2009 Toyota Tacoma Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 236 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/20 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 (19 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Initial review

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

i have had the vehicle for about a month now. i bought it used from carmax with 20k miles on it one owner. so far i really like the truck. it rides way better than my 2004 Dakota and the safety features are a real plus. i have dogs so i really like the back up camera feature. i think the brakes are very responsive and the seats feel really nice on a long trip!! the 4.0 V-6 is strong and will set you back in your seat if you punch it. the controls are all laid out well and i love the steering wheel radio controls. what is to be seen is the reliability??? i like to keep my vehicles for well over 200k so i will get back@ say 50k!!




Huge disappointment

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have had my Tacoma for 6 months. I could not be more disappointed. I always thought that Toyota meant quality. It does not. I have had my truck back to the dealership eight times. Once for rattles and rear leaf spring problems. Once for rattles and the bad radio - waited 5 months to get that replaced. Five other times for rattles and squeaks in the doors and dash - still have not got those fixed. Speakers on the passenger side buzz. As soon as I an break even on the truck I'm selling it and buying a Ford. Soft searching shifting at low speeds.




I made a great choice!

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I made a great choice in purchasing the Toyota Tacoma. In the past 7 months I can report no major problems. Besides the less then impressive gas mileage the only problem I had was erratic down & up shifting problems. The transmission was not down shifting or up shifting smoothly at slower speeds and corners. I took the Tacoma back to the dealer and they did an “ECU Calibration” update to the computer. Since the update to the computer, I have not had the erratic shifting problems. The V6 power is there when you need it, and it handles just fine. The ride is a truck, I expected that. It’s a fun truck to drive!




Very nice truck, but not

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Bought the truck used with 6k on it with the TRD Sport and tow packages. The truck is great looking, and seems to have good build quality and reliability. However, at only 15k it does have a couple rattles and my radio has already gone out once (replaced by dealer). Fuel economy at first was not great, but I actually get better MPG at 75 mph than at 65, probably averaging 18 mpg total. The back seat in the Double Cab is tight for adults as it is - forget about it in the Access Cab. Four adults drove from KS to CO, and the people in the back were slightly cramped (both below 5'10"). The V6 is plenty powerful, and ride comfort is good for a truck (I drive 25k a year too).




Highly disappointed.

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I WAS excited about my new truck. Then the following things happened, in no particular order: I realized JUST HOW SHORT the bed was. My Transmission slipped-- repeatedly. My radio turned off... and on... and off... I learned that the 4.0 V-6 power is a lightweight, and tediously boring to drive. (Even when the transmission does what it's supposed to. I learned that a slow, boring engine can STILL only get 18 MPG. I learned that there actually are $30,000.00 vehicles today without intermittent wipers. I learned that there actually are $30,000.00 vehicles today without remote entry. I learned that I should have kept my Dakota. Toyota-- you can do better.




Still undecided if i will

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I like the exterior and interior styling. There are a lot of complaints about the seats and brakes, but it's all in perspective. So far I don't have any complaints about the transmission except for no dipstick to check fluid. BF Goodrich Tires are too noisy and rough. They have an aggressive design but are unimpressive in snow. Radio sounded awful at any volume so I replaced it right away. Three child seats fit in the back seat with little effort. I like the four wheel drive and the stability control. Still, I might have to trade for something with a third row seat.



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

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs