Trucks & SUVs

The Toyota Tacoma Earns High Safety Rating and Low Consumer Reports Ratings for Interior

The Toyota Tacoma has been around a while and is always a decent seller for a pickup truck. In recent years, it’s received high safety ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA. With a pretty solid chassis for the framework and competitive price, it seems to be in the running as a family vehicle.

However, Consumer Reports gave it some pretty low ratings for its interior, during their testing of the pickup. Let’s break down what the results mean and see if the Tacoma would make a good vehicle, in the long run, for family use.

Toyota Tacoma’s safety features

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In the crash tests the IIHS, and the NHTSA performed, the Tacoma did pretty well. It received high ratings in 5 of the 6 assessments the IIHS put it through. The NHTSA also rated it well with 4-5 stars in their respective categories, receiving the highest ratings in their side crash tests.

The Toyota Tacoma comes standard with the Toyota safety sense P that all Toyota models come with. This system includes features, such as forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic braking. You will also get a rearview camera, traction and stability control, and even a lane departure warning. For added protection, you get front, rear, and side airbags.

What’s good with the Toyota Tacoma

The 2020 model year brings some new refreshing features that add points to the Tacoma. A power-adjustable driver’s seat is standard for almost all models, allowing you to adjust the way you sit in this truck, making it less awkward.

Thicker glass is a nice touch to help lessen the road noise complaints the previous versions accumulated. Also, the long-awaited Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now compatible with this newer version of the truck.

Consumer report tests show that fuel economy isn’t too bad for the Tacoma despite the six-speed transmission. The pickup gets about 19 mpg on average, which is a plus when it comes to family vehicles.

Storage space isn’t too bad. A nice size center console with a few other smaller bins here and there gives you some space to hold items while traveling. Another benefit has to do with the controls on the dash. They’re within easy reach and are simple enough to use without complication.

What’s not so good

While the Toyota Tacoma had some good points, it also appears to have a lot it will need to improve upon. The worst area lies with the interior where it received very low ratings from Consumer Reports testing.

Having the power seat in the front was a nice upgrade, but it’s still installed too low in the vehicle, making the drive uncomfortable and viewing over the hood difficult. You can have adults in the rear seats, but it isn’t recommended for long trips. The leg and knee room is too cramped for them to ride comfortably for long periods.

Accessing the interior is tricky when you have such a low roof to deal with. Plus, there’s no handy bar to grab to help you up and into the truck. Overall, the interior isn’t much to brag about.

In fact, Consumer reports practically call it outdated, since some competitor trucks offer more for standard packages for a similar price, and the materials aren’t as hard to the touch. In some trim levels on the Tacoma, you can opt for more luxury features, like dual-zone automatic climate control, or leather seats. But, to get them you have to pay a significant amount of money for an upgrade package

As far as performance goes, the Tacoma received low ratings for its handling in regular driving and emergency situations. Consumer Reports stated that this Toyota felt unresponsive at times, and when they tackled corners, it seemed reluctant and slow. Although, they needed more driver input to truly follow through with the task. Braking also left a lot to be desired, due to the long stopping distances for both wet and dry conditions.

When looking for a pickup to use as a family vehicle, much consideration would need to take place if you’re thinking about the Toyota Tacoma. While it’s rated high in safety features, the interior itself could be a deal-breaker for some families. Smaller children might travel well with the cramped space in the rear, but teens or other adults would have a hard time coping with the little leg room available.