By Otsile Kadiege
Toyota South Africa unveiled the latest iteration of the Starlet aka Starlet Johannson. The Starlet was first introduced to the local motoring scene back in 2020, competing in the hotly-contested B-segment. Since then, the Starlet has proven to be quite popular and contributed to sales successes of Toyota South Africa. The newcomer boasts a sporty exterior design, comprehensive specification level, a new more powerful engine and competitive pricing.
Revised front and rear-styling up the visual ante with sleek headlamps up front, chrome detailing, a sloping rear roofline with boot spoiler (which flows seamlessly into the tailgate), and stylish two-piece rear light clusters which complete the sporty yet elegant profile.
Interior design and technology
A revised interior design features swooping accent lines and blue detailing, a large centrally-mounted infotainment screen, an instrument binnacle and a sporty, three-spoke multi-functional steering wheel. The new Starlet also boasts an upgraded specification roster. All models now come equipped with a touchscreen audio system (either 18 or 23cm) with USB, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto interface, as well as a rear USB charger. Automatic Climate Control, power-retractable mirrors and electric windows are features on the standard menu.
Driver assistance systems
All new Toyota Starlets are equipped with rear parking sensors (PDC), Hill Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Control, ABS and EBD. Driver & Passenger airbags are also provided with the flagship Xr grade featuring Side & Curtain versions too. The top-tier Xr model adds Smart Entry, Push Start and Cruise Control.
Powering the new Starlet is a larger and more powerful 1.5-litre engine sourced from the Urban Cruiser. This enhances performance by 9kW (for a total power output of 77kW), while the torque receives an 8Nm amplification to take it to a max of 138Nm. Despite the increase in performance, Toyota claims the fuel index remains low, ranging between 5.4 and 5.7 l/100 km. The engine is paired to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
Grades and pricing
The familiar three-grade strategy has been retained (Xi, Xs and Xr). Pricing for the new Toyota Starlet, which will go on sale from the 23rd of May, is as follows:
Starlet 1.5 Xi MT – R 226,200
Starlet 1.5 Xs MT – R 239,100
Starlet 1.5 Xs AT – R 261,100
Starlet 1.5 Xr MT – R 294,900
Starlet 1.5 Xr AT – R 313,300
All Starlet models are sold with a 3-services/45 000 km service plan – with 15 000 km service intervals. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is also provided. Customers can additionally purchase service plan and warranty extensions from their local Toyota dealer – and they benefit from the biggest dealer network in the country (over 220 outlets).
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