2021 Toyota Tacoma

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2021 Toyota Tacoma Review: For the Unbeaten Path

by Aiden Eksteen

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is fairly popular in truck-loving USA, mostly for its entertaining and capable off-roading potential, but it's also a modern and well-rounded alternative to the multitude of highly capable utility pickup trucks out there. It's not as polished or urban-centric as the Honda Ridgeline or as commanding and proficient at off-roading as the Jeep Gladiator, but it slots in very nicely right between the two as a balanced option that does everything reasonably well. With its listless base engine and firm suspension setup, it's certainly not the most serene or most comfortable vehicle a city-slicker could opt for though. Nevertheless, the 278-horsepower V6 unit that's standard higher up in the line does improve performance significantly, and there are plenty of creature comforts and conveniences to enjoy within the cabin, even if it is a bit confined. The Tacoma pickup truck bears all the dependability associated with the Toyota badge, and it's earned itself a fairly decent safety rating from the official authorities. Is its rounded but imperfect value enough to keep the Tacoma attractive in the ever-popular market, or are the more specialized trucks the smarter choices?

Read in this review:

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2021 Toyota Tacoma Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Tacoma?

Very little is new for the Toyota Tacoma in 2021, beyond a few cosmetic customization options and a couple of special editions. The TRD Pro deletes Army Green from its paint options to make room for Lunar Rock. The Nightshade Special Edition builds on the penultimate Limited trim, blacking out much of the exterior accents. The new Trail Special Edition gives the lower-tier SR5 a boost, with unique exterior elements and a bespoke interior, too. All V6-engined models receive standard dual-zone climate control this year, while an enhanced audio system on the TRD Sport and Off-Road enables premium remote services.

Pros and Cons

  • Proficient at traversing the unbeaten path
  • Impressive cargo and payload capacities
  • Exceptional maximum towing capacity
  • Ergonomic and nicely outfitted interior
  • Solid build quality and reliability record
  • Standard powertrain is rather dull
  • Cabin isn't the most spacious
  • Mediocre fuel economy return

What's the Price of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

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2021 Toyota Tacoma Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.7L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.7L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
SR5 V6
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
TRD Sport
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trims and Specs

2021 Tacoma Exterior

2021 Toyota Tacoma Frontal Aspect Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Side Angle Driving Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Side View Toyota
See All 2021 Toyota Tacoma Exterior Photos


  • Length 212.3 in
  • Wheelbase 127.4 in
  • Height 70.6 in
  • Max Width 74.4 in
  • Curb Weight 3,915.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Super White
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Cement
  • Voodoo Blue
  • Army Green
  • Wind Chill Pearl

2021 Tacoma Performance

2021 Toyota Tacoma Front Angle View Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Rear Angle View Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Wheelspin Toyota

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.7L Inline-4 Gas, 3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

2021 Tacoma Interior

2021 Toyota Tacoma Interior Overview Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma First Row Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Front Seats Toyota
See All 2021 Toyota Tacoma Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.9 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 24.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 34.9 in

2021 Tacoma Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Toyota Tacoma Maximum Cargo Space Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Cargo Room Toyota
2021 Toyota Tacoma Rear View Toyota

2021 Tacoma Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 25,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma A Good Pickup Truck?

With two powertrains, ten models, and up to around 34 different configurations, the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck can be set up to suit just about anyone. It's a cool-looking pickup truck and can be had with various powertrain and body configurations. Its true advantages lie in its off-roading potential, though, and it's a pretty utilitarian pickup that can haul or tow a fair amount. Toyota has also kept it nicely up to date in terms of the features and technology it comes with, and even the entry-spec model comes outfitted with a comprehensive infotainment suite and an extensive selection of driver-assists and safety systems. Unfortunately, Toyota hasn't put much effort into much of anything else in the third-generation Tacoma, which has resulted in a rather confined cabin and a far too unyielding ride quality. A regular 4-door car may be a better choice if you're looking for a comfortable and pragmatic everyday cruiser. That said, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma has undergone review for its crashworthiness and safety and it scored really well. But even so, we feel i will only really win the favor of avid off-roaders.

What Toyota Tacoma Model Should I Buy?

There's certainly no shortage of options within the 2021 Tacoma line, but if you're looking to get the most out of what the midsize trailblazer has to offer, we'd recommend going for the TRD Off-Road as the most off-road proficient model. This 2021 Toyota Tacoma truck bears a price of $34,565, which is still fairly attractive for what you get. It comes standard with the better V6 powertrain but giving this model its apt capability is its electronic locking rear differential and upgraded TRD off-road suspension that's been augmented with Bilstein shocks. You'll also want to ensure that you opt-in the 4x4 system, which also comes equipped with multi-terrain Select drive modes.

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