’s good.

New spring embarassing the bits of the car around it:

So, not really driven it very far yet due to it being the usual British weather over a weekend, but did go far enough to confirm that was indeed the cause of the knocking and all is now well - expecting the combination of new shocks and springs and matched rear tyres to offer a great improvement when driving - Toyo TR1s all round now.

I didn’t really need to drive it to check though, as that shock absorber seems to work in 3 stages, one of nothingness at the top, then another inch or so of “sort of resistance” before actually doing something, but even then it is lazy as hell.


So, had my first Toyota recall today - should I be on the news jumping up and down saying how terrible it is, that’s the correct reaction, right?

Passenger airbag - thank you Takata - done and dusted in a couple of hours, albeit with a bit of a snag that I had to do some reassembly of the dash myself when I got it back.

Also now I’ve gotten used to it a bit with this new suspension, such a huge, huge improvement. Far less jiggly at speed and the handling is just awesome for a juiced up shopping car. A Yaris is a good steer to begin with, but with the stiffer, lower suspension, faster steering and bigger tyres this thing is great fun, a proper low speed chuckable thing.