Toyota Launches Home-Market Hybrid Minivan

The latest Japan-market Sienta is available in both hybrid-electric and petrol versions.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) has rolled out its new hybrid minivan for its local market. The latest version, called ‘Sienta’, is viable in both types of fuel versions, namely petrol and hybrid electric versions.

The design is inspired by the trekking sneaker, and is targeted towards families who enjoy road trips and camping to areas that are dubbed as the equivalent to Japan’s own Grand Canyon. The interior of the vehicle boasts a “stadium seating” whereby each successive rows is tilted a bit higher, providing a chance for kids to look out from the window, and not glue themselves together to their ‘electronic devices’ all the time.

Instead of very mundane and uninspiring colors of staid silvers and champagne, the Sienta offers a palette of various colors labeled as “fun” such as yellow, bright green, electric blue, dark blood red, etc. As an example, some versions of blue and bronze can be highlighted around grilled side mirrors. An orange color indicates the presence of glove box, which is otherwise hidden inside a nicely sculpted dash.

The Sienta also boasts an ultra-low floor, which is over less than 2 inches than from the previous model, most likely providing an easy entry and loading of goods in the back. Overall, the size of the mini pickup van is much smaller than an ordinary US minivan. It is probably an equivalent to that of a typical European MPV or the Mazda5.

The choices of power come from two options: One from the 1.5L hybrid system, which is good for 73/60hp gasoline motor output and the 64 mpg in the Japanese cycle. The pure petrol, on the other hand, takes on 79hp, gets 48 mpg, and is available with front wheel drive.

Toyota has also installed a new Safety Sense C Suite consisting of lane departures, electronic helpers (inclusive of pre-collision alert and braking system), as well as automatic high beams to be optimum at all trim levels. The Sienta has hit the market this weekend, with generally well accommodative responses.

Toyota’s stock price ended the day at $131.52, a gain of less than 2% from the previous week, though that is not entirely related to the release of the latest edition of the minivan. Speculations of positive reviews about the products lifted stocks up when the company hinted on the release of a new version of a mining van, albeit smaller than its predecessor. The company holds an optimistic stance towards the future of the vehicle.