A new budget beater
A Starlet is born
A new budget beater has entered the stage in the form of the all-new Toyota Starlet. And despite being a value-oriented offering, it is a spacious and modern vehicle that delivers incredible value for money. It slots into the Toyota range between the more compact Aygo and Yaris.
The Starlet is the first product to be born out of the formal Toyota/Suzuki alliance, formed in 2019, that gives Toyota access to Suzuki’s compact vehicle expertise. In return, Toyota shared their hybrid know-how with Suzuki.
The new Toyota Starlet is a return to a name that was used by Toyota between 1973 and 1999, on five previous generations of the vehicle. It uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine that manages to produce 68kW and 130Nm in power and torque respectively, both very competitive figures in this market segment. Both five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes are available, and the all-important fuel consumption is a claimed 5.1 l/100km and 5.4 l/100km for the manual and auto respectively.
In terms of specifications, the familiar Toyota grades have been used, namely Xi, Xs and Xr. The entry-level Xi has air-con, electric windows, 60/40 split rear seats, electric mirrors and remote central locking, with 15-inch steel wheels. The Xs gets the addition of alloy rims. The Xr is more generously equipped, with front fog lights, LED headlamps with daytime running lights, park distance control, reverse camera, climate control, a push-button start and cruise control. The Xr also gets a touchscreen audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as opposed to the double-DIN system found on the other two models.
In terms of safety, all models include active electronic aids such as ABS, EBD, Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). Automatic transmission models also include Hill Assist Control (HAC).
Xi and Xs models are fitted with two front airbags, while the Xr variants also feature Curtain and Side airbags. Two ISOFIX points and a security system are provided across the board.
The pricing is very attractive, starting at R204 900 and going up to R272 500 for the 1.4 Xr automatic. A 3-servive/45 000km service plan and 3-year/100 000km warranty come standard.