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Toyota Starlet budget hatch is here: SA prices and specs

Published Sep 21, 2020


JOHANNESBURG - Toyota’s new Starlet compact hatch has gone on sale in South Africa and with prices starting at R204 900, it’s only marginally more expensive than the recently discontinued Etios that it replaces, which started at R191 800.

It’s worth noting that the Starlet is a bigger and more modern package, being a good 220mm longer and 50mm wider than the Etios, and if you think it looks familiar, you’d be correct. The Starlet is closely based on the Suzuki Baleno through a recent partnership between the two Japanese companies. Interestingly, the Starlet is cheaper than the Baleno, which starts at R221 900 in South Africa.

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What’s under the bonnet?

As per the Suzuki Baleno, the Toyota Starlet is powered by Suzuki’s 1.4-litre normally aspirated petrol engine, which produces 68kW and 130Nm, which is 2kW more and 2Nm less than the Etios produced.

It is offered with a choice between five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission, the latter seeming a bit dated by 2020 standards.

Specs and pricing - a walk through the range

The Toyota Starlet line-up kicks off with the 1.5 Xi model, at R204 900, which is only sold with the manual gearbox option.

Standard features on the Xi include air conditioning, a traditional (non-touchscreen) audio system with six speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls, electric windows and mirrors, dual front airbags, ABS brakes and VSC stability control.

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Next up is the 1.5 Xs, which sells for R215 200 in manual form and R235 700 with the auto gearbox.

The spec sheet is largely as per the Xi model, but the Xs does replace the latter’s 15-inch covered steel wheels with 16-inch alloys.

Topping the range is the 1.5 XR, which is yours for R258 500 (manual) and R272 500 (auto).

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It is a big leap in price, but it does gain a lot of features over the two entry models.

The XR models ship with a touchscreen infotainment system, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, reverse camera, cruise control, leather-covered steering wheel, keyless start, park distance control, side and curtain airbags, LED headlights, rear spoiler and rear disc brakes.

All models are available with a choice of five colours: Mystic Pearl White, Ice Silver, Torch Red, Iron Grey Metallic and Urban Blue.

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Furthermore, a three-service / 45 000km aftersales plan is standard across the line-up.


1.5 Xi manual - R204 900

1.5 Xs manual - R215 200

1.5 Xs auto - R235 700

1.5 XR manual - R258 500

1.5 XR auto - R272 500

IOL Motoring

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