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 Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 159 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 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 (6 total reviews)


Nice truck but not a

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my 2009 Tacoma regular cab with the manual transmission in June of 2010 with 13,000 miles on the clock and traded it in August 2012 with 42,000 miles on it. I loved the way the truck looked. Reliability was never an issue. My Tacoma never failed to start and never left me stranded. The 2.7 four is a great engine. I averaged about 20 mpg with it. My dissatisfaction was the result of the trucks build quality. I had constant rattling coming from the drive shaft going over bumps when the drivetrain was unloaded. The dealership replaced the driveshaft. The problem remained. Toyota said it was a known issue with the 4x4 manual regular cab. I would have to live with it. I chose not to.



4 of 5 people found this review helpful

09 tacoma

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

I have had my 09 Tacoma for almost 2 years. I will soon be ordering radio number 4 due to defects. The first two radios were plagued by volume control knobs that became unresponsive. My current radio went completely haywire with all the buttons doing the exact opposite of what they are suppose to do. Numerous squeaks and rattles in the dash and headliner have become extremely annoying. Gas mileage is not that great for a 4 cyl. In the summer, I average about 20mpg, in the winter, I average about 18 mpg. My clutch also creaks loudly, more so in the summer. I do like some of the standard features with this truck (vsc, numerous airbags, etc.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good reliable truck

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

Bought the Tacoma brand new. All in all this is a good vehicle, but parts are rather pricey ($225 for a tail light which got cracked accidentally). Four cylinder engine is alright in the power department, the five speed manual shifts easily, and the 4x4 performs excellent in the snow, I mean rock solid! I've had this truck 32k miles and did nothing to it mechanically, besides regular maintenance. Too bad I have to sell, need to get rid of the payments.




I'm trading it for a

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

Wanted a 4x4 for winter driving and home improvement type errands. The good: the 4 cyl engine is strong, quiet and fuel efficient. The bad: at 60 miles an ignition cable connector on the steering column became loose, payed to get it towed to the dealer, 6 hour wait and didn't get reimbursed for the tow, seats are extremely uncomfortable, clutch pedal creaks, the carpeting is all frayed, first gear impossible to engage unless completely stopped, radio labels are wearing off, bed makes loud noises over every pothole, shift stick boot fell through. In short this is the worst car I've owned and it's not that I'm really picky either, I've been driving a Chrysler for 5 years!




Built like a car, rides

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

This vehicle is one incredible pile of junk. At less than 45 days following its build and less than 400 miles on the odometer here's the tally: underbody rust, rust and more rust; looks like the truck was built and then placed on the sea floor to cure; sloppy manufacturing permanently welded oxygen sensors into their threaded mounts; radio quit working; 4WD system engages only when it wants to -- not when you want it to; brakes soft as sponges; mystery rattle from right door pillar. This thing has a totally plastic (plastic!) box, I'm not talking a steel bed lined with plastic, but plastic!




Tacoma continues to rule

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased the '09 Tacoma and Toyota continues to amaze me. From the expected superior fit and finish to the rock solid reliability mechanically. Well though out ergonomic placements of dash controls. This vehicle is my 4th Toyota overall and my second Tacoma. The first three have never given me any problems outside regular maintenance. There are only slight changes on the 09 from the 08 but the focus for this year is on safety with the STAR system. 4W ABS, electronic brakeforce system, stability control and traction control and of course the 6 air bags



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

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs