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Toyota Tarago. The Original People Mover

Aug 17, 2007
The Toyota Tarago has been around for a long time and can arguably stake the claims of being the first people mover. In fact, when the Toyota Tarago was first released, the term people mover had not yet been coined.

When the Toyota Tarago first hot Australian roads, it was more a van with windows than a fully-blown people mover, but over the years it has definitely left its van style status behind and has moved into the class of passenger car.

While for many years, the Toyota Tarago was one of the few choices available when it came to fitting seven or more adults into the one car, today the people mover market is becoming much more competitive. Today, alternatives to the Toyota Tarago include the Honda's Odyssey, Kia's Grand Carnival and the Mitsubishi Grandis.

The basic model in the Toyota Tarago is the GL. This model comes with climate control air conditioning, power windows, CD player, cruise control and remote central locking as standard equipment. While the safety aspects of earlier Taragos was a little dubious, and more akin to those of a van, later model Taragos have vastly improved safety features. These safety features include ABS brakes, twin front airbags and Brake Assist. There is also a Safety Pack option available that also includes stability traction control, side and curtain airbags, a driver's knee airbag and a pre-collision system that readies the front seat belts in anticipation of a collision. If you're looking for a used Toyota Tarago, then try and look for one with the Safety Pack option if you are concerned about safety.

The top of the line Tarago is the GLX model. this model offers the Safety Pack as standard and also includes parking sensors for the front and rear, a CD stacker and climate controlled air conditioning for the passengers sitting up the back.

While the GL model has stiff competition from other people movers for price, the top of the range GLX represents fairly good value. The Tarago does have the advantage over most other people movers as seating 8 passengers rather than seven, and there's plenty of room inside.

The later model Taragos have a 2.4 litre engine coupled with a four speed automatic gearbox, and are front wheel drive. With the Tarago's weight, the engine sometimes struggles a little, especially when fully loaded. But while performance can be a little on the sluggish side, the ride is smooth.

When looking for used Toyota Tarago, be aware that many Taragos have been used as shuttle buses so look for wear and tear on the inside. If you're going to buy a used Toyota Tarago, it's advisable to steer clear of any commercially owned vehicles and go for a good one owner car that has been used to take the kids to soccer to on the weekends.
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