The Japanese version of the Toyota Tarago has been given a significant facelift, and we've learnt that it will be available in Australia before the end of the year.
An updated version of the people mover, which has been in production since 2006, debuted last month in Japan. Known in its homeland as the Estima, the facelifted car sports a redesigned front end with slim line full-LED headlights featuring a chrome line that feeds into Toyota's new corporate 'grille' design.
There's also a new front bumper with a gaping mouth air intake and number plate holder. This is flanked by a thin vertical strip of LED driving lights, and framed by new sharply creased front fenders and bonnet.
Some versions of the Estima are offered with the option of a blacked out roof, chunkier lower side mouldings and new alloy wheel designs. Around the back, the tail-light graphics have been redesigned and the bumper styling tweaked.
The interior has also been given a substantial visual update. While the underlying architecture of the dashboard hasn't changed, the centre stack has been redesigned with a new Prius-style piano black frame and an infotainment system with a larger screen.
There's also a tweaked Optitron instrument panel, a new steering wheel, metal-like highlight spears, and redesigned in-dash storage compartments with stitched faux leather covers.
In Japan, the updated Estima is available with two drivetrain options: a 2.4-litre four-cylinder hooked up to a CVT, or a hybrid with electric motors for both the front and rear axles.
All domestic market Estima models are now fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense system, which uses lidar and cameras to provide features such as lane departure warning, automatic high beam, and collision avoidance.
He did warn, though, that in the past the Estima has had some styling details and features that were exclusive to the Japanese market. In all likelihood, the Estima's hybrid drivetrain, unique badging, and elderly assistance features won't make the journey down under.