It wasn’t that long ago that I reported on the face lifted Toyota Tarago. I drove around in the 4-cylinder GLI model and was constantly let down by the lack of buzz and power from the small motor when the car was loaded with people.
This time around, Toyota have crammed a V6 under the bonnet – the same one used in the Toyota Aurion – and turned this somewhat sedate people mover into a luxury cruiser with performance antics that took yours truly by total surprise!
I was handed the keys to the Ultima model – which sits at the top of the Tarago model range – and wasn’t sure what to expect. First impressions were pretty good. Upon opening the driver’s door, lashings of wood-grain and a bevy of leather jump out at you. This isn’t a people mover, it’s business class on your own private jet – masquerading as a people mover.
The second row features only two seats. The two seats accommodate entirely for two people and can be reclined to a flat 180-degrees and even have extendable leg rests and arm rests. The third row of seats – also leather clad – can be folded entirely into the floor. When lifted to their regular standing position, a deep and meaningful luggage area is available. The entire motion of the rear seats is controlled electronically – quelling the need for the strenuous use of one’s arms.
Another featured that had me quite chuffed was the automatic doors. At the press of a, either sliding door can be opened electronically – relegating the task of manual operation.
Start ‘er up and get prepared for some action. The combination of a 200+kW V6 engine, along with front wheel drive means that this Tarago grapples for grip when nailed and doesn’t have too many troubles disappointing unsuspecting punters from the traffic lights. The V6 Tarago is quick enough to dash from 0-100 in just over 7-seconds! That’s previously unheard of in a people mover.
Under the bonnet, Toyota has used the same 3.5-litre V6 engine as the Toyota Aurion, which produces 202kW and a spritely 340Nm of torque. Power is sent through a 6-speed automatic gearbox and sips through a claimed 10.3-litres/100km.
Priced from $54,690 for the GLI V6 model, the vehicle being tested – the Ultima – is worth $69,964.
Standard features in the Ultima include: Power steering; tilt/telescopic steering wheel adjustment; central locking; tri zone climate control; DVD satellite navigation; twin sun roof; front and rear parking sensors; cruise control; active Xenon headlights; automatic doors and seats; automatic headlights; power windows; heated front seats; electric front seats; CD player with 6-speakers; leather trim and 17” alloy wheels.
Safety features include: ABS brakes with EBD and BA; Traction Control (TC); Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); driver and front passenger SRS airbags; front seat side airbags; second row and third row side curtain airbags; pre-tensioning seat belts and engine immobiliser.
With an absolute abundance of features and gadgets to keep anyone happy, the new V6 Toyota Tarago is surprisingly enjoyable to drive and to be carted around in. The new V6 motor resolves the lack of power with people on board, whilst also consuming little fuel.
At just over $69,000, it’s a fair bit of money to ask. But, when you consider that you can carry around all of the kids, plus their luggage, in one car – in total luxury may I add – the cost evens out. The Toyota Tarago Ultima is literally in a class of its own. There are no other people movers in this price range that offer such an array of features, along with such a powerful and proven engine.
If you’re in the market for a new people-hauler, check out the new Tarago V6 range. If nothing else, playing with the electric doors should provide enough joy for most!
CarAdvice rating (out of 5):
- by Paul Maric