August 18, 2016 @ 07:27 PM

Sienta spices up MPV segment

It isn't often we’re excited about an MPV but the Sienta does hit the right spots.


MPVs are not the most exciting things in the automotive world but Toyota are about to switch that up with the all-new Toyota Sienta; a sub RM100k seven-seater that you cannot help but smirk at with its zany styling.
 
Once you get over the quirky exterior, you will notice that the Sienta is not exactly the largest seven-seater in the market and a quick scan of the measurements confirms that it is actually shorter than the Perodua Alza by 35mm at 4235mm but makes up for it with a higher roofline by 75mm at 1695mm.


 
Owing its unconventional styling to its JDM origins, its chief engineer; Hiroshi Kayukawa, said that the second generation Sienta was always meant to be sold outside of Japan. Toyota has always played it safe with its Asean-only affordable MPVs such as the Avanza and Innova that are tepid and bordering bland in their designs.
 
Additionally, the Asean-market Sienta that is manufactured in Indonesia has a higher ground clearance than that of the JDM variant.


 
Motivating the Sienta is the new 1.5-litre 2NR-FE dual VVT-i engine that produces 106bhp and 140Nm of torque that turns the front wheels via a CVT with seven virtual ratios. The smaller 1.3-litre version of this engine can be found in the facelifted Avanza and Perodua Bezza and we suspect it will be making its way into the facelifted Vios that is slated for a launch this year as well.
 
Two variants will be available; an entry level 1.5G and the full works 1.5V. Those bi-LED headlamps and taillights with flowing LED signature lights are only reserved for the 1.5V, as are larger 16-inch alloy wheels.


 
Filling up the range-topper’s list is keyless entry, push-start button, Optitron instrument panel with multi-info display, automatic air-conditioning and a 6.8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment and reverse camera. Other bells and whistles reserved for the top-spec Sienta are dual-powered sliding doors, brown fabric upholstery and a dash cam.
 
If you go with the 1.5G, the exterior lighting will be downgraded to halogen headlamps and plain LED tail lights with smaller 15-inch wheels as well.


 
The infotainment comprises a double-DIN Bluetooth head unit and the interior is wrapped in black fabric while only the left sliding door is powered.
 
Inside, things are just as eccentric as the exterior and that is something we can all appreciate. The split-tier dash opens up storage options with an upper and lower glove box as well as two cup-holders for the driver and front passenger.


 
Second and third row passengers get air-conditioning vents mounted above the second row. To maximise cargo room with the last row dropped, the third row seats fold under the second row for a flat surface and if that is not sufficient, the second row folds forward to further increase cargo capacity.
 
Something UMW Toyota did not skimp on is safety and both variants get the same amount of kit. Three airbags (dual front and driver knee), ABS, EBD, BA, stability control, hill-start assist and ISOFIX anchorage points are standard.
 
Pricing for the entry-level 1.5G is RM92,900 and the 1.5V is RM99,900, both on-the-road with insurance and a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

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