2022 Toyota Sienta Hybrid Review: Little League MVP

Derryn Wong

1. Introduction/ Design and Appearance
2.Interior and Features / Space and Practicality
3.Driving Experience / Competition and Pricing

Driving Experience

We’ve said a lot about Toyota’s hybrid drive tech in the past: It’s top of the game when it comes to efficiency, and gives cars impeccable town manners. The Sienta is no different, often operating entirely on electricity at low speeds, where it’s EV-like in its silence.

The engine kick-in is smooth and seamless, as expected, even though it’s the first time we’ve tested a Toyota hybrid with a three-cylinder engine. It’s a new power plant, part of Toyota’s latest ‘Dynamic Force’ series.

The important thing is that it has none of the roughness some triples have, though there are minor vibrations coming through the pedals, and like all small displacement engines it moans rather than sings at high revs. Even more importantly, it’s a doggedly efficient powertrain. There are three drive modes (Eco, Normal, Power) but the beauty of a Toyota hybrid is that it can wring out the miles from petrol admirably, drive modes and driver type regardless.

On our regular commute (25km 20/80 town/highway) the car consistently delivered around 3.5L/100km. In total, the Sienta bore up 200km test with ease and returned 3.7L/100km. With the car’s 40-litre tank, that spells for 1,081km per tank. For a boxy and not particularly aerodynamic car, that’s also not fully run in, that is excellent fuel efficiency and proves Toyota is still king when it comes to petrol-electric power.

We interrupt ourselves for a little official messaging from Toyota on its hybrid advantage

The tall stance and relaxed tuning means slight understeer is endemic, though it does bear up well to demands for more. Because of this, and the added electric torque, the Sienta is capable of surprising bursts of speed around town. Town is where it excels, and it’s fine on Singapore’s highways, but above 90km/h is where the limitations start to show. As a small, tall MPV, there’s notably more wind and tyre noise the further you get from double digits. A Malaysian road trip in one is certainly possible, but you will have to take breaks for your ears.

Competition, Pricing and Conclusion

We don’t yet know the pricing of the base Standard model, but we do know what it won’t have. It’ll lack automatic lights, have less LED lighting (only the mainbeam), a powered door on the left-hand side only, leather to pleather, a more basic type of fabric on the interior and trim panels, and no USB-C charging for the second row. It also has a conventional gearshifter (not shift-by-wire) and conventional instrument panel. Interestingly enough, while some premium car variants often ditch active safety, the Standard model will retain TSS – a good thing to note for cash-strapped MPV shoppers.

When it comes to direct competition, Toyota’s boast of it being the only Cat A hybrid small MPV around might sound awfully specific, but it does tick the 1. hybrid 2. Cat A and 3. small MPV boxes that mainstream buyers will look for. Honda’s Freed, as we reported, will make its full return to Singapore in 2023, and it’s also a small MPV with sliding doors, but crucially it isn’t a hybrid.

We’ve yet to test the Freed, but knowing Honda, it’ll be slightly less plasticky and nicer to drive, but less efficient. The first two are probably not huge deal-swingers for your Regular Small MPV Joe/Joanne. Given the two cars are similarly priced, and the Sienta doesn’t cost that much more, there’s and plenty of reasons to go for the Sienta Hybrid, and almost no reason not to.

Combining the space and practicality it always has had with hybrid efficiency, a nicer cabin, and improved HMI tech is why then the Sienta is a clear Small MPV MVP. 

2022 Toyota Sienta Hybrid 

Drivetrain type Petrol-electric full hybrid 
Engine 1,490cc, inline 3
Power91hp at 5500rpm
Torque120Nm at 4800rpm 
Electric Motor79hp/141Nm
BatteryNiMh, 6.6kWh
System Power114hp
System Torque Not stated
0-100km/h12.5 seconds
Top Speed160km/h
Fuel Efficiency4.0 L/100km 
VES Band A2 / -S$15,000
AgentBorneo Motors
PriceS$150,800 with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict Efficient, spacious, easy to handle – one of the best small family cars for intra-Singapore use

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5-door 7 seat Hybrid MPV sienta Toyota

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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