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Car reviews - Toyota - Tarago - V6 people-mover range

Launch Story

Toyota logo9 Feb 2007

By CHRIS HARRIS

TOYOTA Australia has leveraged its 3.5-litre V6 engine in yet another product – this time in the fourth-generation Tarago.

Launched this week as part of the facelifted people-mover range, the Tarago V6 joins the 125kW/224Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder version.

The VVT-i V6 is the same engine that powers the Toyota Aurion and Lexus RX350, and will soon also appear in the RAV4. In the Tarago it develops 202kW at 6200rpm and 340Nm at 4700rpm, on 95RON premium-unleaded petrol. The V6 will also run on normal unleaded.

Three Tarago V6 model variants will be available: the GLi, GLX and range-topping Ultima, with prices starting from $54,690 for the GLi, $56,990 for the GLX and $69,990 for the Ultima. The four-cylinder is available in GLi and GLX guise only.

The V6 GLi is $3700 more expensive than the four-cylinder GLi when you include the optional $1500 enhanced safety pack that is standard on the V6 models.

The V6 is mated to a six-speed sequential electronic automatic transmission with artificial shift intelligence and all six-cylinder variants gain Toyota’s vehicle control management system (VCMS), along with traction control and brake assist.

VCMS provides steering assist control in understeer and oversteer situations as well as when accelerating and braking where the level of grip varies between the right and left-hand wheels. The V6 has a turning circle of 11.4m.

The V6 GLi delivers a combined fuel figure of 10.2L/100km and 10.3L/100km for the GLX and Ultima grades.

Apart from the V6 and six-speed auto, all six-cylinder Taragos gain dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, cruise control, MP3-compatible CD stereo, remote central locking, power windows and a fold-away third-row seat, seven airbags and pre-crash seatbelt system.

The GLi grade has eight seats, including a three-passenger second-row seat with 60/40 split. The GLX and Ultima grades offer seven seats, including two adjustable captain’s chairs in the second row which feature integrated ottomans. The seven-seat models also feature a sliding centre console that can move between the front and second-row seats.

All grades have a three-passenger third-row seat with 60/40 split that can be stowed in an underfloor compartment – electronically for the Ultima and manually for the other grades.

Distinctive features on the GLX model include roof rails, 17-inch alloys, front and rear parking sensors, Optitron instruments, woodgrain trim and rear climate-control air-conditioning. The Ultima adds high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with adaptive front lighting system (AFS) and an auto-levelling function.

Ultima models also feature power sliding side doors, leather seats, heated front seats, dual sunroofs (one fixed and the other tilt-adjustable) with sunshades and satellite navigation.

The Tarago V6’s front suspension consists of MacPherson struts with L-shaped lower arms while the rear is a semi-independent set-up with a U-shaped cross-beam that is compact and designed not to intrude into the luggage area.

The V6 GLi has 16-inch steel wheels with 205/65R16 tyres the V6 GLX has 17-inch alloys with five Y-shaped spokes and 215/55R17 tyres and the Ultima V6 gains seven-spoke 17-inch alloys with 215/55R17 tyres.

A favourite among fleets, the Tarago has been a great success in Australia for Toyota with sales exceeding 86,600 since its 1983 debut.

Toyota expects to sell about 350 Taragos a month this year, with more than 20 per cent of these being V6 variants.

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