Toyota South Africa has confirmed to TopAuto that a new Starlet is on the way, but has not revealed when the hatchback will arrive.
“Following the success of the current-generation Starlet in our market, it is [natural] that the new-generation model will continue to form part of Toyota SA Motors’ product line-up,” said Toyota South Africa.
“We are unable to provide introduction timing at this stage.”
This news follows the recent South African launch of the second-generation Suzuki Baleno, the car upon which the Starlet is based.
What to expect
If you’re familiar with the current-generation Suzuki Baleno and Toyota Starlet then you’ll know there’s not much separating these vehicles – apart from the manufacturer badges, and a higher price for the Toyota.
There are also five Starlet specifications to choose from, whereas there are only three Balenos.
However, all eight of these hatchbacks are powered by a 1.4-litre engine producing 68kW and 130Nm, and can be paired to both a manual and automatic gearbox.
Additionally, the siblings offer many of the same features spanning their various equipment levels.
The next-generation Toyota Starlet should follow the same formula as that of its predecessor, by offering the Baleno’s engine and most of its equipment.
Suzuki’s new Baleno is fitted with a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 77kW and 138Nm. A four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox then takes care of sending drive to the front wheels.
Standard features in the Suzuki now include a 7-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, climate control with rear vents, hill-hold assist, electric windows and mirrors, a leather multifunction steering wheel, and dual front airbags.
In the range-topping Baleno GLX, you also get a 360-degree camera system, keyless entry and start, all-round LED lights with daytime running lights, a heads-up display, six airbags, and a 9-inch central screen.
We expect the new Toyota Starlet to also offer these features as well as the same engine.