24 May 2022

LAOIS MOTORING: Two unique cars of complete opposites - Toyota GR Yaris and Honda e

LAOIS MOTORING: Two unique cars of complete opposites - Toyota GR Yaris and Honda e

As a member of the Irish Motoring Writers Association and in my role as one of the Jury members in the Irish Car Of The Year Awards I road test a huge variety of cars over the course of the year. Some are mundane if good means of transport, some are thrilling to drive and some boast amazing and innovative technologies. The motor industry is going through huge change at the moment as the push towards alternative fuels, and hybrid and electric cars gathers pace. 

The future will not be a future of all electric motoring. So don’t believe the hysteria going on right now. Take your time and choose your next car to suit your needs and it need not be an electric one, diesel and petrol will be around for a long time yet.

Also alternative renewable fuels have ben under development for quite some time and are already being used in motorsport to power combustion engined cars, as is the rapid advancement of hydrogen fuel for cars. More of that another day. Today I wanted to give you a flavour of two cars that stand out for just how different and in complete contrast to each other they are, so here we go!

Toyota GR Yaris 

When it comes to sports cars and supercars manufacturers seem to currently be in a race for ever faster ever more powerful cars. Take cars like the latest and superb Porsche 911 turbo. It can crack zero to 100km/h in just 2.7 seconds from a standstill and continue on unabated to a whopping 325km/h. Wonderful stats but you will never be able to enjoy that performance on a public road. So there is now a school of thought that says, build less powerful yet fun to drive sports cars that you can access their dynamic performance but within the confines of whats safe and legal on a road. 

The Toyota GR Yaris is just such a car. Developed as a homologation for rallying and now available as a road car this little beast is mighty good fun to drive.

Toyota claim it is “born from an absolute focus on driving pleasure” and I wholeheartedly agree.

Powered by a 3 cylinder 1.6 litre petrol producing 192 KW and 360NM of torque with all wheel drive, double wishbone sports suspension, a differential lock and a short shift 6-speed close ratio manual gearbox its a truly fantastic car to drive.

The ride and handling is superb, the little 1.6 litre sounds great, the gearbox a work of perfection, and it handles as you would expect from motorsport developed car! It brings back real driving pleasure where its all about rewarding the driver inputs and not how many sub menus are in a giant touchscreen. I loved every Km in it. It is without doubt the most fun car I have driven all year. Its compact size suits our rural roads, its limpet like grip and punchy performance perfectly suited to a set of twisty country roads.

It costs from €53,800, or if you go for the track day suited version with the “circuit Pack” €61,260. Lotta lolly for a Yaris for sure but what a car and way less expensive than the Porsche!

Honda e

Like the GR Yaris above the Honda e will not be for everyone particularly as its real world electric range of about 190 km is really suited to city or short local driving. However what a fantastic little package this Honda e proves to be.

Jump inside and it feels way bigger than its dinky exterior would suggest. Its car packaging at its best! Further its bristling with great tech. 

I found it drives really well and and I loved the use of cameras for the rear view mirrors, (small screens display the traffic behind you) and the Honda Parking Pilot, all very futuristic. The Honda e may be quirky but its a loveable little car that will find followers of that I’m sure. Prices start at €29,995.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.