How Much Can A 2009 Toyota Tacoma Tow

I really appreciate “small” vehicles like this Toyota Tacoma, the Nissan Frontier, and the Dodge Dakota, among others. I prefer doing small-scale outdoor work or pulling the occasional tiny camper, automobile, or boat. Such trucks typically cost less to buy and maintain than their full-size counterparts, making them more practical as everyday cars. But this specific Tacoma is loaded with goodies and costs almost $8,000 more than a standard crew-cab Tacoma. The TRD off-road package, which is this Toyota truck’s most expensive option, has a number of four-wheeling-friendly features like a locking rear differential, skid plates, tow hooks, and an off-road-spec suspension, which, I must confess, makes this Toyota truck more appealing to me. Although it isn’t as powerful as a Ford Raptor, I’m confident that this Toyota could handle most moderately difficult trails.

The $399 running boards, which are only a few inches below the truck’s floorboards and mostly serve as shin and pantleg scrapers, were one option that proved very bothersome. However, the $119 bed mat was so spotless that I placed my tiny daughter in the back for a brief photo.

Additionally, the Tacoma’s spacious back seats made it simple for me to secure her in her car seat during the trip. Generally speaking, the Toyota’s interior was stylish, functional, and simple. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the driver’s seat to be very pleasant; it was just too stiff and flat. Luckily, for a truck, the ride wasn’t too rough.

With a payload capacity of 1295 pounds and a maximum towing weight of 6500 pounds in our particular sample, the Tacoma is the ideal size for driving and parking in urban areas. Despite this, it still offers a significant amount of functionality. This Tacoma isn’t that tempting to me, though, at $33,000. In contrast, the Tundra Double Cab we just tested cost less than $31,000 and had a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds. It could also carry an additional 220 pounds in the bed. Although the Tundra didn’t have the same off-road capabilities as this Tacoma, it did come standard with features like keyless entry, towing capacity, and respectable audio in addition to the 4.6-liter V-8.

To be fair, I visited Toyota’s website to configure a Tacoma sans the TRD off-road accessories. I decided to stick with the Double Cab with four-wheel drive and chose the least expensive package that included keyless entry and cruise control. Price at the door: $29.539. Not including Bluetooth, satellite radio, V-8 engine, or the added towing capacity, that’s only $1395 less than the Tundra we drove. If I had the extra cash, I would buy the Tundra.

Having saying that, you won’t be dissatisfied if the Tacoma is the truck you desire. It actually handles pretty well for a truck, with above-average feel and pleasant steering effort, adequate power, and a surprisingly smooth ride. The Tacoma’s low dash, elevated seating position, and neat dimensions all engender confidence because you can truly feel the vehicle’s edges, which is unusual when operating larger pickup trucks.

I was a little perplexed by the Tacoma’s useless and awkward running boards as well as the 115-volt home power plug being situated inside the truck’s bed. The truth is that this outlet lacks the power output to sustain anything with a motor, despite the fact that I’m sure some marketing professional loved the idea of a brochure or commercial showing a strong American man chopping through 2x4s on the Tacoma’s tailgate. Instead, it’s ideal for recharging a laptop, phone, iPod, or the power tool batteries for cordless devices. I’d prefer to charge all of those things inside the vehicle so I won’t have to be concerned about theft or the elements damaging my possessions. Even if this plug were being utilized at a worksite, I’d rather run an extension cord out of the cabin when the truck is stopped than deal with a cord hanging out the window while the truck is moving at 70 mph to power my passengers’ laptops.

I can think of several advantages to having a power outlet in the truck bed as a past owner of a little Toyota Pickup. That outlet is a perfect place to plug in a shop light if you’re off-roading, camping, or doing any number of other jobs where it might be dark. I’ve been off-road a couple occasions when a 115-volt outlet would have made the work at hand much, much simpler. No, it won’t power a welder or an air compressor, but it doesn’t render it useless.

Rusty claims that these mid-size pickup trucks are less expensive to buy and maintain than a full-size truck, but I disagree. Bigger trucks can come with a lot more material for not much more money, as Eric points out. Historically, mid-size vehicles like the Dodge Dakota, the current Toyota Tacoma, and the Nissan Frontier have returned about the same fuel efficiency as full-size trucks while also providing greater incentives. The Ford Ranger is the only genuine small truck on the market, but it has been so poorly taken care of that it is no longer relevant.

Toyota has to go back to its small-truck roots and offer a vehicle similar to the pickup truck I bought in 1985. That truck was the ideal size, fuel-efficient, and functional compromise. A new pickup with a normal or extended cab (NOT a four-door behemoth crew cab) and a sizeable bed that can hold a load of 2x4s, a dead deer, or other typical truck freight is what I’d love to get. With a four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, and four-wheel drive, this vehicle ought to be able to move out of the way on its own. I don’t need bigger tires that increase weight and reduce fuel efficiency; I only need enough off-road ability to navigate muddy two-tracks and find a fantastic hunting or fishing area. It appears that until then, I will have to hunt for a late 1980s Toyota truck from a region of the country without rust issues, and then do a few changes on my own to make the vehicle meet the remainder of my criteria. So much for advancement.

I appreciate the work of my colleagues who conducted the research that supports my intuition that it would be better to upgrade to a full-size Tundra given that it is more powerful, attractive, comfortable, and useable than the Tacoma. Although the Tacoma is rated at 16/20 mpg and the Tundra is rated at 14/19 city/hwy mpg with the smaller of its two possible V-8 engines (4.6L), those variances aren’t very significant.

Like Phil Floraday, I believe that a little truck should be just thatSMALL. Small in terms of size, engine displacement, and fuel usage. Small. Additionally, they have gotten away from that, making it harder to tell them apart from full-size models. What is the purpose?

Nevertheless, this Tacoma has some appealing features, such as a stiff suspension designed by Toyota Racing Development to make it a serious off-road vehicle while also being forgiving of you on city streets. You get used to the brake pedal’s excessive firmness and sudden engagement, though. The running boards are unnecessary and only obstruct entry and exit, as others have pointed out. The driver’s seat is too close to the car’s floor. Due to its awkward proportionsa reasonably huge, boxy cab with an oddly small cargo bed dangling off the backthe Tacoma isn’t particularly beautiful in this Double Cab version. It just seems off.

The Tacoma’s size makes it more maneuverable, easier to see out of, and simpler to park, which is something I like.

For what it’s worth, I threw ten 50-pound bags of softener salt into the Tacoma’s bed, and it noticeably and predictably made the ride smoother.

Even if small pickups have gotten bigger in the last ten years, the contrast between that and the even more obvious bloating in large pickups is still enjoyable. The euphoria of hopping into a pickup truck and not having to worry about striking the parking garage ceiling, as I do in our Four Seasons Dodge Ram, was somewhat dampened when I scraped my leg on the obscenely positioned running boards. Additionally, you don’t need to check your side mirrors as you turn to make sure you’ve cleared the long bed past a post, as someone in our Ram allegedly did a few months ago.

Having said that, I’ll ask the same question as everyone else: why would someone spend $33,000 on a little pickup when they could spend the same amount of money on a full-size vehicle that is more capable and, let’s face it, more cooler? Even most V-8, four-wheel-drive big trucks are within a few miles per gallon of this Tacoma’s 18 mpg combined rating, so it’s not like you’re gaining a huge fuel economy benefit.

What can a Toyota Tacoma from 2009 tow?

1. Upgrades for 2009 include standard limited-slip differential, side front-seat airbags, side curtain airbags, and stability and traction control.

2. The Tacoma’s 4.0L V6 engine, with 236 horsepower and 266 ft-lbs of torque and an EPA-rated 17/21 mpg rating for the 42 and 16/20 for the 44, delivers an excellent mix between power and fuel efficiency.

3. A beautiful aerodynamic trim kit, 17-inch rims, and Bilstein shocks are all part of the optional TRD package.

4. The Tacoma has a 6,500-lb maximum towing capability.

Toyota has established itself as a business that understands how to create and market automobiles over the last few of decades. If you disagree, stand outside your front door and count how many Echos, Camrys, and Corollas are parked in your neighbors’ driveways. Toyota has enjoyed considerable success in the North American auto industry, but it has yet to truly assert itself over the big three in the truck business.

Towing capacity and resale value are just two areas where foreign truck manufacturers fall short when compared to domestic truck manufacturers. Overcoming brand loyalty that exists in this market is perhaps Toyota’s biggest challenge. However, with the current instability of fuel costs and the uncertain future of General Motors, Ford, and Dodge, the masses of devoted customers may start looking elsewhere in the near future.


Some drivers are more concerned with fuel efficiency than the quarter-mile, despite the fact that the 2.7L four-cylinder standard engine’s 159hp and 180 ft-lbs of torque aren’t exactly tire-shredding. With ratings of 19/25 mpg (city/highway) for the 2X4 and 17/22 for the 44 model, the four-banger excels in the first of those areas. Upgrade to the 4.0-liter V6 variant for 236 horsepower and 266 ft-lbs of torque. This engine is found in my TRD-equipped Double Cab tester.

The V6 powerplant boasts respectable acceleration thanks to Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) and sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection, and it also offers respectable fuel economy with a 17/21 mpg rating for the 42 and 16/20 mpg rating for the 44. Even better, the V6 engine has enough oomph to accelerate the Tacoma to 60 mph in around eight seconds.


Front disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist as standard provide confidence-inspiring braking (BA). Although less complex than disc brakes in the realm of automobiles, drum brakes are more durable and ideal for off-the-beaten-path travel.

Handling is equally capable thanks to an available $3,055 TRD Sport package that features wider 17-inch wheels, a set of 265/65/17 tires, and Bilstein shocks. The handling is quick and precise, and the ride quality is solid and sturdy without being shockingly harsh.


Standard stability and traction control, side front-seat airbags, side curtain airbags, front active head restraints, and a limited-slip differential are among the upgrades for 2009. While the Access Cab versions receive standard power windows and door locks as well as a redesigned rear-seat design, the standard audio system has also been modified. The Tacoma platform gives a wide range of options depending on the owner’s preferences, which is a big part of its popularity. Whatever your tastes or the tasks you need to complete, the Tacoma has something to offer. The $15,170 admission fee for the base model and the top price of $25,285 for the X-Runner are also reasonable. However, the price can increase due to options, with my TRD Double Cab model costing over $30,000.

Other models have the potential to tow 6,500 lbs and have a payload of up to 1,445 lbs, albeit an owner who chooses the X-Runner is unlikely to tow more than a few dirt bikes or Sea Doos. Although the Tacoma can’t tow a home like your neighbor’s F350 Super Duty, 6,500 lbs. is still a sizable amount, and filling the tank with gas won’t set you back a month’s worth of groceries. Additionally, this more adaptable platform eliminates the need for compromise for people who don’t always need a pickup truck. The Tundra is a superior choice for folks who need a vehicle for heavy-duty tasks despite the fact that the redesigned Tacoma is bigger and more potent than the previous generation.


The wide stance, muscular shape, and TRD-equipped testers’ fender flares and hood scoop give the Tacoma an intimidating and aggressive presence. The hood scoop was an inconvenience because it continually managed to reflect the light straight into my eyes every evening while I was driving home from work, despite looking badass and moody from the outside.

The X-Runner is likely to wow anyone looking for a real eye-catcher, especially in Speedway Blue.

Although the interior is very basic and uninspired, the exterior is incredibly attractive. On American models, the layout and ergonomics are utilitarian, and leather is not an option (although it can be had on Canadian Tacomas).


While the Tacoma shines in the most of areas, there were a few issues that I felt should be addressed and that could be fixed quickly and simply. I’m left wondering why they even bothered since the tilt steering can be adjusted by about an inch. Why settle for less as a designer if you are going to take the time to configure such a choice? Second, the backup camera that appears in the rearview mirror when the switchgear is in the reverse position is a nice idea but could use some improvement. I recently tested a Chevy Traverse that had a similar option, but the camera provided a wider, clearer, and more precise view of the area behind the car than the Tacoma’s camera did. Although it is rare that you can remember the last time someone said they wanted a Toyota was more like a Chevy, GM is improving across the board, so Toyota won’t be able to rest on its laurels for very long.


Although I enjoyed driving the Tacoma right away, in my opinion, the true test of any vehicle is whether or not it can win over my grandfather. My father has owned numerous GMC Suburbans over the years and has driven SUVs long before they were fashionable. He will likely continue to do so. The fact that he is six feet five inches tall and somewhat heavier than 200 pounds greatly reduces his selection of vehicles, which has given him the moniker, “a Bear. His scowl slowly changed to a grin after we had just been driving in the substantially smaller Tacoma for a short while. “He reluctantly confessed, “It’s no Suburban, but it’s not as horrible as I expected,” which in Bear-speak meant he enjoyed it.

The Tacoma, in any of its many configurations, is unlikely to let you down whether you’re looking for a daily driver, family hauler, or medium-grade workhorse (or a little bit of each).

a balance between efficiency and power features of the ride/handling There are numerous models available.