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by David Zalstein

The Toyota Tarago range has been updated with a new transmission, better fuel economy, new features and lower prices.

The four-cylinder Toyota Tarago GLi (pictured top) and GLX are now fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), replacing the previous conventional four-speed automatic.

The CVT can be driven in either ‘D’ (Drive) to save fuel or in ‘M’ (Manual), which allows drivers to take advantage of the ‘seven-speed’ sequential gear-shifting.

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The new transmission teams with the existing 125kW/224Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to lower combined cycle fuel consumption by more than six per cent to 8.9 litres per 100km, while average CO2 emissions are down 6.8 per cent to 207 grams per kilometre.

The price of entry-level four-cylinder Tarago GLi has been reduced $3500 to $48,990 – on par with prices from March 2006 – and includes seven airbags, stability control, traction control and brake assist as standard. The four-cylinder Tarago GLX has been reduced $2000 to $51,990.

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The updated Tarago V6 GLi and V6 Ultima retain the 202kW/340Nm 3.5-litre petrol six-cylinder and also see their prices drop by $2300 and $1300, respectively.

The V6 Tarago GLX has had a price rise of $1390 but sees the addition of a power sliding passenger-side door and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights with advanced front-lighting system that sees the lights swivel in response to steering angle and vehicle speed. The HID headlights also come with automatic leveling and washers.

The power sliding door, standard on the Ultima, can be operated from a switch on the dash, a button on the key fob or by the door handle.

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All models receive updated interiors with new colours and new seat upholstery patterns as well as push-button start. Tarago V6 GLX and Ultima models also score smart keyless entry while both four-cylinder and V6 GLX models gain rear privacy glass.

The Tarago Ultima gets further tweaks with woodgrain-look highlights on the instrument panel, steering wheel, shift knob, centre-console and door-switch surrounds.

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The Ultima’s rear-seat entertainment system has also been upgraded to a nine-inch VGA LCD high-resolution display compatible with Blu-ray and DVD along with auxiliary jack, USB input, and Bluetooth hands-free telephone and audio streaming.

Both four-cylinder and V6 GLi variants include an updated audio system that includes voice recognition capabilities, Bluetooth phonebook access as well as an AUX/USB inputs and full Bluetooth connectivity.

The range-topping Ultima (pictured below) scores new 15-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels while the mid-grade GLX picks up the Ultima’s previous 10-spoke 17-inch wheels. The Tarago GLi retains its existing 16-inch wheels.

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The Toyota Tarago is available in seven exterior colours: Glacier White, Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl, Ice Titanium, Ebony, Scarlet, and Indian Summer.

2012 Toyota Tarago manufacturer’s list prices:

  • Tarago 2.4-litre GLi – $48,990
  • Tarago 2.4-litre GLX – $51,990
  • Tarago 3.5-litre V6 GLi – $53,990
  • Tarago 3.5-litre V6 GLX – $59,490
  • Tarago 3.5-litre V6 Ultima – $71,490



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