The 2022 Tacoma's crash test results improved slightly thanks to Toyota's re-engineering of the midsize pickup's leaf springs to prevent puncturing of the fuel tank. Vehicles built after October 2021, now earn a "Marginal" rating in the watchdog's passenger-side small overlap front crash test rather than "Poor" as previously tested.
While that doesn't sound like a significant improvement, the reduction in fire risk shouldn't be taken lightly. That said, the truck's performance in the test wasn't exactly stellar, especially considering its "Good" rating in the equivalent driver's side test.
"The small pickup’s door frame and dashboard intruded into the occupant survival space during the crash, contributing to heightened injury risks to the front seat passenger," IIHS said of the Tacoma's latest result. "Injury measurements taken from the dummy indicated a high risk of injury to the occupant’s right leg and a moderate risk of injury to the left leg. Though the frontal and side curtain airbags performed reasonably well, the dummy’s head also struck the grab handle on the A-pillar on the right side of the windshield."
The passenger-side small overlap is the only test keeping the Tacoma out of the running for Top Safety Pick; the pickup would have to earn a "Good" rating in all crashworthiness tests along with at least an "Acceptable" rating for one of its standard headlight offerings, one of which already exceeds that criteria.