2009 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 V-6 SR5 TRD

Though small pickups have grown in the past decade, the even more noticeable bloating in large pickups still makes for a pleasant contrast. It was nice to hop into a pickup truck and not worry about hitting the roof of the parking garage, as I do in our Four Seasons Dodge Ram, though that relief was spoiled a bit as a scraped my leg on the absurdly placed running boards. There's also no need to look out your side mirrors as you round corners to make sure you've cleared the long bed past a post, which someone apparently did in our Ram some months back.

That said, I'll join everyone else here and wonder why one would pay $33,000 for a smallish pickup when a more capable, and, let's face it, much cooler full-size ride can be had for basically the same price. And it's not like you're getting an enormous fuel economy benefit, as even most V-8, four-wheel-drive big trucks are within a few miles per gallon of this Tacoma's 18 mpg combined rating.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

New Car Research

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