New Toyota Sienta Debuts In Japan As A 3-Row Hybrid Minivan Based On The Yaris


Toyota unveiled the all-new Sienta in Japan, a TNGA-based compact minivan offering a spacious interior with up to three rows of seats, and the option of an efficient hybrid powertrain.

This is the third generation of the Sienta following the original model that debuted in 2003 and the second-gen that followed in 2015. The new Sienta shares its TNGA-B bones with the Yaris, Yaris Cross, and Aqua, although it is longer and taller compared to its platform-siblings. More specifically, the Sienta measures 4,300 mm (169.3 inches) long, 1,695 mm (66.7 inches) wide, and 1,670 mm (65.7 inches) tall. These figures are very close to its predecessor, with a slightly increased height and length, but an identical wheelbase of 2,750 mm (1098.3 inches).

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The Sienta’s design is a big departure from its predecessor, adopting cleaner looks with a rounded boxy shape. The front end is highlighted by cute LED headlights and a single bumper intake with aluminum-style accents in higher grades. On the profile, the plastic cladding on the front and rear wheelaches, along with the protective bar are a nice touch, helping hide the fact that the 15-inch alloy wheels are rather small for the vehicle’s size.

The low and flat beltline, large windows, longer sliding doors for the rear passengers, and the massive tailgate with a very low entry point show that functionality was the main priority for the design team, as is the case for most MPVs. At the back, the taillights with fancy LED graphics are vertically mounted on the sides of the windscreen, connecting it with the side windows.

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Inside, we find a simple yet modern dashboard with a free-standing infotainment touchscreen measuring up to 10.2 inches in diameter, an optional digital instrument cluster, a high-mounted center console, and a trio of cupholders. The cabin floor is flat and there are plenty of storage compartments and USB ports for charging. There are also many clever solutions like bag hooks on the armrests and smartphone pockets on the seatbacks making everyday life easier for families.

According to Toyota, the interior height has been increased by 20 mm (0.8 in.), and the redesigned second-row seats offer more legroom and headroom. There is also a roof-mounted air circulator system helping the air-conditioning system work more efficiently throughout the cabin. Depending on the trim, the color combinations range from black to brighter shades of khaki or gray, with a special deodorizing and water/oil repellent fabric upholstery for the seats.

Powertrain Options

In terms of powertrains, the Sienta is available in ICE-only form with the 1.5-liter Dynamic Force Engine petrol engine, or as a hybrid with the same combustion engine assisted by one or two electric motors and a small lithium-ion battery. Power is transmitted either to the front or all four wheels (E-Four) through a Direct Shift CVT with the 10-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic system simulating gear changes.

The TNGA-B underpinnings brought improvements in terms of rigidity, NVH, ride, and handling in combination with the new suspension comprising MacPherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear. The new platform also brought advancements in the safety department, with the latest Toyota Safety Sense ADAS suite coming standard on all trims. Among them, we find systems like the Advanced Park offering semi-autonomous parking, and the ability to record footage from the front and rear cameras in the built-in memory, similar to a dashcam.

The new Toyota Sienta is available to order in the Japanese market. Prices start from ¥1,950,000 ($14,193) for the base-spec 2WD petrol-powered five-seater, and go all the way up to ¥3,108,000 ($22,620) for the flagship E-Four hybrid seven-seater. Toyota also offers a series of Welcab models that are accessible to wheelchair users. Rival models in the compact minivan segment include the Honda Freed, while higher variants of the Toyota Sienta could also face some internal competition from the larger Noah and Voxy minivans.



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