1997 Toyota Starlet Life 1.3L 4EFE turbo petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Severe seat wear on driver & passenger side.
Hmm. that's about it, really. Can't fault it bar the seats.
Stock suspension wallows when changing direction quickly.
Stock exhaust extremely restrictive even on stock engine - replacing with sports will give much better drivability and more torque.
Stock clutch slips with provocation, but will give years of reliable service, for up to 6PSI of turbo boost. If you want more boost & power, you need a new clutch (~$420)
Gearchange can be a little vague, synchros wear easily.
Headlights are OK for most situations, but could be a lot better. Installing decent driving lights is a great fix.
Seats have worn badly in 8 years of usage, metal bars rubbing through on shoulderblades. If you're a big bloke, you'll want to get extra padding in the seats or install sportier seats (MR2 Spider seats are fantastic)
All in all, an absolutely marvellous car with huge potential. A true turbo shopping trolley. Seats four comfortably, will zip and zoom about with ease, light and nimble, and fairly frugal on fuel (11.2L/100km when driven extremely hard around mountain roads, on a 214HP @ front wheels tune.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th June, 2006