Toyota GR Yaris v Subaru Impreza WRX STI track test and performance review

The Toyota GR Yaris is the new kid on the block when it comes to performance hatches. But, does it have the goods to take down one of the best known performance hatch/sedans, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI? Former World Rally Championship driver and CarExpert performance tester Chris Atkinston gets behind the wheel to find out which is quickest and best at the track.

Hey guys atco here today we’re back at queensland raceway on my right i’ve got the subaru wrx sti and on my left the toyota gr yaris so both of these cars are born out of wrc rally tradition the wrx is the original king of the stages and the yaris is the new kid on the block they’re both all-wheel drive six-speed manuals with turbo engines and they’re both absolute

Weapons on the road today we’re going to see how they go on the track and find out which one’s the fastest all right let’s see how this sti feels she’s uh she’s pretty entertaining still got it the old girl a bit of rally action off the road go anywhere in this car all right so initial impressions um seats not bad i still miss the old wrx sti seats from the early

Days but they’re pretty good these recaro seats i would like something maybe a little bit deeper um steering wheel pretty good a little bit thicker than i i ideally like but no real issue there we go a bit of heel toeing pedal positions seem good a nice firm pedal as well i’m able to rotate the car as i touch the brake engine’s performing well there it’s um it’s

Nice and smooth it doesn’t blow you away it’s 221 kilowatts like it’s strong but not not crazy for sure i like the support the fact that i can lean on the car there it handles the bumps well a little bit of push there a little bit of understeer how does it rotate not bad i’d like the nose to be a little bit pointier but handling it pretty well so traction

Off those slow corners is excellent i’ve put the diff mode in lock i found that the best on this track normally i’d run it a little bit more open on a track but on this uh this circuit because it’s tight and twisty and i need good traction it will understeer if you just go in too hot and you just ask too much it’s gonna understeer there but if you drive it nice

And smooth it hangs on there no problem at all and riding up at the curve riding up at the curbs um it it handles it really well i like that it’s soft but doesn’t fall over so you got traction basically and and support i just like how natural feeling it is it just gives you feedback gives you information just not afraid to tip it in at 120 there and take your

Hands off the wheel hold there in a slide power out awesome traction super confidence inspiring this car it’s got support it’s got traction it’s got a strong engine it’s a car that’s just still offers a lot of fun and uh it’s going to be tough for the aris to be all right time to get serious uh enough fun of games and we’re gonna try and do a hot lap and see

How quick it goes so all right let’s see what this little yaris is like all right turn two oh there’s a bit more movement in this thing seems to be a lot more nervous than the sti let’s try the brakes stops pretty well but same again just being a smaller car you notice that difference traction off the corner is actually pretty similar no issues

Both all will drive a lot more reactive with the handbrake as well that’s interesting so when i’m sliding like that i get some slip across the front and have understeer and i didn’t have that as much in the sti so it seems when i’m loaded that i i lose inside wheel traction let’s try it a bit smoother see how that feels good on the bumps up on the curb no issue

At all i’d say their suspension feels really similar the way it moves enough and then you’re able to get support late in the quarter so that’s that’s excellent brake pedal feel is uh it’s pretty similar as well just the yaris is a bit more twitchy and nervous and steering it’s it’s actually unbelievable how many things are similar the steering weight is similar

Brake pedal feels similar i say the biggest thing is the movement in the yaris you also feel like it’s just sit a little bit higher and this seats very similar to the stis but just could be a little bit deeper for the track work the engines sound quite different as you’d imagine a three-cylinder versa 2.5 boxer but acceleration-wise pretty similar there we

Go you get away with a bit in this car that’s what you can’t do with the sti you can’t rotate it just naturally you’ve got to force the rotation a bit more on the sti with this you can just sort of come in and it will rotate especially in the high speed corners gearbox feels good nice and sharp quick gears the sti also very good i just struggled on a couple of

Gear shifts in the sti i felt like i have a little bit more tire grip in the sti as well these tyres just seem to be going away and i know on the rally edition coming out later in uh in the year they’re going to have definitely better rubber on that and also the lsds so if there is a bit of a time difference i reckon the rally edition is going to make it up

With the lsd and the tyres such a playful little car so much fun that’s the only thing i don’t like there that little bit of slip across the axle and i just wash just a little bit of understeer i can’t hold the slide like the sti the sd i could throw it in take the hands off the wheels and just slide through the corner where the yaris just struggled to do that and

As soon as i asked for power i get that slip on the inside and under steer so whether that affects the lap time that’ll be interesting to see but then like i said so many things are similar they’re just a slightly different package all right now the time that counts can the yaris match the sti here comes the hot lap on it there so there you go guys i

Did not expect that bigger gap 0.8 of a second win to the subaru on the lap time but so similar in so many areas the steering the braking the balance it’s so close between these two cars and it’s a tough decision to call which one’s better my heart still lies with the subaru and it’s fastest out on track so i’m heading that way yara still has some work to do and

I think when it comes to the diffs and the better tires in the rally edition it’s going to be a match for the sti so i’m looking forward to that i hope you guys enjoyed the video and the new format with the two-car comparison if you did give it a like and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel let us know your feedback on what else you’d like to see on the track

And we’ll see you guys again soon

Transcribed from video
Toyota GR Yaris v Subaru Impreza WRX STI track test and performance review By CarExpert