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Driven: 2020 Toyota Starlet 

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2020 Toyota Starlet   

Earlier this year, Toyota released the Starlet, an affordable but stylish vehicle aimed at the youth. The Starlet was done in collaboration with Suzuki which was first announced in 2016.  The Starlet has done quite well amongst the public, selling over 1102 models alone in October. Toyota has said that the Starlet is meant to replace the Toyota Etios.  

Value for money interior  

Once you step into the Starlet’s cabin, it’s quite easy to feel how spacious it is. The influence of Suzuki is evident throughout the design. But what makes the Starlet stand out is the technology features it comes with, despite its low pricing. Although the Etios has been a hit for Toyota, one couldn’t help but feel it was outdated. The Starlet will be offered in different derivatives. Ranging from the entry-level Xi to the mid-level Xs, all the way to the top of the range Xr. The Xi and Xs models will come with your standard digital features such as a double-DIN audio system with CD, Bluetooth, USB, and Aux functionality, all of which get played through 6 high-quality speakers.   

If you really would like to see how far Toyota has come, then the Starlet Xr will really stand out. The biggest feature on the Xr is of course its new rich touchscreen system that comes completed with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, navigation, telephony, music-streaming services, USB, Bluetooth, and MP3/Aux compatibilities. The touch screen audio system is extremely easy to use and really modernizes the Starlet. The other feature that is equally appealing is its premium leather steering wheel and reverse camera which is embedded within the infotainment system.  

Safety first  

In terms of safety, the Starlet comes with all your standard safety features. This includes ABS, EBD, Brake Assist (BA), and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). This will of course come standard with every Starlet model. If you are after a model with Automatic transmission, then you will also benefit from Hill Assist Control (HAC). The Xi and Xs models will come fitted with Driver and Passenger airbags, while the Xr models get Curtain and Side airbags, making the bigger price tag attached to it, well worth it. Two ISOFIX points and a security system be provided as well.   

Verdict  

The Toyota Starlet overall is a fantastic car to drive, power is delivered smoothly on the road and the ride is quite comfortable. The Toyota Starlet is based on the Suzuki Baleno, but what makes it even more appealing, it’s sold for R17 000 less, making the Starlet an obvious choice for any buyer. Pricing starts from R204 900 and comes with a 45 000 km service plan.  

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