Toyota Motor Corporation developed extremely cheap hybrid minivan

Toyota Sienta Hybrid is the all-new minivan that has an indigenous styling and a powerful hybrid powertrain built around a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, similar to that of the Toyota Prius C small hatchback.

8/18/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

It seems that Toyota Motor Corporation is outrunning everyone: the company has tons of unique patents, more electric, hybrid, hydrogen vehicles than any other company, and you know what?

It’s not everything.

Recently the Japanese automotive manufacturer presented a minivan with a hybrid drivetrain for extremely low price –approximately $14,000.

The minivan has been developed only for Japanese market, but as often it happens, the company aims to expand and soon this affordable beauty will be available to buy in the US as well as in the European Union.

Let’s talk about it more.

Toyota Sienta Minivan

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Toyota Sienta is the successor of the first-generation of a much smaller minivan model(also named Sienta) first introduced in 2003.

At first sight, the vehicle is supposed to have some similarities with its predecessor, but it doesn’t work.

The brand-new vehicle has been completely redesigned (it would be even fair to say that the vehicle has been built almost from scratch) and now it is increased in size (almost as big as Mazda 5), features unorthodox styling and has quite powerful hybrid powertrain – this family car crank out about 110 HP.

And yeah…surprisingly enough, Toyots Sienta has a relatively cool design (check out the photos below).

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With its redesign, the Sienta, which started out as a Renault Twingo knockoff in 2003, has become a very own thing. Its slightly larger dimensions are masked by styling that mixes in some Mazda 5, Fiat 500L, and Kia Soul. Each graphic element on the Sienta’s front and rear fascias is somehow related to something else- the styling is said to be inspired by a trekking shoe - and contrived as it works.

Every cutline and window shape has been reimagined, and design oddities show that Toyota’s design department has been loading up on caffeine.

It looks a bit like a Prius C having a bad allergic reaction, and it's available in a palette of retina-shocking colors.

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The styling - Toyota says it was inspired by "trekking shoes" - can be further livened up by optional "Flex Tone" colored trim that allows buyers, for example, to have a bright yellow car with blue accents.

On the inside, things are just as strange, with oddly-molded shapes housing the 4.2-inch display screen and center stack, and a random-looking splash of orange trim.

Under the hood

Underneath the unusual styling is a hybrid powertrain built around a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, similar to that of the Toyota Prius C small hatchback sold in North America.

Total operational output using both gasoline and electric sources is 100 horsepower, and the Sienta hybrid is rated at 64 mpg on the (somewhat optimistic) Japanese testing cycle.

There's also a non-hybrid version that uses the same 1.5-liter engine, but tuned to produce 109 hp. It gets 48 mpg on the Japanese cycle.

Different configurations

The Sienta is available in five-, six-, or seven-seat configurations, with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Rows are arranged "stadium" style - with each row slightly higher than the one in front - to improve visibility for all occupants.

Toyota says it was able to create a flat load floor by positioning the hybrid models' battery pack beneath the front of the second seat row, and installing a slimmer fuel tank. That's the same trick it used in the Prius C.

Because of this - and a lower step-in height than previous models -Toyota is advertising the Sienta as a good candidate for wheelchair accessibility conversions.

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When we’ll see this minivan available to order?

To be frank with you, I don’t know and more likely – no one knows (except Toyota Motor Corporation CEO).

To date, the Toyota Sienta is on sale only in Japan with prices starting at 1,689,709 yen ($13,691), but we do hope that soon it will be changed.

Of course, we could only dream of buying the vehicle for that low (with tax incentives price on the car will be much higher), but I do think that its price tag will be still High Market and a lot of customers will come to buy cheap minivan.

Well, let’s wish Toyota Motos good luck and hope that second-generation Sienta will arrive quite soon.

 

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