The 2016 Toyota Tarago Ultima gets a 202kW/340Nm V6 petrol engine, so it goes without saying that it won’t be lacking for power to haul the family around. It’s actually something of a rocket – but more on that later. In V6 guise, the Tarago gets a conventional six-speed automatic gearbox. The entry-level 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is matched to a CVT, so you could argue that with the better engine, you also get the better gearbox.
The ADR fuel claim is 10.3L/100km on the combined cycle, and after a week of mainly around town running, we saw an indicated return of 13.1L/100km. Not bad really, considering the majority of our driving was low speed, stop/start traffic. We didn’t spend the whole time loaded up with four adults though, so you might see a marginally higher fuel usage return if you do use your people mover as a people mover most of the time.
As you’d expect with the Ultima being the range-topping model, equipment highlights are extensive especially in the cabin. The powered side doors are excellent and work via the key fob, a dash-mounted switch or the door handle. Ultima also gets HID headlights with active swiveling, automatic leveling and washers, plus smart keyless entry and start, privacy glass, woodgrain-look highlights and leather trim. Rear seat entertainment is a highlight, with a nine-inch VGA LCD high-res screen compatible with either Blu-ray or DVD. The system has an auxiliary jack, USB input, and there’s also Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming.
On the subject of equipment, it’s worth mentioning the fact that the ageing satellite navigation/infotainment system doesn’t look great but it does work well. The same goes for the Bluetooth phone connection, which is reliable and clear. It’s almost beyond belief though, that a family-focused people mover doesn’t have a reverse camera as standard across the range – let alone in the most expensive model. The Tarago Ultima does have parking sensors, but there’s no excuse for the lack of a reverse camera.
The feeling from the driver’s seat is one of expansive space and light. The Tarago seems massive from inside the cabin even though it isn’t huge externally when compared to a large SUV for example. It’s comfortable too, with quality leather trim, and a seat design that Toyota seems to nail regularly – supportive enough, but supple enough to be comfortable no matter how much driving you do. Likewise the passenger seat, and the second and third rows too. Whichever row you choose, there’s ample legroom, and headroom only gets tight for fully-grown adults in the third row.
The second row seats can move way back, forward and out to the edges of the cabin. Moving them to the outer most position creates an opening between them that makes entry into the third row an absolute cinch. Adults will find it easy to get into the third row, kids even more
Published: Monday, January 18, 2016