Toyota has officially launched its new Starlet in South Africa, which arrives as a replacement for the Etios hatchback.

Essentially a rebadged Suzuki Baleno, the new Starlet is imported from India, where it’s built by Maruti Suzuki and known as the Glanza. The Baleno-based model is one of a number of “joint projects” between the two Japanese automakers.

Of course, we’ve already brought you local pricing for the five-strong range, which kicks off at R204 900.

Power comes from Suzuki’s naturally aspirated 1,4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which offers 68 kW and 130 N.m. There’s a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission on offer, with the former allowing a claimed 10,9-second sprint to 100 km/h and the latter an 11,6-second dash. Claimed fuel consumption figures range from 5,1 to 5,4 L/100 km.

The base Xi variant rides on 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in 175/65 R15 rubber, while the Xs and Xr derivatives upgrade to 16-inch alloys shod in 185/55 R16 tyres.

The Starlet Xi model ships standard with items such as air-conditioning, electric power steering, dual 12-volt power outlets, electric windows, a tilt-adjustable steering column, 60/40 split rear seats, power-adjustable side mirrors and remote central locking. The Xs model simply adds alloy wheels to the mix.

The flagship Xr grade furthermore gains chrome-effect exterior door handles and side mouldings, plus rear privacy glass, front foglamps, LED/projector headlamps with daytime running lights, side-mirror-mounted indicators and a rear spoiler.

Inside, the range-topping model offers a digital speedometer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with telescopic adjustment), park distance control (fore and aft), a reverse camera, climate control, push-start operation and cruise control. While Xi and Xs models feature a more basic six-speaker audio system, Xr models offer a touchscreen arrangement with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality.

ABS with EBD, brake assist, vehicle stability control and IsoFix child-seat anchors are standard across the range, while automatic models also feature hill-assist control. Xi and Xs models are each fitted with two airbags, while the Xr variants upgrade to six apiece.

A three-year/100 000 km warranty is included, along with a three-service/45 000 km service plan (with intervals of 15 000 km).

Toyota’s Starlet badge, of course, dates back to 1973 when the original was introduced. The fifth and final generation went out of production in 1999. Interestingly, the Starlet Glanza offered in Japan was billed as the “sports version” of this final generation.

Pricing:
Toyota Starlet 1,4 Xi: R204 900
Toyota Starlet 1,4 Xs: R215 200
Toyota Starlet 1,4 Xs AT: R235 700 
Toyota Starlet 1,4 Xr: R258 500 
Toyota Starlet 1,4 Xr AT: R272 500