Toyota has launched a new generation of its small Sienta people mover in Japan with seating for up to seven passengers, as well as hybrid and all-wheel drive options.

    A Toyota Australia spokesperson has confirmed the new Sienta “is not currently planned for introduction into the Australian market”.

    The third-generation Sienta is related to the Yaris, sharing its TNGA GA-B underpinnings with the small hatchback as well as the Yaris Cross SUV.

    The Sienta measures 4260mm long, 1695mm wide, 1715mm tall, with a 2750mm wheelbase.

    This makes it the same width as the Yaris hatch, but 320mm longer and 210mm taller, with a 200mm longer wheelbase.

    Compared to the second-generation Sienta, the new model is 20mm taller and 80mm longer inside the cabin which Toyota says translates to improved second-row space.

    Powering the new Toyota Sienta is a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine producing 88kW of power and 145Nm of torque. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with 10 artificial steps that replicate gear changes.

    The Sienta is also available as a hybrid, with an e-CVT, a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two or three electric motors.

    The hybrid option with two electric motors is front-wheel drive-only, and the option with three electric motors is all-wheel drive.

    Toyota hasn’t supplied total system outputs for this series parallel-hybrid powertrain, but the engine produces 67kW/120Nm, the front electric motors produce 59kW/141Nm, and the rear electric motor produces 2.2kW/44Nm.

    All of these powertrains are already available locally in the Yaris Cross.

    Toyota claims the non-hybrid engine consumes 5.5L/100km according to WLTC testing, and the hybrid powertrain can consume as little as 3.5L/100km.

    The Sienta is offered with features like dual electric sliding doors, a ceiling air circulator, sunshades on the sliding doors, water- and oil-repellent fabric seats, and a 1500W accessory power outlet, among others.

    It also comes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and daytime motorcyclist detection, Proactive Driving Assist, semi-autonomous parking assist, as well as front and rear dash cams.

    The Sienta is also available in special wheelchair-adapted variants, referred to as Welcab.

    These Sienta Welcab models include modifications such as a ramp with air suspension on the rear wheels, the removal of rear seats, as well as the option of reduced steering operation force.

    Pricing for the Sienta starts in Japan at ¥1.95 million ($A20,649) for the five-seat non-hybrid base model, and extends to ¥3.11 million ($A32,912) for the top-of-the range seven-seat E-Four hybrid model.

    The Toyota Sienta is one of a long list of compact people movers not sold here.

    People movers have largely fallen away in Australia as SUV sales have continued to rise.

    Past small people mover offerings in Australia have included the Kia Rondo, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Renault Scenic, Holden Zafira, Citroen C4 Picasso and the Mazda Premacy.

    Of this bunch, only the B-Class survives here to this day.

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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