A fresh report out of India claims Toyota plans to market its Suzuki-based Glanza hatchback as the Starlet in certain African countries.
As a reminder, the Glanza – which is effectively a rebadged Suzuki Baleno – was revealed in June 2019 as one of a number of “joint projects” between the two Japanese automakers. Since then, the new Toyota Urban Cruiser (based on Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza) has been revealed in India, while the new Suzuki Across (which is actually a Toyota RAV4 in disguise) has been unveiled for Europe.
Now, according to GaadiWaadi.com, Maruti Suzuki in India has started production of the Glanza (but wearing the Starlet badge) for export.
So, will the Suzuki-built Starlet make it to South Africa? Well, Toyota Motors SA has yet to announce any plans although there’s at least a chance it could be offered as an eventual replacement for the Etios budget hatchback (which itself has gone out of production in India).
The Glanza in India measures 3 995 mm long, with a width of 1 745 mm and a wheelbase of 2 520 mm. The most obvious differences between it and the Baleno on which it’s based are the tweaked grille design and slightly different front bumper.
While the SA-spec Baleno draws its urge from a naturally aspirated 1,4-litre petrol engine, in India the Glanza (mimicking that market’s Baleno) employs a 1,2-litre unit in two states of tune: 61 kW (in five-speed manual or CVT) and 66 kW (in manual only, but benefiting from a mild-hybrid arrangement). Both versions feature a peak torque output of 113 N.m.
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.