The Toyota Starlet is a new hatchback option by the brand. It’s a joint creation with new partners Suzuki. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Toyota Starlet is a new hatchback option by the brand. It’s a joint creation with new partners Suzuki. Picture: SUPPLIED

The recently forged alliance between Japanese brands Toyota and Suzuki has culminated in the Starlet, essentially a Suzuki Baleno with a Toyota badge.

Built in India and making its debut in SA this month, it’s a sub-B segment contender with a starting price of R204,900 that goes to battle against the likes of Vokswagen’s Polo Vivo and Kia Picanto among other models. It replaces the Etios range and is offered only in hatchback shape, with five model derivatives.

The Starlet gains a unique V-shaped front bumper with a trapezoidal lower air dam below. It also gets a more prominent roof spoiler at the back. Colour-coded exterior mirrors and steel and alloy wheel options are available to add to its exterior pizazz.

More cabin space is realised with a 2,520mm wheelbase, 60mm longer than the outgoing Etios, and its interior features a bright instrument cluster with a centre Multi-Information Display (MID). The steering wheel is a multifunction unit with buttons for cruise control if equipped.

Air-conditioning, electric power steering, dual 12V power outlets, electric windows, tilt-adjustable steering column, 60/40 split rear seats, power-adjustable side mirrors and remote central locking are available.

The flagship Xr models enjoy more spec in the form of chrome door handles and side mouldings, rear privacy glass, front fog lamps, LED + Projector headlamps with daytime running lights (DRL), side-mirror mounted indicators, a roof spoiler, push-start operation and cruise control.

Depending on grade choice, the Starlet can be equipped with audio systems with CD-Bluetooth-USB-Aux functionality, a touchscreen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration for navigation, telephony and music-streaming services. There’s also a reverse camera on offer. Furthermore the new entrant benefits from Toyota Connect telematics in-car Wi-Fi hotspot with complimentary 15GB data.

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The Starlet is more spacious than the long-serving Etios it replaces. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Starlet is more spacious than the long-serving Etios it replaces. Picture: SUPPLIED

The 68kW and 130Nm power output is courtesy of a Suzuki-sourced 1.4l four-cylinder petrol engine. It can be mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic driving the front wheels.

Performance credentials are claimed at 10.9sec and 11.6sec from 0-100km/h respectively for the manual and auto. Fuel averages are quoted at 5.1l and 5.4l/100km respectively, and the 37l fuel tank will provide more than 700km of range on a single tank.

From a safety aspect, Toyota has fitted all Starlet models with ABS brakes and Vehicle Stability Control, while automatic models also get Hill Assist Control. The Xi and Xs models benefit from dual front airbags while higher-spec Xr variants also feature curtain and side airbags.

All Starlet models are sold with a three-year/100,000km warranty and three-services/45,000km service plan.

Pricing

Starlet 1.4 Xi manual – R204,900

Starlet 1.4 Xs manual – R215,200

Starlet 1.4 Xs auto – R235,700  

Starlet 1.4 Xr manual – R258,500  

Starlet 1.4 Xr auto – R272,500

 

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