Toyota Sienta in Uganda: #13 things to know before you buy

ttunda Classifieds July 12, 2024

Launched in the early fall of 2003 to replace its counterpart, the Wish model, Toyota Sienta in Uganda continues to team as one of the most popular vehicles in Toyota’s MPV series.

Thanks to its unique blend of versatility, comfort, and style, Toyota Sienta in Uganda stands tall as one of the most convenient cars for family rides and individuals amid its imminent rivals like Rumion, Wish, and many others;

With its distinctive shoe-shaped design and chic look, the Toyota Sienta no doubt looks like a joke but has definitely got something for car enthusiasts; though not a fast car, its shift and acceleration arguably leave its onlookers reckoning it as one.

Under the hood, the Toyota Sienta enjoys a fuel-efficient engine, extensive headroom, and a remarkable seating capacity for a car of its size. Whether commuting to work or taking a long road trip, the Toyota Sienta in Uganda takes it all.

No wonder it falls within the MPV vehicles where you can use it for anything without being impounded by Ugandan traffic police over misuse and endangering other road users.

It’s little wonder that Toyota Sienta in Uganda is one of the go-to cars for most business owners and one of the hotcakes though having an average resell value in the Ugandan car market.

In this article, you will discover all you need to know about Toyota Sienta in Uganda, from its performance to its interior and exterior design, safety features, and other technologies packed in this tiny yet loaded MPV.

You will also learn about its pricing in the Ugandan market, the availability of spare parts, and whether the Toyota Sienta is a sustainable ride in Uganda’s diverse terrain. Without further ado, let’s check it out.

Here are the specs and details of Toyota Sienta in Uganda and where to buy it;

Engine typeFour-cylinder
Engine capacity1.5ltrs
Drag typeFront-wheeled
TransmissionAvailable in both Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
and Manual transmission
Fuel economy11km per liter (27miles per gallon) in city
13km per liter (32miles per gallon) on highway
HandlingGood acceleration, smooth stirring, remarkable balance
Interior and exteriorlatest model has a more sporty feel,
older models rounded edges and average
Safety3SRS airbags with more safety perks like stability control,
hill-start assist and traction control in newer models
TechnologiesTouchscreen on dashboard and Bluetooth connectivity
on newer versions, older ones basic
PriceLatest model from Ugx 38m upwards while older models
Ugx 23m and upwards, and on classifieds Ugx 15m and up
CompetitorsToyota Wish, Honda Stream, Mazda Primacy
Cost of maintenanceGood
table showing performance and specs of Toyota Sienta in Uganda

1. Performance

Toyota Sienta 2003 in Uganda

The Toyota Sienta has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 107 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque; this gives it a good pace in terms of traction for long trips and urgent errands.

Its gear transmission system is available with either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed-manual transmission if remaining conservative is your thing.

Regarding traction, the Toyota Sienta drags from the front, making it an urban ride with minor off-road trips; otherwise, without proper suspension and tires, you might get stuck on un-tarmacked roads when it rains.

2. Fuel efficiency

Toyota Sientas fuel economy

With fuel efficiency, the Sienta gets an estimated fuel economy of around 11 Kilometers per liter ( that is, 27 miles per gallon) in the city and 13 kilometers per liter ( that is, 32 miles per gallon) on the highway;

To put that in perspective, you can drive from Kampala to Tororo ( around 209km) and back, and your fuel meter will be indicating halfway of a 60-liter full tank of a Toyota Sienta.

Of course, other factors like traffic jams and driving style can affect the car’s fuel consumption, but the Toyota Sienta is generally efficient in fuel economy.

3. Handling

Toyota Sientas handling

Regarding driving dynamics, the Toyota Sienta handles well for its size and provides a smooth and comfortable ride. It has a responsive suspension and steering system, making it easy to maneuver even in tight spots.

Additionally, the Sienta has good acceleration, thanks to its smooth and powerful engine. Overall, the Sienta is a well-rounded vehicle that offers a remarkable balance of performance and efficiency.

4. Interior and exterior

Toyota Sientas interior and

The Toyota Sienta has a modern and stylish exterior design, with a distinctive silhouette that sets it apart from other compact MPVs on the market.

The newer version features a sleek front grille, elongated headlamps, and a sloping roofline, giving it a sporty and dynamic look – while the much older version have more rounded edges with distinct elliptic headlamps.

The Sienta is available in different exterior colors, ranging from white, silver, red, and black to other blended paint shades like army green, off-white, and many others.

However, through observation by most Sienta owners around the world, white-colored Sientas tend to peel-off very fast around the front hood and the top, leaving it with undesirable light-gray primer patches that might require re-painting, even if that wasn’t your intention.

Inside, the Toyota Sienta has a spacious and well-appointed interior that can comfortably seat up to seven passengers. It features comfortable and supportive seats, as well as a variety of storage compartments throughout the cabin.

The Sienta also has a large trunk capable of handling a decent amount of luggage, making it a vehicle of choice for long road trips.

Though most Toyota Sienta owners praise its high-quality feel, its body isn’t strong, wrecking severely even on minor impacts; this is evidently due to its generous finish with plastic and poly fiber at the front and rear.

To avoid this, most sienta owners install bumper guards both in the front and rear to provide a bit of barrier from crushing its delicate body material.

A typical Sienta bumper guard can range from Ugx 450,000/= to Ugx 1,000,000/=; this cost, of course, depends on your bargaining power and the location where you’re buying your bumper guard.

5. Safety

Toyota Sienta safety

Regarding safety, the new model of Toyota Sienta lines up a range of advanced safety features that help to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

These include 3SRS airbags, two for the driver and one for the second front seat, stability control, traction control, and hill-start assist, while the older models feature basic safety installations.

6. Technology

Toyota Sienta technologies

The new model Toyota Sienta adones generous technology features that enhance your driving experience and make your life easier. These include a touchscreen infotainment system that allows you to access music, navigation, and other functions.

It also has an AC supply in the rear seating and a rearview camera, making it easier to park and maneuver in tight spaces, whereas the older model’s tech features are barely so much.

Both versions of Toyota Sienta offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to make hands-free phone calls and stream music from your phone. They also have a USB port, allowing you to charge your phone or other devices on the go.

7. Price and availability

Price and availability of toyota sienta

Regarding price, newer models of Toyota Sienta in Uganda are a bit pricy for their class, going for a staggering 38m shillings and above depending on the features the car has – while older models start from 23m at local car bonds and 15m and above on local classifieds.

As for availability, the Toyota Sienta is widely available at car dealerships throughout the country. It is also possible to purchase the Sienta through a financing or leasing program, which allows you to pay for the vehicle over time.

A couple of local car dealerships now offer leasing and paying in installments over a certain period; all you have to do is reach out to the dealership to find out if such options are available.

8. Comparison to competitors

Comparing the Toyota Sienta to other vehicles in its class, the Sienta stands out for its unique design, spacious interior, and compact shape. However, it doesn’t stand well against its competitors in terms of resell value.

Most of its competitors are generally larger with enough load capacity, making them the favorite pick for business-oriented buyers. No wonder their resell value usually surpasses the Sienta model.

Though its imminent rival, the Wish model, takes it in terms of fuel economy and retaining its resell value, Toyota Sienta still wins it all in terms of drag, size, and comfort.

Wish Sienta

9. Maintenance costs

As to maintenance, Toyota Sienta is a good car with extreme availability of spare parts in case something breaks down. And the car itself isn’t so demanding.

Most Toyota Sientas have electrically powered rear doors that usually fail within the first few months after purchase; however, that shouldn’t be a problem as the rear doors can open manually.

It only becomes a menace if you prefer the electrified rear door system since you can barely find mechanics who fully comprehend vehicle electronics in the country.

The rear hips of the older model just above the sliding rail can also become a problem; anyone can easily clip them off, making them a vulnerable target for vandalizing. It’s advisable to use rivets to clamp them tight on the frame on purchase.

10. Durability

Regarding durability, the Toyota Sienta is an average car; it’s made up of a few steel parts, mainly the chassis and the body, while the rest of the finishing is poly fiber;

That makes the Toyota Sienta susceptible to wear and tear with time, like most modern cars, where most vehicle makers concentrate on functionality rather than durability.

Generally, it’s rare to find a Toyota Sienta with a relatively older number plate still on the Ugandan roads; this could mean that the Toyota Sienta isn’t a long-lasting car.

It can live for only so much as long as its owner handles and maintains it well. Of course, a car’s lifespan depends on many other factors like environment, availability of replacement parts, etc.

11. Disadvantages of Toyota Sienta in Uganda

While the Sienta handles well for its size and provides a smooth and comfortable ride, it may not be as agile or sporty as some other vehicles in its category. Here are the downsides of the Toyota Sienta in Uganda;


The older models of Toyota Sienta have a high center of gravity, which affects their handling, making it hard to speed-drive and maneuver sharp turns.

However, this problem isn’t in the latest versions; they have a more balanced load distribution; thanks to Toyota’s revision, anyone with a newer version won’t have issues with handling.

Fuel economy

Much as the Sienta gets good fuel efficiency for its size, it is not the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class. Some competitors offer engines with better fuel efficiency ratings, which may be a factor if fuel economy is your major take.

The trunk space isn’t as spacious as other vehicles in its category. If you need a lot of trunk space for large items like deliveries, you may have to compromise on the third row, as the Toyota Sienta compact size offers so much.


In conclusion, the Toyota Sienta in Uganda is a good car with generous room for the entire family, and fuels-wise, the Sienta’s engine is average with an 11km per liter consumption rating depending on your driving style, traffic jams, etc;

A few drawbacks make the Toyota Sienta’s resell value depreciate quickly, meaning it’s not a car you can count on when you badly need a bailout in exchange for cash.

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