1989 Toyota Starlet Review

1989 Toyota Starlet Turbo S 1.3 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.3 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired28000 miles
Most recent distance35000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro

Summary:

Traffic light champion with hairy handling!

Faults:

Nothing went wrong with the car whilst I owned it, it looked like new inside and out!

Turbo was whistling a bit more loudly when I sold it, a mechanic told me it was wearing out, but it felt fine to drive and wasn't using any oil!

General Comments:

Pocket Rocket! I estimate the performance to be similar to a Renault 5 GT Turbo, it only had 108 BHP, but was very light weight at 750kg.

Off the mark it was very quick, I upset an Astra GTE one time by making a fool of him in front of his girlfriend at the lights!

The car had appalling handling, it would rock like a boat coming out of a tight corner, despite its alloy wheels and low profile rubber.

I sold the car to buy an MR2 Turbo, which was much better in every way, but the little Starlet gave me a taste for turbo cars I still have!

I remember it could manage over 40 mpg, and if it had handled, would have been a very capable hot hatch!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2003

8th Jan 2011, 08:25

The handling comes down to the suspension. After 10+ years, I'm sure that suspension would have needed replacing anyway. Put new sports suspension in it, and magic. I own one, and it's a machine for cornering.

Average review marks: 8.6 / 10, based on 1 review