Toyota Starlet impresses

by | Apr 26, 2021 | 0 comments

I recently spent time with the #Toyota #Starlet. It is a car growing in popularity month after month. So why the hype?
As you may or may not know, the Starlet is based on the #Suzuki #Baleno however Toyota didn’t do a full cut and paste job. The Starlet does feature some Toyota specific details. These include the front grille which features a centrally-mounted Toyota insignia which is joined by two vertically-arranged headlamps with chrome inlays.
The side profile features contour-following upper and lower crease lines – which create a sense of motion – topped off with colour-coded exterior mirrors. Prominent wheel arches give the Starlet a sure-footed stance. At the rear large LED tail lamps with red and translucent accents are joined by a stylish chrome garnish strip and trapezoidal indent in the lower bumper section.
Three trim grades will be on offer in the form of the Xi model which is equipped with 15”-steel wheels shod with 175-65R15 tyres and a space-saver spare wheel. The Xs and Xr variants feature stylish turbine-shaped 16”-alloy wheels with 185-55R16 rubber. Seen here is the latter Xr model.
The interior is also slightly adapted from the vehicle on which the Starlet is based which again is not a bad thing. Toyota has however changed the steering wheel and has added a bright and easy-to-read instrument cluster with on-centre Multi-Information Display (MID) and dual analogue gauges.
The Xi and Xs models feature a double-DIN audio system with CD, Bluetooth, USB/Aux functionality, playing through 6-speakers. The Xr model offers a touchscreen audio system complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration for navigation, telephone and music-streaming services. Traditional USB, Bluetooth and MP3/Aux compatibility also remain. Reverse camera monitoring is also embedded within the infotainment system.
Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine featuring Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and a tumble-flow intake manifold. The rev-happy engine has a power output of 68kW and 130Nm of torque. Unfortunately, there is no official confirmation on if we will get the Suzuki developed BoosterJet turbo engine. Nevertheless, the Starlet will be offered with either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. Customers can also expect around 700km from its 37-litre fuel tank as the Starlet will consume between 5.1 and 5.4l/100km.
Out on the road the Starlet returns a decent driving experiecne. It’s a no fuss and relatively fun car to drive with ample space. Out on the highway the car proved that it has enough power to keep up with traffic and I was never left wanting more power, work the gearbox and the car gets a move on. It’s a solid little thing that is big on features.