August 19, 2021
The Toyota Starlet, made in Italy, is a repackaged Suzuki Baleno. This doesn’t diminish its quality as a car, considering that the top-of-the-range 1.4 Xr provides more than the Yaris can. Lets’ find out more about the Starlet.1
Toyota and Suzuki joined hands in March 2019, and the Starlet was born out of this partnership. When examining the Starlet, you may be reminded of a Suzuki car called the Suzuki Baleno. The latter has not frequented South African roads much due to it being outrivalled by the more affordable Swift and the striking style of the considerably cheaper Ignis.
The starting price of the Starlet family, which is the 1.4Xi derivative, is about R17 000 less than the equivalent Baleno, and yet both are identical. In other words, the same car displays two different badges. The price was R258 500 in October 2020.
The Starlet only differs from the Baleno when it comes to its grille, the Toyota wheel design, as well as the leather-covered steering wheel of the 1.4 Xr derivatives.
According to test drivers at cars.co.za, the Starlet performs as well as cars double its price. The Starlet feels solid on the road, whilst the ride excludes most road or wind noise. The excellent suspension ensures a smooth ride, and according to the test drivers, exceeds that of the more expensive Yaris, which costs about R60 000 more.
The top-range Starlet 1.4 Xr trim is equipped with LED headlights, DRLs (Daytime Running Lights), privacy glass, chrome beltline finishers and door handles, a roof spoiler, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels.
Inside the car, you’ll find a push-button start, a touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a reverse-view camera with a parking sensor included. Bluetooth hands-free telephony and audio streaming capability can all be operated from the steering wheel. The leather-covered steering wheel feels great, offering cruise control capability as well. Climate control and the air-conditioner function well. The instrument cluster is analogue.
This car has ABS braking with EBD, vehicle stability control, brake assist, and 6 airbags, including the front, side, and curtain airbags.
Although not new, the 1.4-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol engine has shown superb reliability. Power output via a 5-speed manual gearbox is 68 kW with a low torque of 135 Nm. The car does require many gear changes going uphill. Claimed fuel consumption is 5.1 litres/100 km.
Car insurance is not straightforward, and hence this article can only provide information. Therefore, if you consider buying car insurance, please know that it’s best to get professional advice from a certified financial advisor.
The Toyota Starlet has a good reputation, but is that also true of the insurer providing cover for your car? Did you know that the law requires that you need to have comprehensive car insurance if you finance the purchase of your new Toyota Starlet? Why not contact PMD, and find out more about affordable comprehensive car insurance with exceptional benefits like fixed premiums* and a reduce to zero excess*? T’s and C’s apply.