Toyota Tacoma 2021
- FUEL TYPEPetrol
- MILEAGE18 MPG City / Highway
- ENGINE3456 cc
- CAR TYPESUV
The Toyota Tacoma—lovingly called the Taco by its legion of fans—is a practical mid-size pickup truck first and an off-road toy second. However, its legend is largely influenced by the latter, especially when combined with Toyota's storied reliability. Although most of its competitors are more refined, and the Jeep Gladiator is even more capable, the Tacoma has earned a cult following the hard way: over time, delivering what customers wanted. Its four-cylinder and V-6 engines aren't all that impressive, and its automatic transmission is as coordinated as a newborn baby bird, but the truck's TRD models are particularly proficient at tackling trails and playing in the mud. While its interior is plasticky and even the crew-cab model has a diminutive back seat, the 2021 Tacoma is popular for reasons related to the heart rather than the head.
What's New for 2021?
For 2021, Toyota will offer a limited-run Tacoma Trail Edition model, but only 7000 copies will be available. This version is based on the SR5 crew cab and offers rear- or four-wheel drive. It comes with unique 16-inch TRD-style wheels with all-terrain tires. In addition to black exterior badges and a different grille, the Trail Edition has a lockable storage unit and a 120-volt outlet in the cargo bed. Inside, the cabin features all-weather floor mats and black upholstery with tan contrast stitching.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- SR - $27,915
- SR5 - $29,705
- TRD Sport - $34,825
- TRD Off Road - $36,105
- Limited - $40,670
- Trail Edition - $40,835
Nightshade - $41,670
The TRD Off-Road crew cab (a.k.a. Double Cab) is the Tacoma to get. It comes standard with an electronic locking rear differential, and we'd take ours with the optional four-wheel drive. We’d pass on the wheezy four-cylinder base engine and upgrade to the more powerful V-6 option. While not selecting the automatic transmission means missing out on certain options, we prefer to shift gears ourselves and avoid the auto's clumsy behavior. This decision limits us to the shorter 5.0-foot cargo box, because—for whatever reason—the manual isn't compatible with Tacos fitted with the 6.0-foot bed. Likewise, the Premium packages are not offered with our transmission choice. Still, every model has 16-inch wheels, black over-fenders, copious driver assists, and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. We'd also choose the Technology package with options, which brings upgraded front lighting with LED elements as well as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.
Features & Options
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA) ★★★★★
The Tacoma might have average crash-test ratings, but it has the most standard driver-assistance technology in its class. While the Ridgeline maintains its class-leading status here (thanks to excellent crash-test scores), the mid-size Toyota has more impressive tech than its other rivals. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
The Tacoma's warranty coverage aligns with most rivals, and Toyota offers the best complimentary scheduled maintenance plan in its class.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles