The Fiat Siena is a subcompact car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1996 to 2022. It is the four-door sedan version of the Fiat Palio, a supermini car especially designed for developing countries. It was introduced for the first time in South America, and was produced in various countries worldwide. Later, in 2002, a similar car based on the same platform was developed for the European market, the Fiat Albea. It replaced the Siena in these European markets, such as Poland and Turkey, where the original model was previously sold.
In 2012, Fiat released the second generation of the Siena, called the Fiat Grand Siena.
The Siena was one of the most popular saloons in Brazil, selling in over 800,000 units throughout 14 years of presence. In Italy the car was not marketed, after the flop of the predecessor Fiat Duna.
Launched in Brazil in 1996 as the four-door sedan of the Fiat Palio, whose code name was Type 178, the Siena was made due to the important sales benchmarks of hatchback models in developing countries. The range was made from Fiasa and Fire 1.0 L to 1.6 L gasoline engines.
In 2001, the model received its first facelift. It was designed by the Italian design guru Giorgetto Giugiaro. The facelift included new front and rear fascias and a brand-new interior. It also came with new engines: the 16-valve Fire engines 1.0 L 70 HP and the 1.2 L 82 HP. In Turkey and China, the redesign Siena was introduced with a "Speedgear" Continuously variable transmission. With this new design, the small car was finally able to fight for its place in the market, becoming a success in sales. Fiat had considered changing the name to Palio Sedan, due to the lack of interest on the previous Siena, and the solid sales of its biggest competitor, the Chevrolet Prisma. This idea was later discarded. Up to this point, the Fiat Siena was the only model belonging to the Palio family that had not been well accepted by the community. Therefore, Fiat gave special attention to the design of this model, in particular, having its rear entirely redesigned.
A second facelift was presented in 2004. The designer was again Giorgetto Giugiaro. It has a new front, rear, and interior design. The 2004 Siena was the first Brazilian compact 4-door sedan with four airbags (two at front and two side airbags), auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain sensor and park assistance. These accessories, however, are very expensive for the Brazilian and most other South American markets, so they are generally not found in end-use vehicles. The engines range in South America from a 1.3 Fire 16-valve, a new 1.4 Fire 8-valve with 80 HP (the same of the latest Fiat Punto, and a 1.8 GM Powertrain 8-valve with 112 PS (82 kW), shared with the Chevrolet Corsa). The Siena EL was sold with 1.0 and 1.4 engines, both 8-valve units.
In Brazil, the top model has been equipped by the flex fuel version of the latter 1.8 Powertrain 8-valve – gasoline and/or alcohol – reaching 112 hp (84 kW) with gasoline and 114 hp (85 kW) with alcohol at 5,500 rpm. In Mexico is sold as Palio Sedan, first with the 1.6 16v Torque engine and later with the 1.8 GM Powertrain with 110 PS (81 kW).
In Europe, the new model features the 2004 front and interior design and a 2001 rear design. The Albea, European version of the Siena, also gained the 1.3 Multijet diesel engine, a second generation common rail turbocharged engine, developing 70 bhp (52 kW).
In 2007, Fiat unveiled the facelifted Siena. This fourth version of the model has a unique front design, which for the first time is different from the current Palio.
The new Siena follows the new Fiat 'family face', with double front lights and some chrome details in the grille, and around the fog lights. The rear lights are sharp and integrated with the trunk and appeared to be inspired by models of Alfa Romeo, like the 156 and 159.
The new Siena is in production at Betim (Brazil) and Córdoba (Argentina), with 1.0 8v, 1.4 8v, 1.4 8v TetraFuel, and 1.8 8v engines, flexible for the Brazilian market (capable of using gasoline and ethanol). The TetraFuel is the first multifuel car that can run as a flexi-fuel on pure gasoline, or E25, or E100; or runs as a bi-fuel with natural gas (CNG). As of 2011, the sportive version – Siena Sporting 1.6R 16v, equipped with Fiat's Dualogic automatic gearbox – were also in production, although Fiat announced that this variant won't be offered anymore from 2012. All the New Siena EL 1.0, EL 1.4 and many ELX versions circulating at Brazil were, actually, manufactured at Argentina, as Betim's factory is still producing only the more expensive versions.
It was produced in Brazil (Betim Plant) and Argentina (Ferreyra). In the past it was also produced in Turkey (Bursa), Poland (Tychy) (1997–2001), India (Pune) (1999–2004), South Africa (Rosslyn), China (Nanjing), Iran (Saveh), Morocco (Casablanca) and Vietnam.
It has also been built under license in Nampo, North Korea from 2002 to 2006, as the Pyeonghwa Hwiparam. In 2013, Venezuelan production of a Siena launched with "Dodge Forza" badges. The Dodge Forza received a 1.4-liter, CNG-powered FIRE four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission.
The production of the first generation of Siena officially ends in October 2016.
The following columns show the sales figures of the Fiat Siena in Brazil and Argentina.
In November 2001, the Fiat Palio debuted on the Chinese market, with either the 60 PS (44 kW) 1.2-liter or the 85 PS (63 kW) 1.5-liter, followed by the Siena (effectively the large-wheelbase version, the Albea) in November 2002, and the Palio Weekend in June 2003. The Siena and Weekend were not available with the smaller engine.
The Nanjing Fiat Perla, launched at the 2006 Auto Guangzhou Motor Show, is based on the Fiat Albea platform. The car's rear got a more profound facelift for the Chinese market. For example, the rear is longer and lower than the Siena. It has a new 1.7-liter gasoline engine, air conditioning, dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, power steering, power windows, central locking, and many other features. The engine has a maximum power output of 96 PS (71 kW) and a maximum torque of 140 N⋅m (103 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm, satisfying the Euro III emission standards. The length is 4,316 mm (169.9 in), the width is 1,705 mm (67.1 in), the height is 1,480 mm (58.3 in), the wheelbase is 2,439 mm (96.0 in), and the curb weight is 1,260 kg (2,780 lb).
Since Fiat withdrew from Nanjing in 2007 and SAIC took over, discontinuing the Fiat models, the Perla only had a very brief existence. Russia was meant to be the first country outside China to receive the Perla, but with the 1.4 L Fire 8v engine with 77 PS (57 kW) and the Speedgear transmission.
In 2008, Zotye Auto purchased the tooling for the Palio and the Siena, and in 2011, launched its own restyled version of the car, the Zotye Z200, which is produced in both hatchback and sedan form. They are now powered by a range of a 1.3-liter and a 1.5-liter gasoline engines, with four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing, reportedly sourced from Mitsubishi, which are able to develop between 92 and 118 hp (69 and 88 kW) and between 126 and 147 N⋅m (93 and 108 lb⋅ft) of torque. Production ran from 2011 to 2014.
The Fiat Albea, a European version of the Siena, was tested in Russia according to the Euro NCAP latest standard, an offset frontal crash at 64 km/h (40 mph). The Albea scored 8.5 points in the frontal test, equivalent to 3 stars. The tested vehicle was equipped with standard driver airbag and regular seatbelts.
The Fiat Perla, a Chinese version of the Fiat Albea, was tested in China by the China-NCAP in three different tests: a 100% front crash test with a wall (like the US NTHSA test), a 40% offset test (like the Euro NCAP), and a side crash test (like in the Euro NCAP). The Perla scored 8.06 points in the 100% frontal crash test, equivalent to 3 stars, 12.02 points in the 40% offset crash test, equivalent to 4 stars, and 10.96 points in the side crash test, equivalent to 3 stars. The average result was 31 points and 3 stars. The tested vehicle was equipped with standard driver and passenger airbags and regular seatbelts.
The second generation of the Fiat Siena (Type 326) was unveiled in South America in 2012, under the Fiat Grand Siena name and from 2015 to 2018 under the Dodge Vision name in Mexico, as the production of the previous generation continues along the new version.
The platform of the new generation is derived from the new Palio, but with a longer wheelbase. The exterior design is different from the new Palio and was inspired by the Fiat Bravo, while the rear design was inspired by Fiat Linea. The interior is the same used in the Palio, with specific details.
The Grand Siena is larger than its predecessor, but smaller than the Fiat Linea compact car. It is powered by a new Fiat E.torq 1.6-liter flex fuel engine, that delivers around 115 PS (85 kW), or by the smaller 1.4 16V Fire EVO Tetrafuel engine with a maximum power of 85 PS (63 kW). The new model weights less and has more legroom compared to its predecessor. The front suspension is composed by the same MacPherson system of the new Palio, but the rear suspension uses a new type of torsion beam.
Production of the Grand Siena started in 2012, at first at the Betim plant in Brazil. The Grand Siena is marketed in South America and Mexico (as the Dodge Vision). In 2018 production of the engine 1.4 Fire Evo flex and 1.6 E.torQ flex end, the only engine available is the 1.0 Fire Evo flex.
The 2017 model received small changes, such as a redesigned grille, new interior colors and the relocation of the USB connector to the center console in the versions with manual transmission.
For the 2020 model, it is only sold in Brazil with some changes: it is offered with two engines, a 1.0 of 75 PS (55 kW) and 1.4 of 88 PS (65 kW), in both cases with a five-speed manual gearbox. Optional for the 1.4 is the prep for the installation of CNG.
The Grand Siena production ends at the end of December 2021 because of Proconve L7 emissions standards.
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