Toyota launches Starlet for ‘budget’ SUV market

The Toyota Starlet has been reintroduced into the Nigerian market after 12 years, and this time, it comes as a mini subcompact SUV offering a budget appeal at the entry-level segment of the SUV market.

The starlet was a subcompact car that did its fair share on the roads from 1973 to 1999 before it was discontinued and then reintroduced 10 years later in 2019, but it could not be launched in Nigeria. Its re-launch at the time, coincided with COVID-19 induced disruptions but has now been launched into the local market by Toyota Nigeria Limited.

“The Starlet is our response to the yearnings of our customers that have over the years demanded an entry vehicle,” said Kunle Ade-Ojo, managing director, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, in remarks delivered on his behalf by Bunmi Onafowokan, GM, Corporate Services. “It is an elegant vehicle imbued with the quality, durability, reliability and style that the Toyota brand stands for,” he said.

The mini subcompact SUV comes with 150,000 kilometres or 5 years warranty; whichever comes first. The 1.4 litre engine vehicle also has three variants, which are said to cater to the preferences and pockets of the target segment. The available variants are Entry grade, Midgrade and High grade.

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It has a multi-point injection fuel system, 37 litres fuel capacity, rack and pinion steering, maximum torque of 130nm/4200 rpm, and continuously variable transmission.

The five-seater vehicle has push start ignition for its high grade variant, and during a test drive, its particularly roomy feature could not be overlooked.

For units purchased through authorised dealers, they are expected to benefit from services at what Ade-Ojo’s remarks described as a “world-class Certified Service Centre (CSC) at Isolo, Lagos,” that would soon be commissioned. The facility, he said, has a body and paint section, a workshop and a parts section among other services available.

“With all sense of responsibility, I wish to note that this Centre is second-to-none in Nigeria when compared to others, on the pedestal of equipment, highly trained manpower and exceptional service delivery,” he said. “It is expedient to add at this juncture that this unique Centre is a fertile training ground for our dealers’ Technicians to gain hands-on experience.”

Toyota (Nigeria) Limited will according to him, continue to invest in the Nigerian Automobile Industry and also align with the aspirations of the Nigerian government to revolutionize the local Industry.

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