Toyota Tarago V6 —

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Toyota Tarago

Toyota Tarago V6 (February

Canberra, ACT

What we liked

strong performance with refinement

Confident driving

Versatile seating/luggage arrangements

Not so

Awkward space-saver spare location

Snazzy instruments a for eyes sight

Overall 4.0/5.0

Engine/Drivetrain/Chassis: 4.5/5.0

Packaging and Practicality: 4.0/5.0


Behind the wheel:

X-factor: 4.0/5.0

Just you may have thought the peoplemover had been worn down by the softroader hordes, along a jolt of fresh interest by the Tarago V6 with more more gears, more more equipment and ingeniously rear seating.

Having around in one shape or other for 23 Tarago has seen its local tally reach over units, spread across series. The first iteration ran 1983 to 1990, and was superceded by the ‘egg’ which irrevocably the peoplemover concept from the converted-commercial-van school of adaptation.

a trendsetter when new, the remained in production too long and its age years before being in 2000 by a front-drive design in turn, continued until the four-cylinder edition was introduced as reported by CarPoint in March (for more click ).


There’s no and mirrors to diffuse the Tarago V6 which bids on three for your cash and carry

The V6 triumvirate opens with the GLi model, an eight-seater with the drivetrain and running gear as its apart from steel and 205/65R16 tyres where sport 215/55R17 rubber on rims. Apart from the safety features and front fog as its costlier kin, the GLi includes control, pollen filter, trim, remote central power mirrors and windows, wheel adjustment, cruise MP3-compatible CD tuner and wheel-spoke controls, plus a plethora of holders and stowage nooks.

Although the GLi V6 is $5200 above the GLi, the difference drops to with the enhanced safety (optional for the four-cylinder) included. that angle, six cylinders, fold-away rear seat and enhancements are a good 3700 worth.

Next, the seven-seat GLX beckons from just of the Luxury tax threshold. Besides front and rear parking roof rails and alloy the GLX features electrically adjustable seat, Lexus-style Optitron in-dash six-stack CD player, climate control, sliding console and second-row Captain’s (two), plus several and leather touches for the cockpit

Atop Tarago’s tree, the Ultima’s upmarket aspirations a bumper crop of tempting that duplicate the GLX’s (except the roof rails) adding swiveling and self-levelling headlights (with washers), seat coverings, heated seats, dual sun roofs sliding shades), power-operated side doors, power-operated rear seat and a comprehensive system with four-CD included.

As with the four-cylinder which continues in GLi and GLX forms, the V6 has front suspension, torsion rear axle, disc all round, and electrically assisted and pinion steering. Besides the dampers and front anti-roll bar uprated to suit the V6’s weight, firmer suspension is for Australia (the V6’s major market outside

Those changes are tellingly of course, but the bigger news is the bonnet where, with space to spare, Toyota has a vigorous and velvety 3.5-litre V6 to a very proficient six-speed The engine’s many qualities come as no surprise however, its reputation is already established in the and Lexus RX350.

Behind differences in maximum power and figures, the respective engines the same architecture with bore/stroke relationship, twin-cam four valves per cylinder, multipoint fuel-injection, and variable phasing for both the inlet and camshafts; Toyota’s so-called system.

Although the Tarago’s engine is outstanding in its own right, the slick-shifting six-speed automatic complements it perfectly. And if the thought occurs that you might do in some circumstances, the stubby lever’s sequential manual is just a wrist-twist away the wheel.

Inevitably, the V6 drivetrain, specification levels and rear modifications have added to what was already a substantial

Tipping the scales at 1800kg or the V6 GLi and GLX are about 200kg heavier their four-cylinder siblings. The adds a further 100kg or so, means its mass is about for the class, while still than the Mercedes Viano and Kia Carnival, let alone the 2.4-tonne Multivan.


Apart the persuasive V6 drivetrain, the main over the four-cylinder version is in the new seat. Actually, the seat is split 60-40, but the four-cylinder spare-wheel well in the rearmost is extended as a deep, full-width into which one or both of the bench submerge, creating a floor from rear to the second row.

Although the GLi and GLX’s manual aren’t at all taxing, the manipulations are easier, if slightly slower, Ultima’s electric push-button When the seat is erect, the pit contributes significantly to luggage

The eight-seat GLi’s three-place bench has almost 670mm of travel to aid passengers’ negotiations legroom. The rear row is accessed, on the via the second seat’s separately 40 per cent.

The seven-seat GLX and Ultima the second-row bench with a of Captain’s chairs. Individually, seats not only slide up to fore/aft, but also have lateral travel. Spread, the gap them allows walk-through access. With the gap narrowed, passengers have better forward between the front They can also access a sliding storage bin shared the front occupants.


The of Tarago’s safety credentials are with a robust body which, in concert with measures, leads to the Toyota considered one of the leaders in peoplemover Note, however, that the Tarago’s performance in that has not yet been quantified by the recognized agencies.

Toyota Tarago

Even so, it’s a safe bet, indeed, Toyota has done its homework hence the inclusion in each V6 of seven airbags (two two front-side, driver’s kneebag, and curtains affording protection to all rows of occupants.

Anti-lock braking, electronic distribution, brake-assist system, belt pretensioners, pre-crash of the front belts, traction and a sophisticated vehicle stability system which includes steering adjustments are all standard.

For a that has been assailed for than a decade by hordes of 4WD models and urban-warrior SUVs, the segment holds up remarkably It does so because there’s no of active families’ need for than five seats, nor for resorts and the like to have to go without the bulk and costs with most multi-seat drives.

A fairly steady of new and replacement peoplemover models interest and activity.

Although four-cylinder models enjoy the share of the market, the six-cylinder is developing strong followings and more attention from buyers and commercial interests That aspect is ripe for a of the Tarago’s many talents, but not some stern competition other sixes including Grand Voyager ($55,990-69,990), Trajet ($33,990), Kia Carnival $32,990) and Grand Carnival Mercedes Viano V6 ($68,390-74,990) and Multivan (front-drive $63,990-81,990).

No of choice, then.

Most spend most of their doing mundane, albeit domestic duties around and suburbs. However, the Tarago V6 is one deserves any excuse to get out of town. Not it can’t do the Mum’s Taxi with great dexterity because it can — but it’s too good a drive to be kept on a leash 24/7.

Tarago’s high driving position SUVs’ for panoramic insights to the road and surrounds. The driving benefits from the amply seat and the wheel’s reach-and-rake The stubby transmission selector is a handspan away, and minor are well placed too.

That said, the Jetsons cluster remains a bone of It didn’t impress in 2006, and doesn’t.

The GLi continues the original from the four-cylinder model. The GLX and have the more spectacular cluster which is fine in or dark but it shares the plain exaggerated width (which at-a-glance comprehension) and legibility in strong sunlight — when you’re wearing

Fortunately, the quality of the driving you overlook the instruments’ deficiencies. In a or few, the Tarago V6 goes, and stops like a beauty.

The ‘car-like’ is sprinkled too liberally on SUVs and peoplemovers. But here applicable because the Tarago V6 as confidently and quietly as good sedans, and handles pretty well too. Of course, nothing car-like about a seating position and the way it magnifies the of body roll, but the Tarago well-balanced decorum throughout.

the steering has the variability of feel and associated with electrical-assistance, it provides amply accurate of direction which is blunted when the V6’s nose-heaviness to marked understeer in sharp and hard cornering.

Tyre infiltrates across filler and small ridges, but the ride is bump-blottingly absorbent without through corners or floating out of And although the brakes haven’t from the four-cylinder models’, have good meaty feel and give arresting

The Tarago’s inviting driving help bring out the best in the V6 drivetrain which provides performance with creamily and relatively quiet delivery. immediate and strong response is available, and elevates the V6’s and hill-climbing capabilities to another It puts the g-o in Tarago.

On top of which, being decisively the most V6 peoplemover, and one of the torquiest, the Tarago is the fuel efficient by far.

10.8:1 compression, the V6 has preference for 95 RON petrol, yet accepts standard 91 RON complaint.

According to the official the Tarago V6 GLi uses 10.2lt/100km, the slightly heavier GLX and Ultima 10.3lt. Either way, another box ticked for a package is as much about sizzle and as seats.

Toyota Tarago V6 model pictured

Published. 12 February 2007

Toyota Tarago
Toyota Tarago
Toyota Tarago
Toyota Tarago
Toyota Tarago


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