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Toyota Starlet – A Small Car That’s Affordable, Reliable and Fun to Drive


If you’re looking for a small car that’s affordable, reliable and fun to drive, the toyota starlet is worth considering. It’s a popular B-segment hatchback that’s been given an upgrade for the 2022 model year.

Toyota has made a few changes to the Starlet’s powertrain and dynamic performance. The result is a more appealing entry-level car that’s also more competitive in the market.

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The Toyota starlet is well-equipped with a suite of safety features, including active electronic aids such as ABS, EBD, Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). Automatic transmission models include Hill Assist Control (HAC), which prevents embarrassing roll-backs when you’re stationary on an incline.

It also has a range of standard security features, including two ISOFIX child seat anchorage points on outer rear seats, a driver’s airbag and side airbags on all models. The Starlet has no Euro NCAP rating, but its safety credentials should put any nervous new driver at ease.

Crash test rating information is organised and readily available, which helps you make informed purchasing decisions. However, many vehicles accounting for significant sales volumes have dubious safety credentials.

Fuel economy

Powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, the Toyota Starlet is designed to be as fuel efficient as possible. The manual model consumes only 5.4 litres of petrol per 100km and the automatic model consumes 5,7 liters of petrol per 100km.

The Toyota Starlet is a car that hits the sweet spot for many buyers and it has been selling very well in South Africa. It has a very good mix of affordability, practicality, comfort and economy and it also offers excellent performance.

In our test, we drove the base 1.4 Xi (R204 900) and the top-spec 1.4 Xr (R258 500). Both cars came with 16-inch alloys and LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights.

The 1.4 Xi is about R100 000 cheaper than the Baleno 1.4 GL, but it has less features than the Starlet. However, Toyota is a stronger brand in South Africa with a large dealer network and the best after-sales service reputation of any car manufacturer.


The Toyota Starlet is a very attractive vehicle to look at. Its body style is reminiscent of the Suzuki Yaris and, as with the latter, it does blend in nicely to the traffic.

The Starlet has a number of design features that contribute to its overall appeal including chrome detailing, a sloping roofline with boot spoiler and stylish two-piece rear light clusters. These are combined with a swoopy tailgate that flows seamlessly into the rear doors, which is something that sets the Toyota apart from the competition.

The Starlet is available in three spec levels; the Xi, Xs and Xr variants. The Xi models are very generously equipped and include air conditioning, electrical power steering, electric windows and dual 12-volt outlets. The Xs and Xr derivatives add alloy wheels to the mix, along with other useful accessories such as auto-retractable mirrors, which are an important feature in terms of safety. The Xr also has a premium leather steering wheel and reverse-view camera.


The Starlet is a Suzuki-Toyota joint venture that takes advantage of the manufacturer’s core strengths: good performance, fuel efficiency and affordable pricing. The product is offered in a range of derivatives, ranging from the entry-level Xi to the top-of-the-range Xr.

Among the technology features that come standard are rear parking sensors, hill assist control (HAC), vehicle stability control, ABS and EBD. Driver and passenger airbags are available as well.

Compared to other vehicles in the sub-B segment, the Starlet is well equipped with technology and features that are a step above what the market has seen in recent years. In addition, it has more safety and comfort features than previous versions. The Starlet is also more efficient and easier to drive than the older model, making it an ideal choice for young drivers.