Toyota welcomes the new Starlet hatchback to South Africa! See specs and pricing details below…
The new Starlet hatchback was announced earlier this month and Toyota hasn’t wasted any time in bringing this new hatchback to market. Production of the current Indian-built Toyota Etios came to an end in March 2020 and this new Starlet will fill the void and is immediately available to local buyers from Toyota dealerships countrywide.
The new Starlet is the result of a collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki which was formally announced in 2019. The Starlet is the first alliance product to reach South Africa but other products such as the Suzuki Across, which is a rebadged RAV4 hybrid, have already been revealed and further rebadged models are expected in the future. The Starlet name, however, isn't new and dates back to the 1973 Toyota Starlet hatchback which was produced until 1999 in Japan. This new modern-day Starlet therefore effectively revives the nameplate.
It’s no surprise then that the Starlet is essentially a rebadged Suzuki Baleno with the key differences seen in its grille and wheel designs.
Apart from its similar styling, a major common feature between the Starlet and Baleno is the engine under the bonnet. The Starlet is powered by the same 1.4-litre petrol engine offering 68 kW and 130 Nm of torque and mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. In terms of fuel efficiency, claimed returns of between 5.1- and 5.4 L/100km can be expected, depending on the transmission.
The Starlet shares its interior design with the Suzuki Baleno.
The new Toyota Starlet will be offered in 3 trim grades including the entry-level Xi, mid-level Xs and range-topping Xr derivative.
The Starlet Xi rides on 15-inch steel wheels and is fitted with body-coloured door handles, electric side mirrors, electric windows, manual air conditioning, 60:40 split rear seats and a basic radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity and 6 speakers. The Starlet Xs features all of the above but gains larger 16-inch alloy wheels.
As for the top-spec Starlet Xr, this derivative gains LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), chrome door handles, chrome beltline finishers, a roof spoiler,and rear privacy glass. Moving inside, the Xr gains a leather-wrapped steering wheel, smart entry with push-start button, colour multi-information display, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, cruise control and rear parking sensors along with a reversing camera.
In terms of safety, the Starlet is equipped with ABS with EBD, brake assist, vehicle stability control and a minimum of 2 airbags (Xi and Xs) and up to 6 airbags in the range-topping Starlet Xr.
Toyota Starlet - Price in South Africa
Toyota Starlet 1.4 Xi - R204 900
Toyota Starlet 1.4 Xs - R215 200
Toyota Starlet 1.4 Xs - R235 700
Toyota Starlet 1.4 Xr - R258 500
Toyota Starlet 1.4 Xr AT - R272 500
The Toyota Starlet is sold with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty and a 3-year/45 000 km service plan.