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Car reviews - Toyota - Tarago - GLi people-mover

Overview

Toyota logo23 Nov 1990

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

A TRUE revolution in people movers. Toyota spent a fortune developing the US-designed egg-shaped second-generation Tarago, and it quickly became a symbol of the ambitious, cash-rich environment prevailing in Japan at a time just prior to a decade-long recession. Banishing any commercial vehicle commonality, everything about the Tarago II was not only all-new but also often devised exclusively for it. Like its mid-engine rear-drive platform, with its extended wheelbase, wide track and bespoke motor cantered low and away behind the driver for much-improved handling, stability, braking and refinement properties. This led to a single sliding-side door aerodynamic body that boasted far-more efficient packaging, liberating space for passengers and their luggage alike. It also brought with it a radical new dashboard design, a walk-through cabin and intelligent interior storage solutions. The base GLi made do with a cheaper five-link coil rear suspension in lieu of an independent rear end available on more salubrious models. All featured power steering, central locking and a radio-cassette player. This model enjoyed an unprecedented level of high owner satisfaction during the 1990s, and continues to be sought after today despite the introduction of 2000's all-new Camry-based front-wheel drive Mk3 variant.
Model release date: 1 October 1990 to 1 August 2000

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