Toyota's 2020 Tacoma Double Cab has earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. - Photo courtesy of IIHS.

Toyota's 2020 Tacoma Double Cab has earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Photo courtesy of IIHS.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2020 Toyota Tacoma crew cab with its Top Safety Pick award when the midsize pickup is outfitted with LED reflector headlights.

The Tacoma Double Cab, as it is known, was put through the paces and scored good ratings in five crashworthiness evaluations. These challenges included the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

In addition, vehicles must earn a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test to quality for Top Safety status. The Tacoma crew cab managed the task, garnering just an acceptable score because structural intrusion into the vehicle's footwell contributed to elevated injury risk to the right lower leg and foot. 

Vehicles must also prove their worth in crash prevention and headlight performance — capturing a good or acceptable headlight rating as well as an advanced or superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention.

The Tacoma met both stringent measures. Its LED reflector headlights, which are a new option for the 2020 model year, got a good rating from IIHS engineers.

Moreover, the crew cab outdid itself in front crash prevention, scoring a superior rating for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system. The vehicle avoided collisions with a fixed object representing the rear of another vehicle in tests at 12 and 25 mph, notes IIHS.

Pickups lag behind cars and SUVs when it comes to IIHS safety recognition. In fact, the 2020 Tacoma crew cab is only the third pickup to qualify for a 2019 safety award.

The 2020 Tacoma is getting a heavy update by adding Toyota's advanced driver safety technologies as standard equipment, as well as a larger touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay.

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