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Toyota Starlet Hatchback engines, drive and performance

1996 - 1999 (change model)
Performance rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Just the one 16 valve 1.3 litre engine for the last-generation Starlet, which is lively without being too quick. A 0-60 mph time of just under 12 seconds is respectable as is the top speed of just over 100 mph. The fine five-speed gearbox helps to deliver the power smoothly, and also gives the Starlet a big car feel on the move.

The driver has a comfortable driving position and clear instrumentation, but the steering is on the lifeless side and the car rolls around sharp corners. The ride is firm, but on longer journeys it is fairly quiet and refined. In town however, power steering is a big help. Vague PAS, patchy roadholding, wallowy suspension, notchy gears; good brakes.