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8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
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2009 Toyota Tacoma Review

Great safety ratings, a high-quality interior and good all-around performance elevate the 2009 Toyota Tacoma above other compact pickup trucks.

Pros & Cons

  • Fuel-efficient base engine
  • High-quality interior
  • Low front seating position

New for 2009

  • Standard stability and traction control
  • Front-seat side and side-curtain air bags became standard

2009 Toyota Tacoma Overview

When it was new, reviewers were impressed with the 2009 Tacoma’s performance. They said it rides comfortably, but also appreciated that it is fairly capable off-road when equipped with the available TRD Off-Road package. Test drivers preferred the Tacoma’s available V6 engine over its base four-cylinder engine. While they found the four-cylinder adequate for day-to-day driving, most said the V6 is the better choice, especially for hauling and towing. Four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission were optional with both engines. With a four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, the Tacoma averages 19/25 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. Like the 2009 Nissan Frontier, the V6-powered Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 pounds.

Reviewers said the Tacoma’s cabin is solidly-built with mostly high-quality materials. A recurring complaint from reviewers was that the front seats feel very low, resulting in a more car-like driving position than many were expecting. The regular cab Tacoma seats two or three, while the Access (extended) Cab seats four with two rear jump seats. The Double Cab seats five, and reviewers said it is the most passenger-friendly cab configuration. When it was new, standard features on the regular cab included a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Available features include power windows, door locks and mirrors, upgraded cloth upholstery, an upgraded stereo with a CD changer and satellite radio, Bluetooth and a rearview mirror with integrated backup camera.

See the full 2009 Toyota Tacoma specs »

Other Trucks to Consider

The 2009 Nissan Frontier has great power from its available V6, as well as a refined ride, critics said. The Frontier also earned praise for its off-road capability and practical cabin.

Reviewers said that the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac has an interior that’s comfortable, spacious and refined. Test drivers loved the extra power from its available V8 engine.

Compare the Tacoma to the Frontier and Explorer Sport Trac »

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