Toyota Starlet hatchback revived 21 years later – Auto Review

Enthusiasts in the Japanese car industry will probably know this name. Toyota Starlet compact hatchbacks were produced from 1973 to 1999, during which time five generations have changed. These cars, 3.7-3.8 m long, had a simple and reliable design, their main markets were Japan, Europe and Asian countries, and in the eighties they even delivered Starlets to the USA. But at the turn of the century, Toyota decided to ditch the proven name, and instead of the sixth-generation Starlet, the Yaris appeared.

And now the old name is back in the ranks. The modern Toyota Starlet is presented… in Africa! This is the name of the local hatchback variety Toyota glanza, which, in turn, is a version of the Suzuki Baleno model: badge engineering will be carried out in the framework of cooperation between the two companies. By the way, the name Glanza is also historical: the “sporty” Toyota Starlet Glanza hatchbacks were produced for the Japanese market in the nineties.

So, the new Toyota Starlet hatchback with a length of 3995 mm differs from the original Suzuki Baleno only in emblems and a radiator grill, and these cars are produced in India at the Maruti Suzuki enterprise. But if the Glanza for the Indian market has a 1.2 gasoline engine (83 hp), then the Starlet for Africa is equipped with an aspirated 1.4 (92 hp). The choice is a five-step “mechanics” or a four-step “automatic”. The original Baleno with such units is sold in Asia.

By the end of the year, the new Starlet will appear in 47 African countries. Interestingly, this is only the fourth model in the local Toyota range: until now, only Land Cruiser 200 SUVs, Hilux pickups and Hiace minibuses were officially sold here. However, the African importer Toyota Tsusho, owned by the Japanese concern, plans to significantly expand the model range in the near future, adding cars and crossovers to it. Starlet is the first step in this direction.


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