Even as it nears the end of its 15-year production run the 2020 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck still wins accolades. This time it’s the IIHS “Top Safety Pick” award. This is only the third time a pickup truck has been given the rating.
With its new-for-2020 LED headlights the upgrade has now moved it into the “Good” safety pick rating resulting in an overall score that pushed it into the Top Pick rating. The LED headlights are optional and only available on the top-of-the-line TRD Pro and TRD Limited trim packages. If you opt for the lower SR or SR5 trim packages the standard headlights are only rated “Marginal” by the IIHS. That rating doesn’t get it into the Top category.
IHHS Top Safety Pick +
The highest safety pick rating the IIHS gives is “Top Safety Pick +”. This has only been given to one pickup; the Ram 1500. Both the Honda Ridgeline and now the Tacoma has the Top Safety Pick rating, just under Ram’s award. Running just below the Tacoma in its class is the Ford Ranger, then Chevy Colorado. At the bottom of the midsize pickup safety rating is the Nissan Frontier.
For 2020 the Tacoma has some new features that seem to have addressed complaints from previous customers. The interiors, especially in the SR and SR5 versions, have been criticized for being too plain. Now, Toyota has upgraded the interiors in those packages to include a seven-inch touchscreen and intermittent wipers as standard equipment. The Headroom is still said to be less than preferable.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. Outside the Tacoma gets a new grille, taillights, and LED lights for the bed. SR5 interiors are a step up from the SR, and get an eight-inch touchscreen. Optionally, you can snag some 16-inch wheels, too.
TRD Sport Tacoma
Moving up to a TRD Sport there’s a new grille with LED fog lights. Optional 17-inch alloy wheels improve the appearance. One notch above this is the TRD Off-Road package. Piling on the Sport trim this gets you closer to off-roading with hill start assist and crawl control.
Crawl control works the braking on each wheel when going downhill. All the driver has to do is control the steering and select the speed you want to go, and the Tacoma takes care of the rest. This is a great feature for drivers new to off-roading needing a few extra safety features until they have more experience.
TRD Pro Tacoma
TRD Pro is the top off-road model. LED headlights, a 10-way adjustable seat, 360-degree exterior camera, and 16-inch wheels that are lighter weight than those on the SR5. The Fox shocks on the Tacoma TRD Pro do a great job of keeping the ride smooth.
TRD Limited Model
If you’re looking for the top Tacoma model the “Limited” is what you’re looking for. Interior trim is upgraded, and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard.
With new standard equipment and this Safety Pick rating the 2020 Tacoma is still one of the top midsize truck choices.