Friday, May 26, 2017

Subcompact Showcase: Toyota Yaris Overlander

Off Road Toyota Yaris

Let's face it—the Toyota Yaris isn't known for its ability to be a "soft roader" or overland travel rig. However, I spied this on Facebook and had to learn more.

The owner is Ken Dahl from Agassiz, British Columbia and he says from the time he bought his 2007 Yaris liftback back in 2010, he knew it'd be lifted. The Yaris features a custom 1.5" lift with longer shocks in the rear and taller custom springs. Ken's Yaris is rolling on 215/75/15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain Tires—the smallest BFG A/T available. Ken did note that the wheel wells had been opened up a bit. You can also tell it's got a roof rack where he keeps his spare tire and extra fuel.

Lifted Toyota Yaris

Ken says the rig rides pretty well. But with the much larger tires—15% larger than stock—he says the acceleration has been negatively affected (FYI, it is a five-speed manual). That being said, he says the little Yaris cruises great on the highway, and is awesome in the snow. As the photos in this story show, he's taken the Yaris all the way down to Mexico from Canada. Pretty impressive!

Lifted Toyota Yaris

Future plans include longer struts off of a Subaru, custom fender flares to cover up the tires, and a custom bumper that'll accommodate a tow bar.

"I am working on a design for an aluminum bumper. I want to closely follow the original bumper lines, but it will be all faceted and a little wider."

Off-road Yaris

I kind of have this vision of what the Yaris should be, and so far the direction it is going seems to be quite popular," he said. "I would like to market the parts or [the] complete modification to the RV crowd to pull behind the color-matching diesel pusher instead of a the popular [Geo/Chevrolet] Tracker."

We love it when people take "regular" vehicles in new, different directions, and this Yaris is definitely one of them. Great job Ken—we'll see you on the trails!


Unknown said...

Wow! So interesting. I'd like to know more when the owner of the Toyota decides to add more upgrades.

Tyson Harold said...


John D. said...

Love this blog. By far one of my favorite sites to see and observe. Are you ever going to tell us of your updates about the iQ you had/have at one point?

Will Fink said...

I would love to know where he got that roof rack, if it wasn't custom that is

Will Fink said...

I would love to know where he got that roof rack if it wasn't custom made, anybody know?

darkrose2000 said...

I tried to find more info about the car and the person, but not much success. Can someone help with more story/info about this Yaris ? Thanks in advance.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr a.k.a. Kamikaze said...

Did him eventually get some inspiration from the Toyota Etios Cross available in Brazil?

Steel 39 said...

Did anybody find out about that roof rack? what kind? after market or custom?

patrick007 said...

Has anyone reached him ? I want to do the same to my car !!

GATREX said...

Muy tentador! Creo que lo voy a ibtentar más adelante! Solo me gustaría saber que tan afectado se vio el consumo de combustible?

AJH said...

I Used to have a Nissan Patrol, Hardcore 4wd. The problem was I was finding after a while that all the places I was going, except for the few I did not need to go on anyway.... I could get to in a Corolla. KUDOS to you for this impressive build up of a Yaris. I would like to see a culture of ultralight over landing emerge just as there is with ultralight backpacking and camping. In Australia I am noticing more and more that the tracks are getting better grades (smoother) and that people are getting BIGGER and more camping gear to go camping, I even heard of someone taking a full size fridge from a house.
I feel camping is about getting back to basics including the challenge of taking everything you need into a smaller car. Downsizing was the best thing I did and I wish you luck for your adventures.