2009 Toyota Tacoma Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Tacoma

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Toyota Tacoma Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 159 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Toyota Tacoma

  • With rising gas prices gluing full-size trucks to dealer lots, folks who still need a pickup's utility should find that the midsize and more fuel-efficient 2009 Toyota Tacoma is an ideal alternative.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Wide variety of body styles and trims, engines offer good balance of power and fuel efficiency, excellent off-road ability, impressive build quality, well-appointed interior.

  • Cons

    Low seating position, spongy brake pedal, V6 can get noisy.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, all Toyota Tacoma pickups get standard stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and a limited-slip differential. The standard audio system has also been upgraded, while Access Cab models get a new rear-seat design and standard power windows and door locks.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Less than expected

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

Decent quality truck but I expected more from Toyota. We have all seen the mid 80's Toyota pickup still going strong with over 200k miles and I am maintaining the belief that this truck will do the same. Nice ride for a small truck. If you are over 5'10" tall the standard cab bench seat will be uncomfortable. Few trucks get 27- 29 highway mpg. Plenty of power for getting around town and up to speed on the highway. However, the truck is beyond sluggish with any significant payload. Radio changed stations automatically and the volume didn't work at times. Received replacement unit after 2 months of waiting and it does the same thing. Toyota has recall out for floor mats and pedal assembly.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my tacoma

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this truck new. This is my first pick up truck. It has lots of power for a 4 cyl and rides nice. I purchased it as a second vehicle so I didn't get all of the extras just AC and sliding rear window. It seems to get around 21-23 MPG mixed mostly city driving. A few months after driving it i did experience the feeling of riding over railroad tracks when decelerating. I heard it was due to the torque converter not disengaging but since the tranny shifted excellent, I didn't want the dealer to mess with it. It seems to have gone away on its own and I haven't noticed it all Summer. I like the fact that if I get my speed up to 38 mph, the od kicks in and will stay eng down to 30.




A darn good buy

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

Don't think you can beat this one for the money. Good, strong engine and real driver comfort. The only pickup in this price range which gives you a full size spare tire as standard equipment. Installed aftermarket rain shields so I can leave the window open in the rain - very necessary and worth the cost. Only complaints: seems like exterior paint was applied with a microscope - scratches very easily; also problems with the radio/CD player, which will have to be replaced. However, the audio quality is quite good - no complaint there. Good gas mileage on the highway - this little truck feels like a flying bird at highway speeds. Overall, very satisfactory.




No regrets - exactly what

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

I bought the reg cab base with AC because I plan on owning this truck long after most power options would fail. Occasionally I wish I had gotten power windows, door locks, and the rear window, but I can live without that stuff. I love this truck. I got sideswiped across the front by a red light runner going 40, and you could hardly tell the truck had been hit. It's tough. But mostly I love the confidence of everyone from my mechanic to strangers telling me it was a good choice. I paid the TMV out the door (incl tax and BS) so I got it for a good price. Edmunds was the best helper I had in the process. I took it on a long road trip up north and it did well in the mountains.




My kids like it

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

(+) Passenger airbag auto off -Head room -Cabin storage -Big side mirrors -Bright headlamps -Radio controls (-) Engine noise...chain drive -TPMS




Big little truck

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

It's a little bit big for a compact/midsize. Despite what some people are saying, it's noisy (clutch fan and mechanical noises) compared to a lot of cars and SUVs. No alloy wheel option for the base model at all. Sits a little high for a street truck (2x4). It handles like a truck with no rear sway bar. ATRAC is a waste of money to me. ABS is OK though (expected now). Mileage could be much better with a little effort from Toyota. The body looks good for a little truck. I had a TPMS and radio problems, but the dealer fixed them. Toyota knows very well about the radio problems. I'm betting they have to replace about 75-100% after the sale.



Full 2009 Toyota Tacoma Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, all Toyota Tacoma pickups get standard stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and a limited-slip differential. The standard audio system has also been upgraded, while Access Cab models get a new rear-seat design and standard power windows and door locks.

Introduction

People need trucks. Of the millions that roam America's roads, though, there are a great many driven by folks who don't come close to utilizing their pickups' full potential -- particularly the full-size examples. Until recently, lower gas prices have made such an overkill automotive purchase acceptable -- but today, full-sizers are clogging dealer lots worse than a lifetime of bacon triple cheeseburgers clog your arteries. Luckily for those who truly need a pickup, there are midsize alternatives to the jumbo full-sizers. Among them, the 2009 Toyota Tacoma is your best bet.

Adding to the Tacoma's practicality is a wide variety of combinations based on different cab styles, bed lengths, engines and trim levels. From the bare-bones work truck to the high-zoot Double Cab SR-5 with a long bed, there should be a Tacoma that fits anyone's needs. Plus, with an impressive interior and high level of available equipment, including an increase in standard safety content for 2009, the Tacoma can be as friendly to a plumber and his crew as it is to a family of four.

In the past, we basically dismissed the base four-cylinder engine, since the V6 was clearly better suited to the Tacoma's mass. With rising gas prices, however, the four-cylinder, with its output of 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, certainly seems more attractive. If your Tacoma is going to be used as a work truck and not involved with any heavy towing, the four-cylinder's fuel savings is an important aspect to consider. It offers more power than all but one competitor's four-cylinder, while offering better fuel economy. In total, the Tacoma is also a better-rounded candidate than those competitors, which include the Chevy Colorado, Dodge Dakota and Nissan Frontier.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup available in a regular cab, an extended cab (Access Cab) that features small rearward-opening doors, and a crew cab (Double Cab) with four full-size doors. Both Regular and Access Cabs come with a 6-foot cargo bed. The Double Cab has a shortened bed to make it less cumbersome to maneuver, though you can still get the 6-foot bed if you want.

Tacoma Regular Cabs are meant primarily for workhorse duty and are sparsely equipped. Standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, a limited-slip differential, a composite bedliner, a bed utility-rail system, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a front bench seat and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Tacoma Access Cab gains air-conditioning, power locks and windows, a rear bench with underseat storage and six speakers. The Tacoma Double Cab adds keyless entry, upgraded cloth upholstery and driver lumbar adjustment.

Most options are grouped into packages available throughout the cab lineup. The SR-5 Package bundles exterior enhancements with interior upgrades (fancier seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control). The TRD Off-Road Package includes 16-inch alloy wheels, fender flares, exterior chrome trim, a heavy-duty suspension, a locking rear differential, skid plates and sport seats. The TRD Sport Package includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a hood scoop, a sport suspension and sport seats. Separate options available include alloy wheels, cruise control, a towing package, rear park assist and an upgraded stereo with six-CD changer, satellite radio and Bluetooth (Double Cab only).

All body styles are available in both two- and four-wheel drive. A PreRunner version available in all body styles gets the rugged look and suspension of a 4WD truck without the added weight, fuel appetite and traction of actual 4WD. The rear-drive-only X-Runner version is more performance-oriented, with a body kit, 18-inch alloy wheels, a low ride height, a hood scoop, foglamps and an upgraded stereo.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma Regular and Access Cabs come standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive models come with the choice of a five-speed manual or a four-speed auto. Four-wheel-drive models only get the manual. Fuel economy for a rear-drive four-cylinder Tacoma with the auto is 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Getting a manual improves that number slightly, while getting 4WD hurts it more.

The 4.0-liter V6 standard on the Double Cab and optional on the Access Cab produces 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. The Double Cab is 4x4 only. With the exception of the PreRunner Double Cabs, a five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a five-speed automatic optional. A Tacoma Double Cab V6 we tested sprinted to 60 mph in just 7.8 seconds, making it one of the quickest midsize trucks available. Fuel economy for the 4x4 Double Cab with the auto is 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. Opting for the manual or the 4x2 Access Cab helps mileage. When properly equipped, the Tacoma can tow 6,500 pounds.

Safety

All Tacoma pickups for 2009 come with stability and traction control, antilock brakes (disc front, drum rear) with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front active headrests. Hill-start assist control (HAC) and downhill assist control (DAC) are provided for 4WD models equipped with an automatic transmission.

In government crash testing, the Tacoma received a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal and side-impact crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tacoma its top rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset crash test. The Tacoma is also the only compact/midsize truck to receive the highest rating of "Good" in the IIHS side-impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Tacoma is restrained in design, yet still offers high levels of quality and practicality. Fully loaded models include metallic trim and are quite classy -- especially compared to industrial rivals like the Dodge Dakota. The gauges and controls are straightforward and easy to use. The Double Cab's rear seat is comfortable for adults and storage space is plentiful. (There's a new rear-seat storage system standard on the Access Cab.) However, some drivers might take issue with the positioning of the driver seat, feeling that it's mounted too low to the floor. For hauling cargo, a non-rusting and dent-resistant composite cargo bed comes standard on all models, while an optional bed-mounted 115-volt/400-watt electrical outlet is ideal for campers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Driving Impressions

In this time of rising gas prices, the four-cylinder engine we once dismissed as simply "adequate" doesn't look that bad anymore. Its acceleration won't blow you away, and don't count on towing anything, but for a work truck, it makes sense. However, the V6 is a strong all-around performer, with plenty of pull down low and a willingness (albeit a somewhat noisy one) to spin into the upper rev ranges. Plus, towing heavy loads poses no problem for this powertrain. In terms of handling, the 2009 Toyota Tacoma feels like a true truck from behind the wheel. It excels in off-road situations and is reasonably comfortable on the street. But depending on how it's equipped and whether it's carrying a load or not, the Tacoma's ride can seem skittish and bouncy at times.

Talk About The 2009 Tacoma

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs