1997 Toyota Starlet Life 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A practical pocket rocket


The rear-view mirror and parcel shelf rattle.

Driver's side seat belt buckle has become sticky, making it difficult to buckle occasionally.

General Comments:

It has no power steering, but it handles so lightly that it doesn't require it.

The front seats have enough room for me - I can sit comfortably despite my 194 centimetre frame.

Surprisingly quick off the lights for a 1.3 litre engine.

Excellent 360 degree vision.

Grey bumper bars are rather ugly.

It gets quite noisy at speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2002

17th Oct 2002, 07:14

I too have a 97 Toyota Starlet Life.

I purchased it new and am very pleased with it.

It is an automatic

It has no rattles, handles brilliantly, does not have a gray bumper bar, the bumper is the same as the rest of the car

It does get noisy at speed, but that is not a problem, just pump up the stereo a little ;)

18th Apr 2003, 10:10

I have a 97 Starlet. Rear parcel shelf rattles, don't know how to overcome it. Bumpers are same color as body. It has power steering.

The seat belt on driver side tends to stick a bit, but is OK. Lovely little car and I love it lots. Really good investment.

The mechanics all round town tell me that they have never seen a major engine problem with the Starlets.

20th Jun 2009, 09:16

Hi, I own a Toyota Starlet 97 Life. I lost my owners manual when I was shifting my home. Can anybody suggest me where to get it? Thank you.

8th Sep 2010, 19:28

I have had my Toyota Starlet Life for a couple years and it is already 3rd hand. It's a beautiful piece of machinery and drives and handles well, it does get off the lights very quickly but what it does need is power steering.

Its best gear in the city is 3rd, but out on the country side its best is 5th.

I do have problems with the clutch though, also the front does rattle a lot. I have also noticed that the lights are not as bright other cars, I have turned the light switch to the maximum. The front bumper bar is the same colour as the rest of the car, which I like.

This is probably the best first car for someone to own, it's affordable and is very simple to drive. I do wish that they had made more models of this fantastic car. I give this car 9 out of 10. Go Toyota.

1997 Toyota Starlet Xli 1.3 gas from Chile

General Comments:

My car is brilliant. Very fast and stable, it reaches 180 kph...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2000

1997 Toyota Starlet Sportif 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Nippy, comfortable, reliable and attractive


New windscreen wipers at MOT in May.

General Comments:

The best car I have owned since I started driving in 1966. Have test driven the Toyota Yaris but much prefer the Starlet and will find it difficult to replace when I eventually decide to change. I normally replace cars around about the 2 year mark but I have had this one for over 3 and don't want to part with it - unless it was with another Starlet if it was still manufactured.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th June, 2000