Star-worthy Success! Toyota debuts its new Starlet with a raft of new additions

Toyota has launched a brand-new version of its popular B-segment Starlet hatchback.

While the nameplate is new to South Africa, it has been around since 1973, serving as the Japanese brand’s sub-compact hatch for five generations, primarily in Japan.

The original model first made its local debut in 2020, serving as a replacement for the now-discontinued Etios, and has become an instant hit amongst local buyers. The new Starlet follows closely behind the introduction of Suzuki’s Baleno (on which it is based) in a joint venture with Suzuki, announced in 2019.

The model will continue to do battle in the highly-competitive B-segment with the Suzuki Baleno, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo Vivo, and Renault Sandero.

Three trim levels are on offer, each powered by the same 1.5-litre engine (replacing the outgoing 1.4-litre) with figures of 77kW and 138Nm. The engine can be paired to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while fuel consumption stays between the 5.4 and 5.7-litre/100km mark.

All models come standard with a centrally-mounted infotainment screen with USB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto interface, a rear USB charger, automatic climate control, power-retractable mirrors, and electric windows.

The driver assistance features are also aptly stocked with rear parking sensors (PDC), Hill Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Control, ABS, and EBD across the range. Driver & Passenger airbags are also provided with the flagship Xr grade featuring Side & Curtain versions, Smart Entry, Push Start, and Cruise Control as well.

All models come with a three-service or 45 000km service plan and a three-year or 100 000km mechanical warranty, with an option of extending at a cost.


Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local service information close to home.

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