Toyota Sienta 1.5V – Unique and Practical

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 30 March 2017

In a market occupied by many small MPVs, the Toyota Sienta stands out with a rather unique exterior design. It, however, brings to the table a load of advanced and practical features, coupled with Toyota’s renown reliability.


Assembled in Indonesia for this region, the Sienta comes in two variants – the 1.5G and 1.5V, with prices starting at RM92,900 for the 1.5G. Motorme.my recently got behind the wheel of the pricier 1.5V that start from RM99,900.


Although the Sienta was intended to be sold across the region, it was designed with the Japanese market in mind, thus the funky styling. While some people may need some time to digest the look, I find myself liking the general appearance of the vehicle.

You will also come to find some interesting features upon closer inspection. From hidden windshield nozzles to a curved rear windshield, you will quickly realise significant thought was put into developing this MPV.

LED Head Light

LED Head Light

The 1.5V gets bi-LED projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear guide lights and power sliding rear doors. In my opinion, these small features can be considered advanced for the segment.


The seats in the Sienta may be far from being plush but are comfortable enough for long journeys. While the base 1.5G is fitted with black upholstery, the brown fabric in this 1.5V provides a nice contrast to the grey interior panels.




The fluid curves of the exterior are also visibly present in the interior, with sleek lines surrounding the dual-tier dashboard, centre console and glovebox area. This makes the Sienta’s dashboard fresh and exciting to look at. Within the instrument cluster, the Optitron TFT multi-info display is bright, well-arranged and easy to read.



At the centre console, there is a 7-inch Capacitive touch screen that manages the MPV’s infotainment system. The 2-DIN head unit is responsive and allows for smartphone connectivity, internet browsing and WiFi while also displaying the vehicle’s navigation system and images from the reverse camera. Apart from the responsive head unit, the sound system in the Sienta is surprisingly great.

Driving position in the Sienta is pretty upright, which is fine for daily driving. You can also get in and out of the vehicle easily as the front doors have a wide opening angle. However, I found the steering wheel too low for my liking, even when I have adjusted the driver’s seat to the lowest position. A tilt-adjustment steering column would be greatly helpful in this respect.

Seating in the second and third row, you will discover that the Sienta is brilliantly spacious for a vehicle of its size. It performs exceptionally well as a daily people-mover in a congested city and its shape maximises cabin space.

It has ceiling-mounted rear air-con vents and plenty of storage space for water bottles, magazines as well as smartphones, even in the third row. Toyota has indeed taken note of the plight of Millennials who can’t seem to part ways with their gadgets.

Split-Folding Seats

Split-Folding Seats

The 50:50 split-folding third row seats can be easily stowed under the 50:50 second row seats (one-touch tumble) to suit your needs, making versatility one of the Sienta’s strong points.


Under the hood of the Toyota Sienta is a 1.5-litre 2NR-FE four-cylinder engine that produces 107hp and 140Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a sole continuous variable transmission (CVT) gearbox with a 7-speed sport sequential shiftmatic setup.



Behind the wheel

The visibility from the Sienta is good, its turning radius is tight and the engine as well as the cabin are incredibly refined. There is near to no outside noise entering the cabin at slow to medium speeds.

Back Door

Back Door

Handling is also unexpectedly impressive as the Sienta covers twists and corners reasonably well. The chassis and ride feels very composed, though there are points when I found the 195/50 tyres on the 1.5V (and 185/60 on the 1.5G) a tad too thin for the vehicle. This is evident by the slight scrub on the outer surface of the front tyres when I approached a bend a little too fast. The Sienta is, after all, not built to attack corners and the standard tyre selection is fitted partly to help with fuel consumption.

With the CVT, acceleration in the Sienta is delicate and seamless. It is nowhere near rapid and there is still the apparent ‘rubber band’ feel to the way the CVT responds. However, the DOHC with Dual VVT-i engine excels in helping to deliver a refined ride and it does not feel heavily-strained even when approaching the redline.

On paper, one may doubt the capabilities of the Sienta as a people mover with an output of 107hp but overtaking from low speeds with four passengers was no issue.


The Sienta is packed with high-end safety features usually found in more expensive people carriers. It comes standard with vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control (TRC), hill-start assist control (HAC), ABS, reverse sensor and reverse camera (optional forthe 1.5G).


There are only three airbags fitted to the Sienta, which is a slight let down. All seats in the front, second and third row, however, are fitted with three-point seatbelts with pretensioners. The second-row seats have Isofix attachment points, which help the Sienta earn a 5-star NCAP rating.

Notable features

One key feature on the Sienta is the power sliding rear doors. In the 1.5V, both rear doors are electrically-powered and can be operated either from the door handles, buttons near the driver or by remote control. This should come in handy when you pick up your kids from school as sliding doors can be too heavy for children to operate. The power can be switched off completely should you wish to operate the doors manually.

Sliding Rear Door

Sliding Rear Door

Final verdict

The Toyota Sienta redefines the compact MPV segment in Malaysia by offering unique styling, a comfortable ride and advanced safety and technological kits. If practicality and versatility is what you are looking for in an MPV, the Sienta is definitely worth considering.


Technical Specifications

Engine: 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC with Dual VVT-i

Power:107hp at 6,000rpm

Torque:140Nm at 4,200rpm

Transmission: Continuous variable transmission (CVT)

Price: RM99,900 (Sienta 1.5V)



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