Toyota has followed the launch of the Suzuki Baleno with a new Toyota Starlet.
Revised front and rear styling have upped the visual ante with sleek headlamps up front, chrome detailing, a sloping rear roofline with boot spoiler and two-piece rear light clusters that complete the profile.
A revised interior design features swooping accent lines and blue detailing, with a large centrally mounted infotainment screen and easy-to-read instrument binnacle. A sporty, three-spoke steering wheel with large Toyota insignia and steering switches, is also provided.
The newcomer gets a boost in performance with the adoption of a larger 1.5-litre engine (as employed in the Baleno, Rumion, Jimny and Urban Cruiser), replacing the outgoing 1.4-litre engine. This enhances performance by 9 kW (for a total output of 77 kW), while the torque receives an 8 Nm amplification to take it to a max of 138 Nm.
Despite the increase in performance, the fuel index remains low, ranging between 5.4 and 5.7 l/100 km.
In response to customer feedback and market trends, the new Starlet also boasts an upgraded specification roster. All models now come equipped with a touchscreen audio system (either 18 or 23 cm) with USB, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto interface, as well as a rear USB charger. Automatic Climate Control, power-retractable mirrors and electric windows.
Driver assistance is aided by rear parking sensors (PDC), Hill Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Control, ABS and EBD across the board. Driver and passenger airbags are also provided with the flagship Xr grade featuring side and curtain versions too.
The top-tier Xr model adds Smart Entry, Push Start and Cruise Control, amongst other niceties.
The three-grade strategy has been retained (Xi, Xs and Xr). Buyers have a choice between a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission on Xs and Xr models, resulting in a model matrix of 5 variants.
* The prices (May 2022)
1.5 Xi MT (R226 200), 1.5 Xs MT (R239 100), 1.5 Xs AT (R261 100), 1.5 Xr MT (R294 900) and the Starlet 1.5 Xr AT (R313 300).
All Starlet models are sold with a 3-services/45 000 km service plan – with 15 000 km service intervals. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is also provided.
The ‘All-New Scorpio-N’ from Mahindra showed its face in South Africa as part of the world reveal and will be available locally within the next couple of months.
The Jeep Gladiator has landed in Mzansi.
Volkswagen’s new SUV coupé, the Taigo, is now locally available and fits in between the T-Cross and the T-Roc in Volkswagen’s T SUV model range.