In the small to medium sized truck market, the 2009 Toyota Tacoma really stands out. Its medium size format, since the 2005 redesign, is far more suitable for the typical American truck buyer in terms of space, useful load, and interior roominess than the previous micro truck formats.Toyota’s quality is evident all over the vehicle, with its fit and function comparable to their renowned passenger car quality. The instrument panel layout is simple and easy to quickly scan, and all controls are right where they should be, allowing an intuitive driving experience even when driving it for the first time.

The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 159 horsepower while delivering an economical 20 mpg in the city and over 25 on the highway. A V-6 option is available for those seeking more power or interested in towing heavier loads and are willing to spend a little more for gas. The five-speed manual transmission is standard on the four-cylinder, and a four-speed automatic is an available as an option for the four-cylinder and standard on the V-6.

The Tacoma drives like a truck, responsive but with a stiff ride. It’s not as maneuverable as the older, smaller mini-pickups, but beats full sized trucks. Ideally it is suited as a work vehicle instead of the car-like ride some larger trucks offer. The interior is roomy but more utilitarian than luxurious.

The bed of the Tacoma is made of a composite material, more rugged and lighter than the old corrugated steel beds most people have gotten used to seeing in pickups. Unusual for a mid-sized pickup, the load rating is ¾ tons.

The Tacoma comes with some nice standard features including AM/FM/CD stereo, anti-lock brakes, tilting and telescoping steering column, airbags, stability control and tire pressure monitors. There is a long list of optional extras, too. The TRD off-road package adds utility to those interested in off-roading, and two other optional packages are offered, the Pre-Runner for high performance off-road use, and the X-Runner for high performance on the streets.

The Tacoma is a good buy for a medium sized truck. It’s economical to operate, has all the features a good work or play truck could need, and with an impressive list of options, it allows the buyer to tailor their truck to their personal usage requirements.

Read more on the Toyota Tacoma over at TheCarConnection.com's full review of the 2008 model.
source:http://www.toyotamonitor.com/review/1014194_2009-toyota-tacoma-review

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