What Changed for 2009:
- Extensive interior updates
- STAR safety system is now standard equipment
- Side and curtain air bags are standard
- Light-emitting diode tail lamps
- New tailgate handle
- Optional backup camera
- New seat design
- Four new colors
Originally launched as a compact pickup truck several decades ago, the Toyota Tacoma grew into a midsize vehicle with its complete update for the 2006 model year. Regardless of its size, the Tacoma remains a strong seller for Toyota and is the best-selling truck in its segment.
The Tacoma gets interior and exterior revisions for the 2009 model year. All models feature an argent painted grille and have restyled LED tail lamps, and Access Cab and Double Cab models can be equipped with an available backup camera system. Tacoma cabins feature enhanced comfort and convenience features for 2009, including new front door trim panels and an auxiliary audio input jack on the lower center stack. Access Cab models get a redesigned rear seat for improved comfort, as well as standard power windows and door locks. The SR5 grade includes new seat fabric.
For the 2009 model year, all Tacomas come with Toyota's well-regarded STAR Safety System that includes as standard equipment a long list of dynamic control technologies. In addition, side and curtain air bags become standard equipment for the 2009 model year.
The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is available in regular, Access and Double Cab architecture, with 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD) and dressed in standard, SR5, PreRunner and X-Runner trim levels, each offering special features and a long list of options.
Audio systems are satellite radio-ready. The optional Premium JBL audio 6-CD system is Bluetooth compatible and has an integrated satellite radio system, which includes a 3-month free trial subscription to XM.
Toyota offers a variety of performance parts and option packages for the 2009 Tacoma. The TRD Off-Road package seeks to balance off-road performance and on-road handling. Chassis modifications include progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, 28-mm front stabilizer bar, and 265/70R16 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. Fog lamps and TRD graphics top off the package for a tough, sporty appearance.
The Tacoma X-Runner performance truck features the 4.0-liter V-6 engine in a specially lowered and tuned chassis. The X-Runner name is derived from its \"X-Brace\" frame reinforcement that provides enhanced torsional rigidity, according to Toyota. Available exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, the X-Runner can accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in less than seven seconds, Toyota claims. The X-Runner can achieve lateral acceleration in excess of 0.90g-comparable with many performance cars.
The X-Runner's Access Cab design incorporates a full body kit, hood scoop and integrated fog lamps. The color-keyed monochromatic exterior comes in three colors: Barcelona Red, Black Sand Pearl and Speedway Blue. The X-Runner rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels with 255/45R18 Bridgestone Potenza performance tires. Exclusive X-Runner suspension modifications incorporate firmer and shorter springs, specially tuned Bilstein gas shock absorbers positioned outboard of the frame rails for increased control, rear stabilizer bar with firmer bushings, and specially tuned steering response.
The 2009 Toyota Tacoma line offers two engines: a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder that produces 159 hp and a 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 236 hp with 266 lb-ft. of torque. Five-speed manual and 4- and 6-speed automatic transmissions are available.
The Tacoma features an integrated trailer hitch and bumper design. Properly equipped, the Tacoma V-6 models can tow up to 6500 pounds.
The Toyota Star Safety System includes the anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC). An automatic limited-slip differential (Auto-LSD), which uses brake intervention in place of a mechanical-type LSD to help reduce tire slippage at the rear wheels, is standard on all Tacoma models for 2009 (with the exception of models equipped with TRD Off-road packages, which will be equipped with a separate locking rear differential). The Auto-LSD replaces the mechanical LSD in all applications where it was previously available.
New for Access and Double Cab models are active headrests on the driver and front passenger seats. These headrests move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupant's head and the headrest, Toyota says.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Toyota Tacoma receives 5 stars (out of 5) in frontal crash testing for both driver and front passenger, as well as 5-star side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The Tacoma receives 4 stars for rollover resistance for both the 2- and 4WD powertrains. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2009 Tacoma a \"Top Safety Pick,\" its highest score.
Tacomas with an automatic transmission come equipped with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). By independently controlling the brakes at each wheel as needed, HAC prevents the vehicle from rolling backward or slipping sideways during a transition from a stopped position to climbing a grade, Toyota says.
An optional TRD Off-Road Package on 4WD V-6 automatic models includes HAC and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). DAC uses engine braking to regulate downhill speed and independently control the brakes at each wheel to help improve directional control. DAC automatically de-activates if the driver depresses the brake or accelerator pedals, presses the DAC button, or shifts into neutral.