Cars the Philippines should get: Toyota Sienna Hybrid

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In 2019, Toyota Motor Philippines dared to challenge the norm in the country. As the country has become saturated with gasoline- and diesel-powered cars, the country’s number one car company wants to push hybrid vehicles for the Filipino market. More importantly, TMP started with one of its oldest nameplates – the Toyota Corolla Altis, now available with a hybrid variant.

Come to think of it, Toyota’s push for hybrid vehicles isn’t limited to the Philippines alone. In fact, the marque has sold 15 million units of hybrid cars since the introduction of the Prius in 1997, five million of which were sold from 2017 to 2020—which should show you how aggressive the company is with its hybrid offensive in the past few years. 

Of note, it’s estimated that 120 million tons of CO2 were saved with these hybrid vehicles, further cementing the carmaker’s intention to neutralizing its carbon emissions.

Recently, Toyota launched an all-new Sienna and you’ve guessed it – it’s a pure hybrid. The minivan will be exclusively sold to North America initially, but from what the trend dictates, it isn’t far-flung to wish for the said model to reach the Philippine market (especially given the strong demand for the upscale Alphard — Ed.).

2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid

To say that the new Sienna Hybrid looks great would be an understatement. The styling, design cues, accents, and basically everything it offers should please the eye. I had to remind myself that I’m actually looking at a minivan.

Take note that the 2021 Sienna sits atop the versatile TNGA-K platform, shared with the Camry and RAV 4, so expect the same rigidity and handling characteristics in this previously textbook mom mobile.

The 2021 Sienna Hybrid comes in various trim levels but the XSE trim piqued my interest the most with its meshed lower grille and other body accents, all in black. Even better, the sporty trim also comes with 20-inch alloys. Yes, a minivan with SUV-sized rims. It’s going to be hard to beat that.

The Sienna’s cabin is another thing to rave about in the revamped minivan. Apart from the usual Toyota gizmos like 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Alexa and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, it also comes with stylish seat upholstery options including a two-tone Softex faux leather and sporty bucket seats for the XSE variant.

As for the drivetrain, the Sienna uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors (three if you’ll buy the all-wheel drive) that puts out a combined output 243 horsepower. Of course, as a hybrid, the Sienna boasts fuel efficiency at 14 km/L in combined city and highway driving.

Toyota Motor Philippinespush for hybrid continues

Needless to say, the current coronavirus pandemic has caused mayhem on the plans of automakers, but this doesn’t seem to derail TMP’s push for hybrid vehicles in the country.

When asked whether TMP is considering selling the Sienna Hybrid, the company declined to comment but assured that it is still on the path of introducing more hybrids in the Philippines. In fact, TMP has revamped its dedicated page for hybrid vehicles, which you can visit at toyota.com.ph/hybrid.

“What I can say now is hybrid adoption remains to be one of the priorities of TMP,” said TMP’s media representative. 

With that being said, is it too much to wish for this good-looking minivan here? I don’t think so. However, as always, the only question now is the price tag.

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