2020 Toyota Tacoma Earns Second-Highest IIHS Safety Rating

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 4, 2019

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma becomes only the third pickup truck to earn one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) highest safety rating. When equipped with specific headlights, the Tacoma crew cab earned a Top Safety Pick from the institute. The Tacoma joins the Honda Ridgeline as the only two compact pickups that have earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick rating.

In the IIHS’ crash tests, the Tacoma earned a rating of Good in five of the six tests. The pickup earned an Acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. The Tacoma’s standard front crash prevention system earned a rating of Superior.

When it comes to headlights, the standard halogen units were found to be Marginal. The available LED headlights that are offered as part of optional packages on the TRD Sport and TRD Sport trims and standard on Limited and TRD Pro trims earned a rating of Good.

Compared to last year’s test scores, not much has changed for the Tacoma. The 2020 model year earned a better score for its available LED headlights, which was enough to help it earn the IIHS’ second-highest safety rating.

Getting into a Tacoma that meets the requirements to be named a Top Safety Pick is much more expensive than a base Tacoma. An SR trim in crew cab configuration costs $27,975. A TRD Sport with the TRD Premium Sport Package, which brings the Good-rated LED headlights, is priced at $44,280. Though, if you go with the Tacoma TRD Off-Road with rear-wheel drive and LED headlights, it costs much less at $35,580.

If you don’t want to worry about getting the right optional package, the Limited trim comes with LED headlights as standard and costs $39,885 with rear-wheel drive. Either way, consumers will have to pay a lot more money if they want to get into a Tacoma that earns a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

Toyota Tacoma

For such an old pickup truck, it’s surprising to see that the Tacoma is one of the safer options on the road. The only other two pickups that did well in the IIHS’ tests include the Ridgeline and the Ram 1500, though the latter is a full-size option.

The Ford Ranger missed out on an award because of its headlights; the Nissan Frontier had Poor rated headlights and earned low scores in a few crash tests; the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado had Poor rated headlights and a Marginal score in one small overlap front test; the all-new Jeep Gladiator hasn’t been tested yet.

Learn more about the Tacoma »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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