Used Toyota Sienta: From RM 70k, skip the 12-month wait for a new Alza with this quirky JDM MPV
Eric · Dec 29, 2022 02:10 PM
Introduced in Malaysia in 2016, the Toyota Sienta didn’t exactly get off a great start. Despite being manufactured in Indonesia and imported (CBU) to Malaysia, the ASEAN-spec Sienta is actually derived from a Japanese domestic market model, which explains its quirky exterior and funky interior.
And due to that, many Malaysians didn’t exactly welcome the Sienta with open arms. Yours truly knows this first-hand, as some family members wasn’t too receptive of the Sienta’s quirky exterior design.
But that was years ago, and things have changed. So much so that used units of the Sienta are now in demand.
When the Sienta was introduced here in 2016, UMW Toyota Motor offered two variants of the model, the 1.5 G and 1.5 V. Both variants are powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre 2NR-FE that outputs 107 PS and 140 Nm, mated to a CVT automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.
The base-spec Sienta 1.5 G offers halogen headlights, 15-inch silver-finished alloy wheels, regular LED tail lights, passenger-side power sliding door, and manual air-conditioning controls.
The top-spec 1.5 V offered features like automatic Bi-LED headlights, 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, keyless entry with push start button, acoustic windshield, and dual power-sliding doors.
Later in 2018, UMWT dropped the entry-level 1.5 G from the line-up, leaving the 1.5 V as the sole variant. At the same time, the 1.5 V also gained some improvements, namely a new 6.9-inch infotainment system, rear USB charging port, and removable trunk mat for the rear cargo area.
Which variant to get?
If your budget permits, aim for the Sienta 1.5 V variant, as it offers dual power-sliding doors. The lower 1.5 G variant only offers power sliding door on the passenger side.
Regardless of variant, all Sienta models sold in Malaysia offer 3 airbags (dual front, driver knee) and stability control.
Being a Toyota, there are hardly any major issues to speak of. That being said, we would highly recommend potential owners to shop for late model year examples, ie 2018 to 2019 examples, as these still have their 5-year warranty intact.
The warranty is necessary as Sienta owners have reported of the steering wheel material peeling off easily. In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty minor issue and Toyota will rectify it under warranty.
If the car isn’t under warranty, most accessory shops should be able to rewrap the steering wheel for RM 350 or so, though the final price is dependent on the material you choose.
In addition to that, some owners also reported of squeaking noises from the belt tensioner. Like the steering wheel material, Toyota will fix it under warranty. If you do opt for one that isn't covered by the warranty anymore, the tensioner will set you back in the region of RM 300 or so.
Lastly, owners have reported failure of the electric fan in the engine bay. This will cause the engine to overheat. Expect to fork out around RM 200 or so if you experience this and the warranty is already over.
Despite being rather unpopular when it was new, used units of the Toyota Sienta are in demand.
After all, while newer MPVs like the Alza are decked to the brim with features, it still relies on wide-opening rear doors for access to the third-row seats, while the Sienta and its twin powered sliding doors just makes things so much easier.
On top of that, the Sienta’s third-row seats can be tucked neatly under the second-row seats, giving it a full-flat cargo space. The same cannot be said for the Alza or its rivals.
While Malaysians will most likely miss out the all-new third-generation Sienta, a used one is still worth considering, especially if you don’t feel like waiting up to 12 months for a brand-new Alza.