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Toyota touts tweaked Tarago
Prices go up as Toyota’s stalwart people-mover gets more safety and equipment
11 Feb 2009
TOYOTA Australia has facelifted its evergreen Tarago people-mover, adding a host of safety and equipment upgrades.
The first update for the fourth-generation Tarago released here in March 2006 (and in V6 guise from February 2007) is now available, accompanied by price increases of between $616 for the flagship Ultima V6 (now $74,000) and $1750 for the entry-level 2.4-litre GLi (now $51,750).
As announced in December, when Toyota revealed wide-ranging 2009 price increases from January 1 (February 9 for the revised Tarago), the GLX 2.4 and GLi V6 both increase by $1150 – to $54,150 and $56,390 respectively. The 2009 Tarago GLX V6 is priced at $58,390 – up $1400.
The chief passive safety improvement for the all-auto Tarago range, which continues to out-sell Honda’s 2004-vintage Odyssey but is not as popular as Kia’s top-selling Carnival, is the addition of active front-seat head restraints on all 2.4-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V6 variants.
Similar to other systems, the Toyota “whiplash injury lessening system” (WILS) is triggered by pressure from the occupant’s lower back pressing on an absorber in the base of the seat. This force is transferred by cable to the top of the seat where the head restraint is moved closer to the occupant to reduce potential neck injury.
Additional convenience features include the adoption of door-ajar, auto-close side doors on Tarago GLi and GLX model grades, while four-cylinder GLX and Ultima and all V6 models gain Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) as standard. HAC is optional on the GLi 2.4, as part of a safety pack.
All 2009 Taragos feature a new front-end look that comprises redesigned headlights and a lower grille with revised Toyota logo, plus new headlight washers and cold air-intake for the air-cooled automatic transmission fluid cooler.
At the rear, the latest Tarago features revised tail-light clusters and garnishes, which now take on a “spoiler-like” design with wrap-around lamps. Illusion (a light purple metallic paint colour) replaces Glacier as a new exterior hue option.
There are also new alloy wheels, a new interior colour and a rear-seat “conversation mirror” for all variants. GLX models now come with seven-spoke 17-inch alloys, while Ultima versions offer 10-spoke alloys.
Inside there is an improved instrument panel with grey metallic displays to enhance visibility, while the V6 GLX and Ultima’s Optitron graphics have been adjusted to increase visibility and clarity.
New silver finishes are applied to the door trim power window switch base and instrument panel centre ornament, while the odometer/trip meter and rheostat switches are now illuminated.
Rounding out the MY09 Tarago changes are two new interior trim colours - Mid Grey for four-cylinder models and Sandstone for V6 models. The latter is matched to “yellow-brown eucalyptus-like” woodgrain trim in V6 GLX and Ultima variants.
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