The Toyota GR Yaris is set to launch in South Africa in the coming months – and if the latest rumours are true, the sporty hatchback has a big fight on its hands in the country.
Car Magazine has reported the GR Yaris will have a local starting price of R606,000 – while the top-end “Circuit Pack” model will sell for R715,000.
It added that South Africa will reportedly receive 400 units of the car.
The latest report lines us with pricing speculation in December, when we compared the price of high-end Toyotas in the UK and South Africa.
In the UK, the GR Yaris started at £29,995 when it launched. At the time of writing, that converted to R615,000.
While a direct conversion is not an ideal way to predict car prices, it was interesting to note that the new Toyota Supra sold for £54,340 in the UK at the time.
This converted to around R1,112,000. Locally, the new Supra sold for R1,115,000 in December.
If the GR Yaris goes on sale at these rumoured prices, the car has a big battle on its hands in South Africa.
It will put itself up against car royalty in this price bracket, including the VW Golf GTI and Audi A3 S Line.
That’s not all – it will also take on the new BMW128ti and Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG Line.
I would like to state now that comparing the GR Yaris to any of these cars is not something I agree with as a car fan – but is something which must be done as a car buyer.
The GR Yaris is a truly unique car, and car experts are already calling it a future classic.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that when asked for R700,000, a car buyer will see what they can get for their money across the board.
Arguably the strongest competitor to the GR Yaris is the new VW Golf GTI.
The car is due to go on sale in South Africa in Q3 of this year – and while we do not have pricing, it is expected to sell for between R650,000 and R700,000.
You do not need this article to tell you how popular the Golf GTI is in South Africa, and VW expects the new model to do well locally.
We can also look at the special-edition VW Golf GTI TCR which is already in South Africa.
This “ultimate” Golf GTI has a price of R692,000.
Following the GTI is BMW’s new hot hatch, the 128ti.
With a starting price of R687,000, the performance and style – combined with having a BMW badge at the front – is sure to make it a strong consideration for local buyers.
While the 128ti is not as established as the Golf GTI, South Africans love their luxury German brands and may be swayed by the name alone.
Two other luxury German brands which will throw their hats into the ring are Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Mercedes-Benz offers a range of A-Class vehicles which are popular in the country, and for R638,000 you can get an A200 AMG Line.
The offering from Audi is arguably even more enticing, as for R611,000 you can purchase an A3 Sportback 40TFSI S Line.
The 2.0-litre turbo engine in this A3 pushes out 140kW, while on the inside you have a high-end look and feel.
For the car fans
It’s not only the “general public” who will be comparing the Toyota GR Yaris against the market when it launches, however.
Car fans who are already picturing the GR Yaris in their garage, and imagining the sound of the turbo as they upshift out of a corner, will secretly be taking notes of what they can get for the same price.
The Golf GTI – whether the “7.5” or 8th-generation – will hold its own in this segment, too.
Its smaller sibling the Polo GTI may also be considered – thanks to its sub-R500,000 price tag.
There are more heavy-hitters waiting for a shot down the road, too.
Whatever you pick, it’s great to see so many hot hatches taking each other on in South Africa.