IT’S been around forever, and that’s a mighty long time. In fact the current version of the Toyota Tarago went on sale in 2006 and hasn’t changed much at all, at least until now.
The new incarnation, while not looking vastly different on the outside, has had a face lift on the inside, giving it a nice, shiny, new look and feel. It’s comfortable inside, and has all the usual leather bits like seats, steering wheel and door trims, and there are nice wood grain inserts as well.
There are plenty of piano black surfaces too, which are not to everyone’s liking when little fingers get on them.
Because it’s the key area where Toyota has made some significant upgrades, let’s focus on the interior for a bit. The driver’s seat is all-electric and both front seats have heating, which is nice on those cold and frosty winter mornings. Seat cooling would have been a nice touch for the local market too, come summer.
Seating is ample. There are seven of them. The third row of seats will electrically fold away or out, which is a very nice touch, and will actually seat three people, albeit fairly small people, so perhaps not the front row of the Wallabies. But with those seats folded away, there’s ample room for bikes, groceries, camping gear or whatever the family needs for a weekend getaway.
The middle row is designed to seat two in comfort, with two captain’s chairs, featuring reclining functionality and integrated ottomans.
The Ultima V6 we put through its paces also comes with a remote control Blu-Ray player for the family to enjoy movies on long haul trips, as well as being equipped with wireless headphones, making it potentially the ultimate family vehicle.
The electric side sliding doors also feature power windows, and can even be open and closed using the remote key fob. The sunroof is manually operated, with tilt the single choice of functionality, while the moon roof is of course fixed. The cover screen for the moon roof is also electric and can be operated by the driver.
We found the driving position to be oddly a little off centre, which is strange for a vehicle of this size, and the pedals seemed a little too far to the left to be totally comfortable. The steering wheel however was in just the right position and was light and easy in all driving situations.
The driver goodies include a multi-function touchscreen with Bluetooth, CD and radio, with six speakers pumping out the sounds throughout the vehicle.
Very good steering wheel controls make the whole thing easy to manage, although the on-board touchscreen is locked up while the vehicle is in motion – fast becoming the standard although we wonder why no one factors in the front seat passenger who could easily engage with the system while driving.
SatNav is included in the standard options for the Tarago Ultima V6, along with a number of other cool features, including auto headlights, parking sensors, and a host of options to switch on and off as you please, to create the perfect driving experience.
The V6 3.5l engine is responsive and quiet, pushing out 202kW of power and 340Nm of torque. When teamed with the 6-speed auto gearbox, it offers a smooth experience that actually lulls you into higher speeds if you’re not paying attention – cruise control can be your best friend. Driving this vehicle is effortless.
It is front wheel drive, which means the floor can be flat in the rear with no drive train tunnel to get in the way. The ride is smooth and there is not a lot of road or engine noise at all. In essence, the inside of the cabin is a very nice place to be.
Fuel economy hovers around 10.2l/100km and you’ll need to spend a little over $71,000 to get behind the wheel of what is the pinnacle of the Tarago model range. There are seven air bags to keep you and your family safe.
The external finish is what you would expect from Toyota, being of good quality. The 2017 Toyota Tarago Ultima V6 comes in Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl, Ice Titanium, Wildfire (red), Rustic Brown, Ebony and Glacier White. The wheels are 17-inch alloys and are quite nice for factory standard rims. The spare tyre is a space saver wheel and lives under the body.
Our 2017 Toyota Tarago Ultima V6 was supplied by Toyota Australia. To find out more, contact your local Toyota dealer.