The U.S. News Media Group, which includes U.S. News & World Report, released its first annual Best Cars for the Money awards, and Tacoma captured Best Compact Truck for the Money honors. Of the 14 vehicle categories, Toyota won five. Other winners were Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Avalon. Lexus also captured three awards with ES, RX and GS models.
According to the news release from U.S. News Media Group, the honor recognizes the vehicles that earn the highest marks for overall value and appeal within their category. U.S. News says it combines its own 2009 Car Rankings with cost of ownership data provided by IntelliChoice.com. The Car Rankings are based primarily on the "balanced, diverse opinions of hundreds of professional auto critics," according to U.S. News.
In recognizing the Tacoma, U.S. News said, "The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is a strong choice among compact pickups for its car-like interior, as well as its practical capabilities."
U.S. News gave the Tacoma an overall average score of 9.1 in ranking compact trucks. In breaking down the numbers, U.S. News gave Tacoma 9.9 for safety and a 9.0 for reliability. It also acknowledged Tacoma's "polished engine options," "strong off-road performance" and "impressive crash test scores."
The U.S. News honor wraps up a strong year of awards for the Tacoma, which is easily the best-selling compact truck on the market. Here's a recap of other recent accolades bestowed on the truck:
- Named "Best in Class" by Truck Trend magazine
- Named "2009 Top Safety Pick" by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS.) Tacoma is the only compact pickup on the list of 72 vehicles
- Named "2009 Residual Value Award" by Automotive Lease Guide
- Named "2009 Best Resale Value" by Kelley Blue Book
- Named "Best Midsize Truck" by Texas Auto Writers
- Named "Consumers Top Rated Vehicle Award" in compact truck category by Edmunds.com
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