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.


Last week, had the Yaris in the garage I use as the back plate for one of the rear discs had rusted apart and fallen off. No big deal you’d think, £20 part and job’s done. I knew the hub needed to come off and, it’s winter, misery weather, didn’t fancy doing the job outside so took it to the excellent little local garage I use.

Had some fresh oil stuck in while I was in too, easier than me trying to get rid of it. That’s helped the odd VVT rattle now and again on cold starts.

Now, I’ll keep this fairly short because I’m sure you will work out where it’s going. When I got the car back, the mechanic commented that the only difficulty was that the ABS sensor wires being quite tight. That put the thought in the back of mind “Oh dear, I wonder if I have any issues here.”

After 400 miles I thought I was probably all OK, even though last night at one point the ABS seemed to kick in slightly on a surface I didn’t think warranted it. However, get in it this morning, start it up, and the Yaris must know it’s nearly Christmas:


Arse. Quick scan confirms the car thinks the right rear ABS sensor is MIA, and a reset/restart makes no difference. As it was thick fog and peeing down, through gritted teeth I just went and got the Blade keys and took that in the crappy salty conditions. It’s not a bad backup car that, weirdly.

This is no reflection on my mechanic mind, he is brilliant and it’s away to get sorted out/plugged back in/whatever tomorrow. Just thought I’d share the Yaris’ Christmas message, and that my luck with these cars is still lingering there somewhere.

At least I’ve not been blasted by an exploding window off a passing Winnebago this time. But that’s a story for another thread.

Also before anyone tells me, yes I’m aware what dirty minded types will see in that picture. It was just steamed up from the damp weather.


Almost 69k Miles, Nice!

Installed meself a phat HKS Blitz Magnaflow titanium stainless non resonated mandrel bent catback exhaust, well sick innit bruv.

No, sadly it has just suffered from the British winter. Pulled out to overtake a Focus and just as I crested 3500 BWAAAAA. Balls.


I patched the hole up in the previous video, and the Yaris thanked me by blowing another one shortly afterwards. Think it prefers being a yobbo. This one comes with extra pops and burbles for the Ford ST lads.

It’s comedy but not what I really want. :sweat_smile: As the actual pipe for this is £1200 from Toyota, I can see a stainless system in this car’s future.


So, it’s been a while. My streak of fantastic luck with the cars continued.

I’ll not go in to the details but, wasn’t my fault. The 1.8 SR is a Vitz RS so replacement bumper was not available used and hideously expensive otherwise, 2 big splits, a hole, couple of bends, brackets smashed etc. Fantastic.

I’ve never done bodywork in my life before but as we were in lockdown and parts availability was 0, I decided to have a go at it myself armed with 30 quid.

I think I did OK - it ain’t right, but much more presentable.



It was just a scratch, so it was far from the toughest DIY job in the world, but at least it looks decent again.

I wish it had been - but repairing the splits and the hole where it’d twisted round the crash beam, repairing the smashed foglight housing, repairing the brackets and then getting everything straight for it to fit again were all easier than matching metallic paint for someone that’s never done it before. Give me mechanical work over this any day.


Fantastic repair work, I’d never have even tried.

Cheers - as I said, I’d rather stick to the mechanical side, the people that do work like this for a living are artists and deserve every penny they get.

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None of the cars have done many miles for months now because well, there’s a small issue preventing much from going on in the world at the minute.

However, I have used this time to do some maintenance bits. Now no longer sounds like it belongs in a McDonald’s car park:

Please ignore general crust on the rest of it, usual car from the North of England condition.


mmmmmmmm EXHAUST


Well, due to some changes in the situation of my job and stuff, the Yaris had done its bit. It has left the fleet now. I never liked it as much as the Mk1 to drive but it was a solid car, and in the time I’ve owned it I managed to only lose a couple of hundred quid, so it owed me nothing and I can’t complain.

Did the job you expect of a Toyota Yaris really.