Toyota Starlet

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Toyota Starlet
Toyota Starlet Carat.JPG
Toyota Starlet 1.3 Carat (EP91, Germany)
ProductionApril 1973 – July 1999
Body and chassis
ClassSubcompact car
PredecessorToyota Publica
SuccessorToyota Vitz/Echo/Yaris

The Toyota Starlet is a subcompact car manufactured by Toyota from 1973 to 1999, replacing the Publica, but retaining the Publica's "P" code and generation numbering. The first generation Starlet was sold as the Publica Starlet in some markets. In Japan, it was exclusive to Toyota Corolla Store dealers.

Startlets were typically dependable but austere vehicles; however, some upgraded versions were produced. Turbocharged Starlets were offered in three generations: the 1986–1989 Turbo S (EP71), the 1990–1995 GT turbo (EP82), and the 1996–1999 Glanza V (EP91). Another variant was the Sera, made in the early 1990s and officially sold only in Japan; the Sera had a unique two-door coupe body and butterfly doors but shared the Starlet's chassis and mechanicals.

The Starlet was briefly exported to North America from 1981 to 1984.

In 1999, the Starlet was replaced by the Vitz—sold as the Echo or Yaris in international markets—and the bB mini MPV, which was later sold as the Scion xB in Canada and the United States and as the Daihatsu Materia in the United Kingdom. However, Toyota effectively vacated the European city car market until the Aygo was launched in 2005.

First generation (P40/P50; 1973–1978)[edit]

40 Series
Toyota Publica Starlet 1200 SR Coupe (KP47, Japan)
ProductionApril 1973–1978
Body and chassis
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
PredecessorToyota Publica
The rear view of a Publica Starlet Sedan.

Initially launched in April 1973 as the Publica Starlet 40 series, the Starlet was offered with 1,000 and 1,200 cc engines. Generally the car looked like a shortened Corolla. Body styles originally available were a two-door sedan and a three-door wagon. The four-door sedan arrived in October 1973. Grades offered were Standard, Deluxe, Hi-Deluxe, ST, and SR. It was never sold in Europe, despite the popularity in that continent (particularly in the United Kingdom) of the similar-sized Datsun Cherry, produced by Toyota's rival manufacturer Nissan, as well as the success of modern new superminis like the Fiat 127 and Renault 5.

Second generation (P60; 1978–1984)[edit]

60 Series
1979 Toyota Starlet (6279060466).jpg
Early Starlet 3-door hatchback (KP60, New Zealand)
ProductionFebruary 1978[1]–October 1984
Body and chassis
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
RelatedToyota Tercel
  • 993 cc 2K I4 (KP60)
  • 1166 cc 3K I4 (KP62)
  • 1290 cc 4K I4 (KP61)
  • 1290 cc 4K-E I4 EFI (KP61)
  • K40 (4-speed manual)
  • K50/K51 (5-speed manual)
  • A40 3-speed automatic (second facelift)
Wheelbase2,301–2,324 mm (90.6–91.5 in)[2]
  • 3,680–3,745 mm (145–147 in)[3]
  • 3,850 mm (152 in) (Van)[4]
Width1,525–1,535 mm (60–60 in)[3]
Height1,370–1,395 mm (54–55 in)[3]
Curb weight695–750 kg (1,532–1,653 lb)[3]
1982 Toyota Starlet DL 3-door (New Zealand)

The 60 series, introduced in February 1978, was better known, being the first to be extensively sold outside Japan, being imported to Europe, including the United Kingdom, from 1978, by which time superminis were soaring in popularity. It was offered with a 993 (KP60 2K), 1,166 (KP62, 3K) or 1,290 cc (KP61, 4K) engine. Three- and five-door hatchbacks were offered in export markets, although a longer five-door wagon variant (also known as the "Van" in the Japanese market) was sold in Japan and certain Asian and European markets. The Van arrived in October 1978.[5] In Japan, the Starlet was only available with the larger, 1.3 litre, engine once it had been introduced, excepting the Van model which retained the smaller, 1.2 litre, 3K-HJ type. The 60 series Starlet was the first Toyota passenger car to utilize rack-and-pinion steering.[6] Suspension on 60 series Starlets is in the form of MacPherson front struts accompanied by four link rear suspension with coil springs for hatchback models and leaf spring suspension on van models.

Trim levels were Standard, De Luxe (also known as DX in some markets), GL, XL, S, Si, Sprint, SE and Lisse. Si models have a fuel injected 4K-E engine. Sprint models include a tachometer, five-speed (K50) transmission, 1,290 cc (4K) engine and a different, "racy", interior compared to other models. Sprint models also feature Toyota Sports Handling Suspension and the external trimming on the car is clipped into place, as opposed to being glued on as in other models. Sprint models also include the same alloy wheels as featured on early AE86 Corollas. Japanese market models did not generally have self-retracting rear seatbelts. Japanese and New Zealand market models have 203 mm front brake rotors, as opposed to many other markets receiving Starlets with 228 mm front brake rotors.

Vehicles fitted with a 2K engine received a smaller differential (X code, 5.6 in, 142 mm) than vehicles fitted with a 4K engine (U code, 6 in, 152 mm). Differential ratios depend on the trim model and market for each car, with 3.909:1 being common for vehicles with a 2K engine, 4.3:1 for European van models, 3.727 for Japanese van models, 3.417:1 for vehicles fitted with an automatic transmission, 3.583:1 for general applications with a 4K engine, and other ratios existing for various Japanese market vehicles.

In 1980 the Starlet was facelifted to include square headlights and a second facelift followed in 1983 to incorporate a slant nose front end, and a lower hatch opening.

Tidy 60 series Starlets are becoming more difficult to acquire due, in part, to their age and proneness to rust, and due to the fact that many are being converted into track and rally cars, and are thus beginning to become a valuable collector's car.

1981–1982 Toyota Starlet 3-door hatchback (KP61, US)

The 3-door KP61 was the only Starlet ever sold in the US from 1981 to 1984. The 1981–1982 models came with standard five-speed manual transmissions and tachometers. It is an equivalent to other markets' S model. The 1983–1984 models were additionally offered with electronic fuel injection (EFI) with the 4K engine, but with a four-speed manual transmission, and similar to other markets' XLi model.

Common rust locations on a 60 series Starlet are under the rear hatch seal, around the front window wiper mount, behind the front fenders and the bottom of the doors.

Third generation (P70; 1984–1989)[edit]

70 Series
Toyota Starlet P70 Turbo S Super Limited.jpg
Toyota Starlet 1.3 Turbo S Limited (EP71, Japan)
ProductionOctober 1984 – December 1989
Body and chassis
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
Wheelbase2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length3,700 mm (145.7 in)
Width1,590 mm (62.6 in)
Height1,380 mm (54.3 in)
Curb weight740 kg (1,631 lb)
Toyota Starlet 1.3 Si (EP71, Japan)

The 70 series of October 1984 saw the Starlet switch to front-wheel drive, which was now the normal format for cars of this size. Three-door and five-door hatchbacks were offered, and a three-door van for commercial use was also available in many markets. The 12 valve 1E and 2E engines replaced the old K-series engines. The extensive Japanese line up consisted of Standard, DX, Soleil, XL, XL Lisse, SE, Si, Si Limited, Ri, Turbo R, and Turbo S, although the one-litre version was available for export only.[7] The engine fitted in turbo models was the 2E-TELU, and was installed with Toyota's active suspension technology called TEMS. The Ri and Turbo R are the light weight models designed for motorsports.

For the export markets the Starlet 70 series were offered as 1.0 Standard, 1.0 DX, 1.0 XL, 1.0 XL Lisse, 1.3 DX, 1.3 XL, 1.3 S, and 1.3 SE. The export version Si Limited was basically an XL or 1.3 S with front and rear spoilers, sporty red and black interior, Multi-point fuel injection and special exterior colour 2-tone black-silver, or white.

The first Starlet assembled outside Japan was the 1985 1.0 XL built in Indonesia. A year later, the 1.3 litre model joined the production line there. A minor change for Japanese models was given in 1987 with new nose, tail lights, bigger bumpers, and revised interior. Indonesian-built Starlet received this minor changes in 1988, however the European and general market models retains the older appearance.

The Starlet competed against cars like the Daihatsu Charade, Suzuki Cultus/Swift, and various European subcompacts.

Fourth generation (P80; 1989–1995)[edit]

80 Series
1991 Toyota Starlet (New Zealand).jpg
1991 Toyota Starlet 1.3 XL 3-door Hatchback (EP81, New Zealand)
  • December 1989 – December 1995 (Japan)
  • 1990 – March 1998 (Indonesia)
Body and chassis
Body style3/5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive / four-wheel-drive
RelatedToyota Sera
Wheelbase2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length3,720–3,805 mm (146.5–149.8 in)
Width1,600–1,620 mm (63.0–63.8 in)
Height1,380 mm (54.3 in)

The Starlet 80 series was introduced to the Japanese market in December 1989. It featured a more rounded body style and interior. Japanese models received new twin cam engines: 4E-F, 4E-FE, and turbocharged 4E-FTE. Export models retained the 1E and 2E engines, and the special version 4E-FE (only for UK and Hong Kong facelift models). The 1N 1.5-litre diesel engine was also available. The Starlet for Japan and Indonesia have a rear center garnish and therefore the license plate is mounted on the bumper. 80 Series Starlets exported to other destinations have their number plates mounted on the hatch centre panel.

Pre-facelift Toyota Starlet Van 1.5D (NP80; Portugal)

In Japan, the 80 Series Starlet was again offered in a wide range of variants: Van, Soleil, the best selling Soleil L, S, X, X Limited, Si, canvas top, the sports model Gi and GT Turbo. The sports model have different bumpers, headlights, and tail lights from the regular models. Sports bucket front seats and a rear spoiler are also standard on the Gi and GT. The GT has a two-mode (low and high) turbo. The Japanese only full-time 4WD models (EP85) were offered in Soleil L, S, and X Limited grades.

New Zealand received the 1.0 XL, 1.3 XL, 1.3 S, and from March 1993 a five-door 1.3 XL only available with an automatic transmission. The 2E-engined versions were carburetted and produce 53 kW (72 PS).[8] The locally assembled Starlet for Indonesia was offered as 1.0 XL, 1.3 SE, and 1.3 SE Limited. Only the 1.0 XL was sold in Singapore. All the Starlets officially sold in the South East Asian countries were the 5-door models.

The Starlet made its European debut at the 1990 Geneva Auto Show. The 1.3 XLi was the version sold in most European countries. The sporty 1.3 Si was offered in Switzerland. It came with standard sports front seats, three-spoke steering wheel, sunroof, and rear spoiler.

The UK model was the 1.0 GL, only offered as a three-door hatchback, replaced by the 1.3 GLi three-door from 1993 onwards. For 1994, the UK models were 1.3 XLi three-door and 1.3 GLi five-door. All GLi models have a sunroof.

They were some special editions of 80-series sold in Europe such as 1.3 Jeans in the UK and Germany, 1.3 Dance in Switzerland, and 1.3 Westwood in Belgium, all of these are based on the 1.3 XLi. There was also a van model for certain markets where the tax structure suited such a model, without rear seating and often with blanked out windows in the rear. While van versions of earlier Starlets had always been available in Japan, changes in the tax system meant that the fourth generation Starlet was only sold as a passenger car in the home market.

The first facelift 1994 Starlet 1.3 SE-G 5-door (EP81, Indonesia)

A minor facelift occurred in January 1992, with all Japanese models gaining fuel injection and the discontinuation of the X variant. A new front bumper and revised interior were installed, and the addition of a safety beam inside the doors were added for all models. The S, X Limited, Gi, and GT also gained a new rear center garnish. In Indonesia the new SE-G replaced the SE Limited. The SE-G has upmarket interior similar to the Japanese X Limited, and shares the redesigned tail lights and trunk garnish with the Gi and GT. For the Hong Kong market, the Japanese model Soleil L 5 door hatchback replaced the old 1.3 XL. The Starlet canvas top Si 1992 with folding canvas roof was offered in Hong Kong and certain European countries.

The first facelift Starlet 1.3 S 3-door (EP82, Japan)

The Starlet EP81 participated in the WRC Acropolis Rally in Greece, and won the A5 class. The Starlet also competed in the Starlet One Make Race in Japan, the Indonesian Touring Car Championship, and rallies in the Caribbean.

The second facelift model Starlet Soleil L 3-door (EP82, Japan)
The second facelift model Starlet 1.3 Soleil L 3-door (EP82, Japan)

The second minor update was in May 1994 with new front end and tail lights. The full-wide rear garnish was deleted. The hatch trunk now has smooth panel with small garnishes. The Gi and GT featured twin round headlights and mesh grille, also known as "quad" headlights. These minor changes were only extended to Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Hong Kong received Japanese market Soleil L. The 1.3 SE and 1.3 SE-G continued in Indonesia, but the 1.0 XL was deleted. In New Zealand the sporty 1.3 S was replaced by the new 1.3 GS.

Production in Japan ended in December 1995, but continued in Indonesia until March 1998. The last 80-series in Indonesia was marketed as the "Fantastic Starlet" with sporty bumpers, grille, and hood from the Japanese Gi. At the beginning, the Fantastic Starlet was offered in the mid-level SE and top-of-the line SE-G, but later the cheaper model was discontinued.

GT Turbo[edit]

Starlet GT turbo (EP82, Japanese-spec, grey-exported to the Philippines)

The Starlet GT turbo is a high performance model of the fourth generation Starlet, first introduced in 1990 as a successor to the 70 series Starlet 1.3 Turbo R. The EP82 GT turbo was powered by a turbocharged version of a Toyota's E Engine, the 4E-FTE with a CT9 turbocharger. This engine produced 135 PS (99 kW) at 6,400 rpm. The car weighed in at 890 kilograms (1,962 lb), providing a greater than 100 kilowatt per tonne power-to-weight ratio. Adding to its handling abilities, Toyota's active suspension technology continued from the previous generation, called TEMS.

As with other Japanese market Starlets, the GT Turbo received minor changes in January 1992 which included new bumpers and rear combination lamps. The second minor change was given in May 1994, this time with four round quad headlights combined with the mesh grille. The tail lights remained the same, but the full length center garnish was replaced by the small ones on each side.

Production of the car ended in December 1995, but the popularity of the car is still maintained by a cult of drivers, mainly as a used import. The Starlet GT turbo and the normally aspirated 1.3 Gi were replaced by the Starlet Glanza series, the Glanza V and Glanza S respectively.

Two limited edition versions of the GT turbo were produced; the GT Limited and the GT Advance, both featured small changes such as different steering wheels and gear shifter knobs, a rear strut bar, ABS (later versions only) and were distinguishable by their two tone paint scheme. These models also featured an optional LSD which was available with the C153 transaxle.

Fifth generation (P90; 1996–1999)[edit]

90 Series
1996-1997 Toyota Starlet (EP91R) Style 5-door hatchback (2011-03-10) 01.jpg
Starlet 1.3 Style (EP91, Australia)
ProductionJanuary 1996 – July 1999
Body and chassis
Body style3/5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive / four-wheel-drive
Wheelbase2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length3,750–3,790 mm (147.6–149.2 in)
Width1,625 mm (64.0 in)
Height1,400–1,415 mm (55.1–55.7 in)

The Starlet 90 series, introduced in 1996, retained the same ideas of three- or five-door hatchback. The unique design is sloped-down belt line on front doors. The Japanese versions were divided into three models: Reflet (normal), Glanza (sports), and Carat (more luxurious). The Reflet (Base, f, and x), the Carat, and the Glanza S were powered by the 4E-FE engine. The Base model was also offered with the 1N Diesel engine. Based on the five-door Reflet, the Starlet Remix came with rugged SUV style. It has over fenders, body cladding, roof rail, and spare tire mounted on the back.


The 90-series Starlet shared its platform with the Paseo including suspension, engines and many other components. The RHD Starlet has its own dashboard design with slightly higher center AC outlets, while the LHD shares the dashboard with Tercel and Paseo.

Toyota Starlet 1.3 GLi 5 door (EP91, Europe)

The Starlet EP91 came to Europe in the second quarter of 1996. Although basically all European models were 1.3 XLi with a 75 PS (55 kW) version of the 4E-FE engine, they were marketed in different name across Europe. Initially the UK models were the base 1.3 Sportif and the upmarket 1.3 CD (with standard CD Player and Sunroof). In 1998, the UK line up was revised with base 1.3 S, sporty 1.3 SR (with lowered suspension, spoiler, and sport exhaust), and loaded 1.3 GLS. The French models were Base, GL, and GLS. In Switzerland, the upgraded model similar to GLS is called 1.3 Crystal, while in Norway is called SLi. All of high grade models have driver's side SRS Airbag, tachometer, front power windows, rear headrests, and coloured bumpers. ABS and Sunroof are options.

The only generation sold new in Australia, the EP91 Starlet was available from March 1996 to December 1999, originally under three trim levels, the base three-door Life, sporty three-door Group X and luxury five-door Style. In 1997 a five-door version of the Life was introduced. During 1998, the Group X and Style models were dropped, and the Life gained a driver's airbag as standard equipment. When first sold in Australia, the Starlet suffered from higher pricing in its category, but sold well later on after Toyota entered a small-car price cut war, competing against the Hyundai Excel and Ford Festiva.[9][10]

Minor changes with new front bumpers, grille, tail lights, and revised interior fabric were new for 1998 Japanese market models. Production of the Starlet ended in July 1999, just after the launch of the Yaris.


The Starlet Glanza is the sports version of the P90 generation Starlet, and is the successor to the 80 series naturally aspirated Starlet 1.3 Gi and Starlet GT Turbo. The name "Glanza" comes from the German word "Glanz", which means "brilliancy" or "sparkle". The Glanza S was powered by the naturally aspirated 1331 cc 4E-FE and the Glanza V was powered by the turbocharged 1331 cc 4E-FTE. The 4E-FE used in the Glanza S generated 85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp) which, for the extremely light Starlet, was enough to propel the car from 0–100 km/h in 11.9 seconds. The turbo 4E-FTE used in the Glanza V generated 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) at 6400 rpm with a 0–100 km/h time of 8.2 seconds (factory brochure stats).

In December 1996, the Glanza S Limited was released. It has standard body kits same as Glanza V Turbo except the scooped-hood and the engine did not have a Turbo. A lightweight version of the Glanza V was also available without air conditioner and electric windows to keep the car as light as possible, being intended for competitive usage.

The Glanza S and Glanza V were only officially available on the Japanese market, although some used private imports made their way to the UK, New Zealand, and many other right-hand drive markets.

The "Glanza" nameplate was revived in 2019 for the rebadged variant of the Indian market Suzuki Baleno hatchback.[11] The vehicle was released through a partnership with Indian automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki.


  • Toyota Starlet EP82/EP85/NP80 Japanese Brochures December 1989, January 1992, and May 1994.
  • Toyota Starlet EP81 Indonesian Brochures 1994 and 1997.
  • Toyota Starlet EP91 European Brochures 1997 from France, Switzerland, UK, and Belgium.
  1. ^ Toyota Vehicle Identification Manual. Japan: Toyota Motor Corporation – Overseas Parts Department. 1984. Catalog No.97913-84.
  2. ^ "Autotest: Toyota Starlet". Autocar. Vol. 149 (nbr 4264). 29 July 1978. pp. 33–37.
  3. ^ a b c d 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1979/1980] (in Japanese). 26. Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. 1 November 1979. p. 130. 053-790026-3400.
  4. ^ 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1979/1980] (in Japanese). 26. Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. 1 November 1979. p. 188. 053-790026-3400.
  5. ^ "2nd Starlet Van". 75 years of Toyota: Vehicle Lineage. Toyota. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  6. ^ "History of the Toyota Starlet – Toyota". 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  7. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 1986). Automobil Revue 1986 (in German and French). 81. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 533. ISBN 3-444-00450-8.
  8. ^ Anderson, Donn, ed. (March 1993). "Newsline: Starlet goes 5-door...and auto!". New Zealand Car. Auckland, New Zealand: Accent Publishing Cnr. 7 (5): 13. ISSN 0113-0196.
  9. ^ Mellor, John. "Toyota Starlet EP91R Starlet 1996–1998". Go Auto. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  10. ^ Mellor, John. "Toyota Starlet EP91R Starlet Series II 1998–1999". Go Auto. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Maruti Suzuki dispatches 364 made-in-Gujarat Glanzas to Toyota Kirloskar Motor". Autocar India. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Toyota Starlet
Succeeded by