Bangalore, India - Following hot on the heels of its Suzuki Baleno sibling, the new Toyota Starlet has been revealed in India, where it wears the Glanza badge.
The new hatchback is expected to hit South African shores this year, after which we’ll certainly see plenty on the roads, although final timing, as well as pricing and specifications, have yet to be confirmed.
Whereas the current Starlet is nearly identical to the Maruti Suzuki Baleno that it’s based on, the new Toyota does at least boast some differentiation, if not much.
The front bumper and grille, for instance, are unique to Toyota, although the rest of the exterior and cabin appear almost identical.
Inside the Toyota Starlet shares the new Baleno’s redesigned dashboard, which incorporates a high-mounted 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Owners can also control certain vehicle functions remotely via a smartphone app.
You’ll find some high-end features in the range-topping Glanza models, including a 360-degree camera, Head Up Display and automatic climate control, although South African specifications for the Toyota Starlet equivalent have yet to be confirmed.
As before the Indian-spec Toyota Glanza is powered by a 1.2-litre normally aspirated petrol engine that produces 66kW and 113Nm. However, South African Starlet models will almost certainly mimic the Suzuki variants by offering a new 1.5-litre petrol motor that produces 77kW and 138Nm.
That said, it’s not impossible that Toyota might also consider the 1.2 at some stage as an entry option.
In addition to a new engine, the Toyota and Suzuki hatchbacks boast improved suspension and steering, while the shell has also been made more rigid through the use of additional high-tensile steel.
Stay tuned for more local information on the new Toyota Starlet as it becomes available.