The first Toyota Starlet was introduced by the Toyota in 1973 as a small vehicle. The Starlet was introduced as a replacement for the Publica; however, it still kept the Publica’s P code as well as generation numbering. Even after the launch of Starlet, in may export market, Publica name continued to be used for some time.
40 Series (1973-1978)
In April 1973, the earlier model of Starlet was introduced as the Publica Starlet 40 series. Initially, the Starlet was available with a 1000 cc and 1200 cc engines. Look wise, the car appeared to be like a shorter version of Corolla. The Starlet 40 series was offered as 2-door sedan and 3-door wagon. In October 1973, the 4-door sedan was also introduced. The different trim levels offered include Standard, Deluxe, Hi-Deluxe, St and SR.
60 Series (1979-1984)
The Starlet 60 series was launched in 1978. Unlike the previous model that was only offered in Japan, Starlet 60 series was offered in several other countries. Different engines used in 60 series include 993 cc (KP60 2K), 1,166 cc (KP62 3K) and 1,290 cc (KP61 4K). In the export market, the 3- and 4-door hatchbacks were sold. A 5-door variant was offered in Japan, Hong Kong and Germany. The different levels offered include Standard, Deluxe or DX in some markets, GL, XL, S and SE.
70 Series (1985-1990)
In October 1984, the Starlet 70 series was launched for the first time as front wheel drive with 3- and 5-door hatchbacks. The K-series engines previously used were replaced by the new 12-valve 1E and 2E engines. In Japan, the trim levels offered include Standard, DX, Soleil, XL, XL Lisse, SE, Si, Si Limited, Ri, Turbo R and Turbo S. The turbo models received a 2E-TELU engine. The Ri and the Turbo R versions were light-weighted, particularly designed for motorsports. The trim levels offered in the export market include 1.0 Standard, 1.0 DX, 1.0 XL, 1.0 XL Lisse, 1.3 DX, 1.3 XL, 1.3 S, and 1.3 SE.
The 1.0 XL was regarded as the first Starlet model that was assembled outside Japan. It was assembled in Indonesia in 1985 followed by 1.3-L model a year later.
80 Series (1990-1996)
In December 1989, the Starlet 80 series was launched in Japan. The 80 series had a more angular and rounded body style and a completely revised interior. The models offered in Japan came equipped with a 4E-F, 4E-FE, and turbocharged 4E-FTE. However, the export model still be offered with 1E and 2E engines and a new special version 4E-FE was included in Hong Kong and UK lineup. Another 1n 1.5-L diesel engine was also offered.
The Starlet 80 series was offered in several trim levels in the Japanese market including Soleil, the best sellingSoleil L, S, X, X Limited, Si, Canvas Top, the sports model Gi and GT Turbo. The sports model featured distinctive bumpers, headlights and taillights. The Japanese permanent 4WD models, EP85 were available in Soleil L, S, and X Limited grades.
90 Series (1996-1999)
In 1996, the 90 series Starlet was launched as 3- and 4-door hatchback. The Japanese market received three different versions of 90 series Starlet including the Reflet (normal), the Glanza (sports), and the Carat (classic). The 4E-FE engine was offered in the Reflet (Base, F and X), the Carat and the Glanza S. The Base model also received the 1N diesel engine.