Toyota South Africa Motors recently launched the new Suzuki-built Starlet to replace its Etios hatch range. But what about the saloon version of the Etios?

While the Baleno-based Starlet serves as a direct replacement for the Etios hatch, the Japanese firm’s local arm says it has no immediate plans to offer a new small sedan to fill the gap left by the Etios Sedan.

“There has been a progression in this segment of the market to favour hatchbacks so currently we do not have a replacement for the Etios Sedan,” said Riaan Esterhuysen, manager for product communications at Toyota SA.

“The Starlet will serve as our [contender] in this segment and will remain hatch only,” Esterhuysen said, before Clynton Yon, senior manager for communications at Toyota SA, pointed out the Corolla Quest would step into the role of the firm’s entry-level sedan.

The Etios Sedan was offered in two forms before being pulled from the market (production in India has ended): the 1,5 Xi for R201 000 and the 1,5 Sprint for R206 300. Both were powered by Toyota’s naturally 1,5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, offering 66 kW and 132 N.m to the front axle via a five-speed manual gearbox.

The Corolla Quest range, meanwhile, kicks off at R260 000.