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First look: Tarago gets lavish with luxury

Power point: The Tarago offers 2.4-litre four and 3.5-litre V6 engines.

Toyota's new people mover has just gone on sale in Japan and arrives here in March

23 Jan 2006

WE gave you a glimpse of the new Toyota Tarago last week in our "Class of 2006" new car arrivals.

But further details are emerging about Toyota's stylish new people mover, which arrives here in March initially with a 2.4-litre four cylinder.

The Tarago, known as the Estima in Japan, will be previewed at the Melbourne motor show next month and go on sale in April priced from about $45,000.

Apart from the 2.4-litre, Toyota has launched a luxury 3.5-litre V6 version that could make it Down Under.

In Japan both engines can be hitched to all-wheel drivetrains but this is unlikely to be offered here.

The Tarago was first launched in 1990 and was one of the pioneers of the luxury people mover segment.

Visually the new model features a sharp, deeply sculpted front end with flush fitting headlights that blend in with a narrow grille and bumpers that have integrated foglights.

The overall silhouette features blacked out pillars to create the feeling of the roof floating in the air.

The entire package has been updated with the wheelbase now 2950mm, up 50mm while the front overhang is only 5mm longer and rear overhang 40mm shorter so the wheels are as close to the four corners of the vehicle as possible.

In addition, the height has been decreased by 40mm, now 1745mm, to create a lower centre of gravity.

The 2.4 Tarago is 15mm longer, at 4795mm 10mm wider, at 1800mm but the front track remains the same at 1545mm while the rear track has grown 20mm to 1550mm.

Being a people mover, the wagon’s interior has been designed for function.

The seven-seater’s second-row seats have a sliding range of 800mm and built-in leg rests.

The third-row seats can be folded flat into the floor. In eight-seater variants the second-row seats tip up and third-row seats also fold into the floor to create a large and flat cargo space.

The 2.4-litre four cylinder develops 125kW at 6000rpm and 224Nm at 4000rpm and is mated to Toyota’s Super CVT-I transmission with a seven-speed sequential function.

8 center imageThe 3.5-litre V6 develops 206kW at 6200rpm and 344Nm at 4700rpm and is mated to a newly developed six-speed sequential automatic. V6 models also get vehicle stability control.

Equipment levels of the Japanese-specification vehicles is strong with a hard disc drive navigation system that has a wide, 15cm colour display, as well as a sound library that can hold up to 2000 songs.

The car’s sound system also features speakers with a new structure that uses the roof panel as a diaphragm, producing a dramatic expansion of the sound field.

Front and side blind-spot cameras are also available, complementing the lane-departure warning system and Toyota’s intelligent automatic parking system.

Apart from equipment, the new Tarago also adopts Toyota’s global outstanding assessment (GOA) crash-safety body with pedestrian friendly bonnet, mudguards and windscreen wipers.

A pre-crash safety system as well as dual front, side, curtain and knee airbags are also available.

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