Indian Maruti Baleno vs South African Toyota Starlet -Comparison

Comparisons/ Features » Indian Maruti Baleno vs South African Toyota Starlet -Comparison

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The South African market has the Toyota Starlet which is the badge-engineered version of the Made-in-India Maruti Suzuki Baleno. We compare the two in-depth here.

This is a detailed comparison of the Toyota Starlet and Maruti Suzuki Baleno sold in the South African market. Both these belong to the premium hatchback segment which is quite popular among car buyers who are looking to upgrade from their entry-level vehicles. Essentially, the two hatchbacks are identical in terms of powertrains, features and design since the Starlet is the rebadged version of the Baleno under the Suzuki-Toyota joint venture. Let us take a look at the details of each of these here.

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Toyota Starlet vs Suzuki Baleno Comparison
Toyota Starlet vs Suzuki Baleno Comparison

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Toyota Starlet vs Suzuki Baleno Comparison – Specs

The powertrains for these hatchbacks are supplied by Suzuki. There is a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that makes 77 kW (103 hp) and 138 Nm of peak power and torque. This is the same engine that powers the Brezza and Ertiga in the Indian market. Complementing this engine are 5-speed MT and AMT gearboxes. The claimed fuel consumption is 5.4 l/100 km (MT) and 5.7 l/100 km (AT).

Specs ComparisonSuzuki BalenoToyota Starlet
Engine1.5-litre petrol1.5-litre petrol
Power / Torque77 kW / 138 Nm77 kW / 138 Nm
Transmission5-MT / AMT5-MT / AMT
Fuel Consumption5.4 l/100 km5.4 l/100 km
Specs Comparison

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Dimensions and Features

Since the Baleno is made-in-India, it is under 4 m in length which is critical for the Indian market to get a tax reduction, effectively lowering the overall price of the vehicle. The same model is exported to the SA market. Here are the dimensions of the hatchbacks:

Dimensions Comparison (mm)Toyota StarletSuzuki Baleno
Boot Space314 litres314 litres
Dimensions Comparison

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In terms of features, both these come with a 9-inch Infotainment System, a 4.2-inch MID, USB-A and C type ports, Automatic Climate Control, Smart Keyless Entry, Push-Button Start, 6 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, Hill Assist Control and more. However, the Baleno has an edge with the addition of a 360-camera and Heads-up Display which are missing in the Starlet.

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Price and Verdict

The prices of the Suzuki Baleno range from R231,900 to R301,900 whereas the Toyota Starlet retails between R233,000 to R313,300. Additionally, Suzuki is offering a 5-year / 200,000 km promotional warranty plan and a 4-year / 60,000 km service plan compared to Toyota’s 3-year / 100,00 km warranty and 3-services / 45,000 km service plans. Hence, the Suzuki Baleno is definitely a much more affordable buy. But if you want to go ahead with Toyota because the service centre is near or you already have a great relationship with the brand, then you will need to spend a little extra.