The Toyota Starlet has proved a popular little car since launching in South Africa towards the end of 2020.
Toyota South Africa said that in December 2020, its sold 1,126 new Starlets in the country over the month.
This put the Starlet ahead of many well-established Toyota models in terms of sales, including the Corolla Quest and the Fortuner.
One of the reasons for its strong sales is the attractive price – with the Starlet starting at R209,000.
It is also interesting to note that the Toyota Starlet is essentially a twin of the Suzuki Baleno, thanks to a cooperation agreement between Toyota and Suzuki.
Toyota also said the Starlet replaces the Etios in its local line-up, and “builds on the core strengths of Etios” – good performance, fuel efficiency and affordable pricing.
These elements are then “amplified” by the Starlet thanks to a modern exterior design, spacious interior, and enhanced specification levels, said Toyota.
The top-of-the-line Toyota Starlet is the Starlet 1.4L XR AT, which sells for R282,500.
It comes with a 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 68kW and 130Nm of torque – taking the hatch from 0-100km/h in 11.6 seconds.
Top speed is a decent 170km/h and fuel consumption is rated at 5.4 litres per 100km.
As indicated in the model name, this Starlet receives an automatic 4-speed gearbox – which puts power down to the front wheels.
On the inside, you receive a range of nice-to-have features.
Five fabric seats with a large boot – 345 litres – means there is enough space for a family, and a the good fuel consumption combined with a 37-litre petrol tank means long-distance trips are not a problem.
Additionally, the Starlet is rated for an unbraked towing capacity of 400kg and a braked towing capacity of 1,000kg.
Cruise control and power steering, an automatic air conditioner, and a Toyota audio system with support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connections are also included.
Additional standard features on this model are electric windows all round, LED daytime lights, park distance control on the rear, and a smart entry system.
This makes the Starlet a strong contender in the “small family vehicle” market, thanks to its cabin and luggage space, and fuel economy.
Likewise, the car will be a potential first-car-purchase for a young professional thanks to its price tag.
The fine print
The Starlet comes with a standard Toyota warranty of 3 years/100,000km.
A 3-services/45,000km service plan is also included, with service intervals of 12 months or 15,000km.
Toyota has fitted several safety features on the car, too, for peace of mind – an immobiliser alarm, ABS with EBD, and side, curtain, driver, and passenger airbags.
One potential negative to note is that the car comes with a “space saver” spare wheel.
While the car is fitted with 185-55 R16 tyres on alloy wheels, the spare tyre is a 135-70 R15 unit.
Toyota said the Starlet has a ground clearance of 120mm and its dimensions come in at:
- Mass – 1,405kg
- Length – 3,995mm
- Width – 1,745mm