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2021 Toyota Tacoma Review

Steven Mitchell

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is dressed up for work and play, and that’s the way we think a truck should be.

What’s New for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - toyota.com

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Tacoma on Carsforsale.com

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma has aged 5-years since its last redesign. We love Tacoma’s off-road capabilities, but its age shows in the interior and the engine. Regardless, the Tacoma is still full of standard safety features with a history of reliability and off-roading prowess that just can’t be beaten.

Speaking of the interior, we still like it because we’re never going to worry about dirtying anything up. It’s not luxed out with soft-touch plastic, Berber carpet, or extra soft leather from some animal that ate organic grass on a small family farm. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is dressed up for work or play, and that’s the way we think a truck should be.

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $26,250

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

4WD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

20 City / 23 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 4

The Breakdown

All-business interior

Rugged exterior design

It has the ability to go anywhere

One of the most reliable trucks

Rear legroom is lacking

We want a more powerful engine

2021 Tacoma Specs

Trims & Pricing

SR - $26,250
SR5 - $28,040
TRD Sport - $33,160
TRD Off-Road - $34,415
Limited - $39,005
TRD Pro - $44,175

2021 Toyota Tacoma Powertrain

2021 Toyota Tacoma V6 engine - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma V6 engine - carsforsale.com

Like the Toyota Corolla‘s standard 4-cylinder, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma’s 4-cylinder engine struggles to shove it down the road. Although you can choose to keep the small 159 horsepower 4-cylinder, we’d recommend adding the 278 horsepower 3.5-liter V6. When you go to the Tacoma specs on the Toyota website, you’ll have to dig around even to find the 4-cylinder. Trust us, get the V6.

Although we’ve heard that the auto transmission often hunts around for gears, we think it’s acceptable for on the road. If you’re doing any ff-road driving in the TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro, we recommend the 6-speed manual.

2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com

You won’t be buying the Tacoma for stoplight racing, but the 4-cylinder does 0-60 in 10 seconds and the V6 makes it in 6.8 seconds. The V6 torque will help your TRD on the road, trails, or towing. Even with the V6, the Limited trim feels more suited to the pavement. Steering in every model feels light for a pickup and continues the consistent responsiveness you’ll find in other Toyotas.

Towing & Payload

2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma with a V6 engine will tow 6800 lbs with rear-wheel-drive and 6500 lbs with four-wheel-drive. For payload, the Tacoma’s maximum is 1685 lbs in the two-wheel-drive and with the 4-cylinder, while the V6 and four-wheel-drive version payload is around 1000 lbs. 

2021 Toyota Tacoma Fuel Economy & MPG

Although not the best in its class, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma’s V6 reaches an estimated 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, which isn’t bad for a truck. Toyota is typically known for great mpg numbers, but you’ll have to remember that it’s a truck. 

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Opening the door and sitting inside the 2021 Toyota Tacoma transports you back a decade. It’s endearing and comfortable, but all of the hard touch dash pieces and square shapes remind you that it’s been a while since its last update.

Everything is well put together and, depending on the trim, you have a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We do enjoy the large knobs for the simple climate, volume, and search controls. If you’re jumping in from the cold with ski gloves, you’ll enjoy them too.

The electronically adjustable driver’s seat is very comfortable, but there aren’t many storage options. The few cup holders are a tad small and the center console storage area will only hold a few items. It’s not like the Toyota Highlander, which could swallow a couple of purses in the center console. Aside from the lack of storage capability, the front seats are a comfortable place to be.

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2021 Toyota Tacoma rear seat room - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma rear seat room - carsforsale.com

Sitting in the rear, however, is a different story. The knee room is very tight and good luck getting your toes under the front seat for some extra comfort. Everything is tight, which is no surprise since a small rear seat has always been a Tacoma thing, but the competition does much better in this area. Also, the entire passenger compartment doesn’t have extra storage anywhere. There are a few little storage spots behind the rear seats and the above-mentioned console storage, but other than that, you’re out of luck.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Toyota Tacoma infotainment - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma infotainment - toyota.com

Toyota gives the Tacoma the 7-inch Entune audio display that’s available on its other models. We like the quality of the image, the UI responsiveness, and Android Auto as an alternative to Apple CarPlay. Wireless charging in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is available as an option in almost every trim and there are two USB ports in the console storage with one on the dash. Not that you would need it, but there’s no WIFI hotspot coverage available for the Tacoma. As you get up in the TRD and Limited models, the larger 8-inch touchscreen and JBL sound systems are standard to add some extra boom for long road trips.

Safety Features

Like other Toyota models, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma has more standard safety features than competitors. Each trim comes with pre-collision, pedestrian detection, lane change assist, bicycle detection, and adaptive cruise control. Also available are blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high-beams. 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trims & Pricing

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma SR - carsforsale.com

SR – $26,250

The SR trims come with a 2.7-liter 4-Cylinder with the 3.5-liter optional. You also get standard DRLs, a nice-sounding Entune audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen, and a 2.2-inch LCD instrument panel display.

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 - toyota.com

SR5 – $28,040

The SR5 adds a keyless entry, auto high beams, plus a very comfortable 10-way power driver’s seat. You get a bed rail system in the truck bed, adjustable tie-downs, and a bed liner. Also included is a GoPro window mount. 

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - carsforsale.com

TRD SPORT – $33,160

The TRD Sport is more off-road focused with its 3.5-liter V6, but still a comfortable on-road pickup. You’ll get the 8.0-inch touchscreen and some extra safety features.  

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road - toyota.com

TRD OFF-ROAD – $34,415

Able to climb over most anything, the TRD off-road is your choice for the trail. The Kevlar wheels and in-bed lockable storage box/cooler help make your trips more comfortable. 

2021 Toyota Tacoma Limited - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma Limited - toyota.com

LIMITED – $39,005

The top-of-the-line Toyota Tacoma Limited raises the bar. Leather seats and the sweet-sounding JBL audio system remind you that comfort is job #1 for the Limited.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - toyota.com

TRD PRO – $44,175

Toyota’s TRD Pro has 16-inch black alloy wheels, Fox shocks, and a TRD front grill that immediately sets it apart. The massive front skid plate lets you know it’s ready for action and the TRDs Catback exhaust brings a pleasant growl to acceleration. 

Warranties

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes with a typical 3 year/36,000 mile basic and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. The Tacoma also comes with a maintenance plan covering standard factory scheduled service for two years or 25,000 miles and 24-hour Roadside Assistance for unlimited mileage.

What we think

2021 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com

2021 Toyota Tacoma – toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Tacoma on Carsforsale.com

Even though its design is getting older, we still like the 2021 Toyota Tacoma in all of its forms. If most of your travel is on the road, the Limited and SR models work well and give you the option to take it off-road if you want, but the TRD models are our favorite. Age doesn’t deter the Tacoma in its ability to off-road with the best of the competition. Go pick up a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and give it a try.

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Steven Mitchell
Steven Mitchell

Steve's first car had pedals, and he's been filled with passion for four wheels ever since. He lives and breathes the car life as a technologist, futurist, and writer while keeping up with the whys, hows, and plans of the automotive industry. His automotive journey began with a fully restored Triumph TR3b that he sadly never appreciated until decades later. Ownerships of X-1/9's, BMW's, an SVT and a Dodge Ram Hemi have given way to the house of Audi Sport. You'll also find him as an endurance athlete on the bike in SoCal, but you'll know he's thinking about cars.

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