2009 Toyota Tacoma Reviews
The Tacoma is available in three cab styles: Regular Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab. Regular and Access Cabs come with 6-foot beds, while the Double Cab can be had with either a 5- or 6-foot bed.
Much of the Tacoma's appeal comes from its various special models and packages. The TRD Off-Road package is perhaps the most popular, with a combination of appearance and performance items. Included are progressive-rate front springs, Bilstein shocks, BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, 16-inch alloy wheels and TRD badging. The TRD Sport package offers a monochromatic appearance, street-tuned suspension and low-profile tires on 17-inch wheels.
The X-Runner is the real street-performance star in the specialty group. It features a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, six-speed transmission, 18-inch wheels, improved steering response, Bridgestone Potenza tires and a lowered, specially tuned suspension. The X-Runner gets its name from a unique X-brace on the rear of the frame.
New for 2009
Toyota is making all its advanced safety features standard on the Tacoma. Familiar to most consumers are front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Not so familiar is the Star Safety System, which is comprised of five electronic brake controls. Also included is Toyota's electronic stability system, which applies the brakes individually and lowers engine power if sensors detect the driver's intended path doesn't match the vehicle's actual path. Brake control is also key to the automatic limited-slip differential feature, which detects unwanted wheelspin and applies the brakes as needed to redirect power to the wheel with greater traction. In other news for 2009, Tacoma has added an input jack for portable music players in all models and redesigned the rear seat in the Access Cab.
The Tacoma really bulked up when it was redesigned for the 2005 model year. The wheel flares are more muscular, character lines are more pronounced and the grille is a little more menacing. The Double Cab looks particularly good, especially in four-wheel-drive trim. The X-Runner, however, doesn't have a lean, athletic look worthy of its performance; it's just too burly with all its extra bodywork. A minor makeover for 2009 includes an argent-painted grille and redesigned taillamps for all models. Smoked headlamp trim goes on the TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport and X-Runner.
The Tacoma interior gets a higher grade than other compact trucks, with a simple but effective layout, supportive seats and attention-to-detail build quality. The new rearview monitor system features a small camera in the tailgate handle and a 2.5-inch display mounted in the rearview mirror. Ceiling-mounted speakers are included in all of the five sound systems offered throughout the lineup. Premium JBL audio, available only in the Double Cab, offers a six-CD changer, Bluetooth, seven speakers (including a subwoofer) and XM satellite radio. Toyota doesn't offer leather seating in the Tacoma, but there is a sport fabric on the X-Runner that's also available on the Access Cab and Double Cab in four-wheel-drive or PreRunner configurations.
Under the Hood
Combined with sophisticated accident-avoidance technologies and standard side-impact and side curtain airbags, the Tacoma has more safety features than most compact pickups. Besides stability control, the Star Safety System includes electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and traction control.
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