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The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is a popular pickup truck for a whole bunch of reasons, but safety likely isn’t one of them. That’s because while the Tacoma has many positive attributes, it also has one serious safety rating that causes it to totally miss out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award. So what is the test? It’s the small overlap test on the passenger side. Here’s what that is and why it’s important.

Toyota Tacoma driving through the sand
Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma safe?

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma has a lot of great safety ratings from the IIHS. For example, it has good moderate overlap test results and a good original side impact test. Its roof and head restraints and seats rating is also good. In addition, its front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle test rating is also good. And finally, the small overlap test on the driver side has a good rating.

However, it’s the small overlap test on the passenger side where things fall apart for the Tacoma. The Tacoma only gets an acceptable rating for this test, where it needs a good score to win either the Top Safety or Top Safety Pick+ award. Unfortunately, this one acceptable rating precludes the Tacoma from a top safety award.

What is the small overlap test on the passenger side?

The IIHS says that frontal crashes are the type of accident that result in the most deaths. Things have gotten better as far as frontal crashes go thanks to both the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the IIHS. Both of these non-profit organizations conduct tests and inform consumers. This helps hold car manufacturers accountable, making autos safer for everyone.

The small overlap test on the passenger side is designed to measure how well a vehicle does when traveling at 40 mph and striking a 5-foot tall rigid barrier. The front right 25% of the truck hits the barrier, and there are two dummies in the truck to determine how both the driver and passenger would fare in this type of accident.

Is the Tacoma reliable?

On top of having a not-so-great crash test rating, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma isn’t exactly reliable. Consumer Reports gives it a predicted reliability rating of 3/5. This is much lower than previous Toyota Tacoma reliability ratings. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma has a reliability rating of 5/5, so the 2022 Toyota Tacoma’s reliability rating is a huge drop. In addition, the 2020 Toyota Tacoma’s reliability rating is a 4/5, which is very good.

However, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma’s reliability rating is a 1/5. It appears the reliability of the Toyota Tacoma is yo-yoing a bit. In the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, the most serious reliability issues were transmission, both minor and major. This can be an expensive problem, and not one that you want to deal with unexpectedly. In addition, the drive system and fuel system are also problem areas.

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma safety isn’t great In fact, it keeps the Toyota Tacoma from winning a top safety award. So should you buy the Tacoma? It’s probably best to skip it and choose one of the IIHS Top Safety Picks instead.


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