If you quite fancy a Toyota Yaris GRMN, join the queue. Or don’t, because it’s sold out. Luckily there’s another, much more accessible and much more affordable way to get your tiny Toyota kicks.
The Yaris T-Sport was the pinnacle achievement of the first-generation car. Built between 2001 and 2005, and at just 3.66 metres, 6cm longer than a Volkswagen Up, it was the warm hatch you could practically fit into your pocket.
It had a feisty, rev-happy 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with a daring 103bhp; enough to cajole the tall, narrow and ever-so-cutesy body to 60mph in nine seconds. The speedometer went up to 150mph, but top whack was more like 120mph on a good day. Still not bad for a motorised shoe.
The brilliantly chuckable Yaris needs premium tyres to make the most of their skinny 185-section width, but, suitably shod, its handling and instant throttle response will always put a smile on your face.
Yaris T-Sports are also cheap. Buy-it-tomorrow cheap. At a piffling £990 our pick is the cheapest currently on Auto Trader and it doesn’t even look untidy. The driver’s seat side bolster is showing some wear and tear, but everything else on this 127,000-mile car looks almost suspiciously clean and orderly.
The seat bases are flat rather than sagging; the fabric is in good order. The steering wheel looks slightly smoothed, but in very good condition, as does the dashboard and centre console. The rear seats and teeny weeny boot look almost immaculate.
A slight negative is that the 15-inch alloy wheels have been painted black. They don’t really sit well and cheapen the overall look. And are those red Alloygators? Hmmm. A refurbishment back to bright silver is in order, if you can bear to spend £200 or so on a car that cost less than five times that.
This is a three-door facelifted car from 2004, making it the one you want. The five-door looks a bit mumsy. It has three keys, a year’s MOT and the seller can deliver it to your door (probably). There are signs, too, like the super-clean engine bay and the bright, clear headlight lenses, that the last owner has looked after it.
Owners report a realistic 40mpg-plus return with care, or 25mpg with a lead foot around town. An average in the 30s is easy meat so it’s not expensive to run. Servicing should be as cheap as it gets and some teenage owners report that it’s somehow cheaper to insure than the likes of 1.2 Vauxhall Corsas.
If this one is a little too used for you, at the other end of the scale is an early two-owner car with just 37,000 miles to speak of since 2001. Even that one is a still-very-affordable £2990, but there’s absolutely nothing to hate about a £990 pocket rocket(ish) that will cost peanuts to run and make you grin even on your daily grind. Buy it. Buy it now.