In September 2020 Toyota launched a new model into the South African market, the Toyota Starlet. This car is a re-badged Suzuki Baleno sharing the same engine, same gearbox, same five door body and same interior. The only real difference is the Toyota badge and the improved service the customers will receive through a greater dealer network.
When launched, the model was a remarkable success cementing itself in the highly competitive B-segment, providing a stylish look with a traditional hatchback layout and impressive frugality at the pumps.
Now not even two years later, the new Starlet is introduced with even more highlights to entice buyers in a market where fuel is over R25 a litre. The front end has a sleeker style with chrome brow and prominent lower air dam creating a signature Toyota look. Wide mounted fog lamps repleted with C-shaped trim add to the overall appeal. From the side blacked-out-A-pillar and chrome waistline trim draw your eyes across the silhouette which terminates in a sporty roof spoiler including a high-level brake light. Body coloured side mirrors with built in turn signal lamps. From the rear a two-piece light cluster and chrome tailgate finish the sporty look.
In the cabin a fresh look interior features swooping accent lines with a large, mounted infotainment screen and easy to read instrument binnacle. New front seats with improved lateral and shoulder support aids front seat comfort. Add multiple cup and bottle holders for convenience. Rear seats have also been enhanced and the 60/40 split seatback provides the option to expand the 314 litre boot space.
A larger 1.5 litre K15B engine as used in the Urban Cruiser has replaced the 1.4 litre engine. This enhances the performance by 9kW providing a total power output of 77kW with torque of 138Nm. 11.2 seconds sees the Starlet sprint from 0 to 100km/hr with a fuel index of between 5.4 and 5.7 l/100km. Suspension has been improved with an additional 20mm of suspension travel to provide far more improved ride quality. Increased tyre width of 10mm versus the outgoing models. Steel wheels get Goodyear 185/65/R15 rubber while alloy wheels are upgraded to 195/55/R16.
Specifications include touchscreen audio system with USB, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Interface as well as two rear USB chargers. Automatic Climate Control, power-retractable mirrors, electric windows, and Multi-Information Display are all standard.
Driver assistance is aided by rear parking sensors, Hill assist Control, Vehicle Stability Control, ABS, and EBD and Driver and passenger’s airbags. The top tier Xr model adds Smart Entry, Push Start and Cruise Control. A reverse Camera and rear view dimming mirror are also added to the Xr package.
Buyers have a choice between a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto transmission on the Xs and Xr models.
Starlet 1.5 Xi MT R226 200
Starlet 1.5 Xs MT R239 100
Starlet 1.5 Xs AT R261 100
Starlet 1.5 Xr MT R294 900
Starlet 1.5 Xr AT R313 300
3 services/45 000km plan. A 3 year/100 000km warranty. Biggest dealer network with over 220 outlets.