With many safety features standard and stability control an option, the 2009 Toyota Tacoma scores well on safety tests.
In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the 2009 Tacoma scores five stars for driver and passenger side frontal impact, as well as five stars for both front and rear occupants in side impacts. In rollover resistance, it manages a rating of four stars. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) frontal offset tests, the Tacoma scores that agency’s top “good” rating. Tacomas with bucket seats manage a “marginal” for rear crash protection, a comment on headrest design and whiplash protection.
Automobile Magazine notes, “ABS with brake assist is standard. You can add stability control with traction control, as well as hill-start assist to prevent rolling back from an uphill stop.” Regarding the effectiveness of the standard brake assist feature, which incorporates a valve that increases vacuum assist when the brake pedal is enthusiastically applied—as in a panic situation—Car and Driver finds that their test Tacoma “conduct[s] four rapid stops from 70 mph in less than 190 feet, fleet performance for any pickup.”