New Toy­ota Star­let re­places the pop­u­lar Etios

Daily Dispatch - - Weekender - PHUTI MPYANE

The re­cently forged al­liance be­tween Ja­panese brands Toy­ota and Suzuki has cul­mi­nated in the Star­let, essen­tially a Suzuki Baleno with a Toy­ota badge.

Built in In­dia and mak­ing its de­but in SA this month, it’s a subB seg­ment con­tender with a start­ing price of R204,900 that goes to bat­tle against the likes of Vok­swa­gen’s Polo Vivo and Kia Pi­canto among other mod­els. It re­places the Etios range and is of­fered only in hatch­back shape, with five model de­riv­a­tives.

The Star­let gains a unique Vshaped front bumper with a trape­zoidal lower air dam be­low. It also gets a more prom­i­nent roof spoiler at the back. Colour­coded ex­te­rior mir­rors and steel and al­loy wheel op­tions are avail­able to add to its ex­te­rior pizazz.

More cabin space is re­alised with a 2,520mm wheel­base, 60mm longer than the out­go­ing Etios, and its in­te­rior fea­tures a bright in­stru­ment clus­ter with a cen­tre Multi-In­for­ma­tion Dis­play (MID). The steer­ing wheel is a mul­ti­func­tion unit with but­tons for cruise con­trol if equipped.

Air-con­di­tion­ing, elec­tric power steer­ing, dual 12V power out­lets, elec­tric win­dows, tilt-ad­justable steer­ing col­umn, 60/40 split rear seats, power-ad­justable side mir­rors and re­mote cen­tral lock­ing are avail­able.

The flag­ship Xr mod­els en­joy more spec in the form of chrome door han­dles and side mould­ings, rear pri­vacy glass, front fog lamps, LED + Pro­jec­tor head­lamps with day­time run­ning lights (DRL), side-mir­ror mounted in­di­ca­tors, a roof spoiler, push-start oper­a­tion and cruise con­trol.

De­pend­ing on grade choice, the Star­let can be equipped with au­dio sys­tems with CD-Blue­tooth-USB-Aux func­tion­al­ity, a touch­screen dis­play, An­droid Auto

and Ap­ple CarPlay in­te­gra­tion for nav­i­ga­tion, tele­phony and mu­sic-stream­ing ser­vices. There’s also a re­verse cam­era on of­fer. The new en­trant also ben­e­fits from Toy­ota Con­nect telem­at­ics in-car Wi-Fi hotspot with com­pli­men­tary 15GB data.

The 68kW and 130Nm power out­put is cour­tesy of a Suzuk­isourced 1.4l four-cylin­der petrol en­gine. It can be mated to a fivespeed man­ual or four-speed au­to­matic driv­ing the front wheels.

Per­for­mance cre­den­tials are claimed at 10.9sec and 11.6sec from 0-100km/h re­spec­tively for the man­ual and auto. Fuel av­er­ages are quoted at 5.1l and 5.4l/100km re­spec­tively, and the 37l fuel tank will pro­vide more than 700km of range on a sin­gle tank.

From a safety as­pect, Toy­ota has fit­ted all Star­let mod­els with ABS brakes and Ve­hi­cle Sta­bil­ity Con­trol, while au­to­matic mod­els also get Hill As­sist Con­trol. The Xi and Xs mod­els ben­e­fit from dual front airbags while high­er­spec Xr vari­ants also fea­ture cur­tain and side airbags.

All Star­let mod­els are sold with a three-year/100,000km war­ranty and three-ser­vices/45,000km ser­vice plan.

Pric­ing

Star­let 1.4 Xi man­ual – R204,900

Star­let 1.4 Xs man­ual – R215,200

Star­let 1.4 Xs auto R235,700 – Star­let 1.4 Xr man­ual – R258,500

Star­let 1.4 Xr auto R272,500 –

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

FLASHY: The Toy­ota Star­let is a joint cre­ation with new part­ner Suzuki.

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