Toyota Sienta 1.5 G (A) Hybrid Review

Toyota Sienta 1.5 G (A) Hybrid Review

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
22 Oct 2015

If you are shopping for a small MPV, it would perhaps have come to your attention that there are plenty of choices available from the various Japanese marques, Toyota has the Sienta, Honda has the Freed and Mobilio, Mazda has the 5, and Kia has the new Carens, just to name a few.

Introduction and Exterior

In this crowded marketplace, Toyota realised that its Sienta had to be special in order to win the hearts of buyers, and as a result, they really did give the Sienta character that the Wish didn’t have as much of.

To give the Sienta a character, Toyota took a funky approach to designing the car. This is most obvious with the funky and bubbly exterior styling. The front fascia of the car appears to be that of a friendly face, littered with interesting touches around the car.

The black plastic extension from the headlights to the pod-like fog lamps is a styling cue that is also repeated at the rear, where the rear lights are joined by similar extensions. This black accent is also featured on the sliding doors, just before the rear wheels, highlighting the Sienta’s quirkiness and giving it a unique styling.

Differences from the X model on the G model as tested include fog lamps and reverse cameras, while there is little else apart from blue Toyota badges and a couple of hybrid emblems to show that this car is slightly different.

Inside the Sienta’s cabin, it is apparent that the funky theme is carried into the interior too. The mishmash of lines on the dashboard appear to have been styled by hand than with rulers and protractors, the orange accent across the dash and around the air-conditioning vents add pizzazz to the funky styling.


Steering wheel controls and a full-colour vehicle information screen are niceties that the G model has over the lesser X model. Akin to aftermarket head units, the information screen says “Hello” when the driver starts the car. Unique to the hybrid, the rev counter is replaced by a gauge that tells the driver whether the car is charging, in eco mode, or in power mode.

Being a small MPV, passengers can’t expect acres of space in the cabin, but thanks to the funky exterior styling that manages to hide the box-like shape of the car, interior space is actually rather generous. The large glasshouse also helps by the cabin feel airy and spacious.

While the middle row seas are reasonably comfortable, the last row seats are unfortunately good only for adults on short trips at best. With the last row seats up, there still is sufficient boot space for some shopping too, and should you need more space, folding the seats down is a doddle too.

The Sienta’s hybrid drivetrain that is identical to the one in the Aqua Hybrid, with both the same 1.5-litre engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive, which produces 72bhp, and 111Nm of torque, and driving the wheels through a special Super CVT-i gearbox optimised for fuel efficiency.

The Drive

There is no doubt that given Toyota’s lengthy experience and expertise with manufacturing hybrid drivetrains, the one in the Sienta was brilliant. The engine switched between electric and petrol propulsion seamlessly, while the start-stop system was just as smooth.

However, due to the stark deficit of power compared to its purely petrol-driven sibling, the Sienta Hybrid feels a tad more pedestrian in terms of acceleration.
As the Sienta is an MPV, there should be more power and torque to cope with the additional weight over that of the Aqua. Nonetheless, performance is adequate, given that the purpose of a family runabout is more about practicality and efficiency, and less so about performance.

Toyota has tried to make its Sienta stand out amongst the crowd of small MPVs, and it has succeeded in adding appeal to what could have otherwise been “just another” boring MPV. The Sienta aces in the areas that matter for a small family MPV – space, efficiency, and low price.


Car review sponsored by: Autolink Holdings

Credits: Oneshift Editorial Team

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