2021 Toyota Tacoma

MSRP range: $27,230 - $47,030
4.1 out of 5 stars(57)
MSRP $35,348
Edmunds suggests you pay $35,726

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2021 Toyota Tacoma Review

  • Rugged off-pavement capability
  • Easily understood interior controls
  • Composite truck bed has movable tie-down cleats and a power outlet
  • Top-level V6 can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission
  • Off-road emphasis produces a tall step-up height
  • Trail and Nightshade special editions debut
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control standard on V6 models
  • TRD Sport and Off-Road trims get upgraded audio
  • Part of the third Tacoma generation introduced for 2016

Not everybody needs the size and capabilities of a full-size pickup. That's where midsize trucks come in, and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is one of the better choices in the class. It trails behind the more city-friendly Honda Ridgeline and all-terrain Jeep Gladiator in our rankings, but we think the Tacoma is a sensible middle ground between the two. It also feels a little more refined than rivals from Chevrolet, Ford and GMC.

After last year's significant refresh, there are no changes to the core Tacoma offerings. There are, however, a pair of new limited-edition trims for buyers looking for something a little different. The Trail Special Edition is based on the near entry-level SR5 trim with the double-cab body style. Limited to 7,000 units, it comes with all-terrain tires and lockable bed storage bins. The driver's side bin is even insulated so it can function as a built-in cooler. There's also a Nightshade Special Edition based on the more expensive Limited trim, but changes are only aesthetic, with blacked-out badging and trim throughout. Just 5,000 are planned for production.

Is the Tacoma the right midsize truck for you? Check out our Expert Rating to get our in-depth take on the 2021Tacoma.

What's it like to live with?

When the Tacoma was redesigned in 2016, we wanted to know what it was like to live with, so we bought one. Specifically, we purchased the 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road and lived with it in our long-term fleet for nearly two years, putting over 40,000 miles on the odometer. The Tacoma has received some updates since its redesign in 2016, but it's the same generation truck so most of our observations apply. To learn about everything from seat comfort to reliability, check out all the details in our long-term Tacoma test.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert RatingThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling truck in its segment for a reason. Foremost, it enjoys a long-standing reputation for durability and go-anywhere capability. But it's also smooth, efficient and easy to get along with on the road.
The Tacoma steers and handles smoothly and is generally easy to drive. The main exception is the brakes, which feel grabby and can induce nosedive in hard stops. We do wish the 3.5-liter V6 felt a bit more willing, but there is enough power for daily use. The transmission shifts predictably and is able to get the most out of the engine.

Off-road is where the Tacoma truly shines and stands above all others except the Gladiator. The Tacoma has the clearance, gearing and traction to tackle serious terrain, and the brakes and throttle prove brilliantly precise and controllable in low-range crawling situations.
The Tacoma was never a disagreeable truck to ride in, but changes introduced in 2020 made it a little bit more pleasant. A fully adjustable 10-way driver's seat comes standard in V6 trucks, and this seat promotes long-range comfort for drivers of almost all shapes and sizes.

The thicker side-window glass cuts down the wind noise compared to prior years, though the Colorado and the Ridgeline still have an edge here. The same is true for ride quality since the Tacoma is still truckier than its smoothest-riding competitors. As for the climate system, it has effective heating and cooling and is easy to adjust.
The Tacoma's main drawback is its tallish step-in height. Get past that and everything else is solid once you're inside. The controls are logical and straightforward, including the large infotainment screen and the recently redesigned knobs and physical shortcut buttons.

The 10-way power seat provides a greater range of adjustability than in pre-2020 models, but we wish the telescoping steering wheel pulled out more. The front-seat roominess benefits from the seat's added downward adjustability, but other dimensions remain the same as before. Visibility is very good thanks to the profile of the hood, ample side windows, and a forward- and side-looking camera system.
The latest Tacoma is pretty well stocked with tech features. Toyota introduced a new screen in 2020 that featured a larger size, crisper map graphics and quicker responses than in previous models. You also get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even Amazon Alexa. Built-in navigation is an inexpensive upgrade option, and it's probably worth getting if you're planning on venturing out of cellphone range a lot.

Toyota's approach to standard active safety tech is admirable. Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam control, and even a driver drowsiness warning system are all standard on all grades.
The Tacoma's truck bed is ideal. It's made of a composite material that needs no bedliner, and it has an enviable combination of fixed and movable tie-downs. Loading is easy because the tailgate opens low and its bedsides aren't comically tall. With a 6,800-pound maximum tow rating, the Tacoma does lag behind some others, but the deficit isn't large.

Interior storage for small items is adequate. Folding the rear seats down into their cargo-carrying position is a little fussy, but as a result it offers better storage space than all but the Ridgeline and the Gladiator. Installing child safety seats is easy, but larger rear-facing and infant seats might eat into front passenger room.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic combo earns 20 mpg combined (18 city/22 highway) in 4WD trim and 21 mpg combined in rear-wheel-drive models. Our testing leads us to believe that these ratings are achievable and accurate.

We tested a 2016 TRD 4WD Off-Road for more than a year and averaged 18.6 mpg over 40,000 miles of use. We were able to exceed the highway rating on several road trips, and there are good reasons why our truck may have come up just over 1 mpg short. Our home-base location skews the mix toward city driving, and the TRD Off-Road has knobbier tires and lacks the front airdam that comes on most Tacomas.
You get a lot of well-built truck and a bed with many standard cargo-handling and safety features for your money. The value equation is particularly good on the TRD models. Build quality is solid, and Toyota trucks are known for their mechanical durability. Although warranty coverage isn't generous, you do get two years of free scheduled maintenance.
Toyota's Tacoma manages to deliver fun in a right-size pickup package. Its TRD off-road packages are the real deal, not sticker packages inflated by marketing hype. The buying public has responded with fierce loyalty, and this truck has also attracted the attention of the aftermarket, which supports it with many products that enable all sorts of customization. The Tacoma is great for those who want the look and feel of an off-roader even if they'll never get it dirty because it's also an easy-driving and dependable pickup truck.

Which Tacoma does Edmunds recommend?

The midtier TRD Sport and Off-Road are quite appealing. They both add plenty of features and offer a diverse options list. Of the two, the TRD Off-Road is our pick. It enhances the truck's off-road ability while keeping the cost reasonable. While the deletion of the airdam comes with a slight fuel economy penalty, we think it's offset by the more comfortable ride provided by the smaller wheels and Bilstein shocks.

Toyota Tacoma models

The Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck offered in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and TRD Pro.The SR and SR5 come standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine producing 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Optional for those trims — and standard on all others — is a 3.5-liter V6 with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft on tap. A six-speed automatic is common across the lineup, though some trims offer a six-speed manual transmission in conjunction with the V6.

Other choices include an extended cab (Access Cab) configuration with a 6.1-foot bed or a crew cab (Double Cab) with a 5- or 6.1-foot bed. Rear-wheel drive is standard on most trims, with part-time four-wheel drive (with a low-range transfer case) an option.

SR
The SR is the work truck of the bunch and kicks things off with:

  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Sliding rear window
  • Power-adjustable and heated side mirrors
  • Tough composite bed that needs no bedliner
  • Movable bed cleats
  • Locking/unlocking vehicle remote (V6 only; can be added to four-cylinder models via Convenience package)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control (V6 only)
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite radio
  • Three USB ports
  • Wi-Fi hotspot

The base Tacoma also comes with a suite of driving aids. These include:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Toyota and the car in front)

SR5
The SR5 will be a little more palatable for most non-commercial buyers. Among its upgrades are:

  • Alloy wheels (V6 only)
  • Chrome exterior trim
  • Locking/unlocking vehicle remote
  • Power-sliding rear window (V6 Double Cab only)
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat (V6 only)
  • Auto-dimming mirror (V6 only)
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 8-inch touchscreen

The Tacoma SR5 is available with a number of option packages, including:

  • Dynamic Navigation package (V6 only)
    • Navigation system
    • Rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Technology package (V6 only)
    • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
  • Trail Special Edition (V6 Double Cab only)
    • All-terrain tires
    • Unique seat trim
    • All-weather floor mats
    • 120-volt outlet in bed
    • Locking storage bins in bed

TRD Sport
The TRD Sport is the mildest of the off-road Tacomas. Because it's powered by the V6, all non-optional features listed above designated "V6 only" are standard here. On top of the SR5 features, it adds:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Hood scoop
  • Heated mirrors
  • Body-colored fender flares and rear bumper
  • 120-volt outlet in bed
  • Keyless entry and ignition (automatic transmission only)
  • Power-sliding rear window (Double Cab only)
  • Wireless charging pad

A number of packages and stand-alone options are available for the TRD Sport, and many can be mixed and matched with one another. In a nutshell, these include:

  • Technology package
    • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
    • Rear parking sensors
  • Premium Audio and Dynamic Navigation package
    • Navigation system
    • JBL premium audio system
  • Premium Sport package
    • Sunroof
    • Heated front seats
    • Leather upholstery
  • Advanced Technology package
    • 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Tacoma and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • LED headlights

TRD Off-Road
The TRD Off-Road is equipped similarly to the TRD Sport but adds genuine off-road performance bits. Upgrades include:

  • 16-inch wheels
  • Removes the Sport's hood scoop
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • Textured black fender flares
  • Removes front airdam
  • Lockable rear differential
  • Bilstein shock absorbers
  • Advanced off-road traction control system with multiple terrain settings and rock crawl (4WD only)

The TRD Off-Road's option packages are generally the same as those for the TRD Sport. The available Multi-Terrain monitor adds front- and side-view cameras for fine-tuning the Tacoma's position off-road.

Limited
The Tacoma Limited primarily adds luxury features. It includes most of the TRD Sport's equipment, minus the sport suspension and hood scoop. Also added are:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Silver grille
  • Sunroof
  • Leather upholstery
  • JBL audio system
  • Navigation system
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • 360-degree camera system

The only notable package here is the Nightshade Special Edition package. It adds:

  • Black-painted wheels
  • Black exterior styling elements, including mirror caps and door handles

TRD Pro
The TRD Pro is the range-topping Tacoma and gains serious off-road hardware. On top of TRD Off-Road equipment, the TRD Pro adds:

  • 16-inch black-painted TRD wheels with all-terrain tires
  • LED headlights
  • Black grille
  • Hood scoop
  • Thicker front skid plate
  • Fox internal bypass shock absorbers
  • Upgraded exhaust
  • Multi-Terrain Monitor (an off-road camera system)
  • Sunroof
  • Unique leather upholstery
  • JBL audio system
  • Navigation system
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
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Watch Review
2021 Midsize Truck Comparison: Tacoma vs. Ranger vs. Frontier vs. Colorado & Canyon

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

Average user rating: 4.1 stars
57 total reviews
5 star reviews: 56%
4 star reviews: 18%
3 star reviews: 12%
2 star reviews: 5%
1 star reviews: 9%

Trending topics in reviews

  • handling & steering
  • comfort
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  • safety
  • appearance
  • driving experience
  • spaciousness
  • towing
  • off-roading
  • doors
  • fuel efficiency
  • technology
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • transmission
  • engine
  • road noise
  • maintenance & parts
  • acceleration
  • sound system
  • seats
  • wheels & tires
  • lights
  • oil
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  • ride quality
  • visibility
  • warranty
  • brakes
  • interior

Most helpful consumer reviews

4/5 stars, 1st Truck Ever
David D,
SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I have had a car my whole driving career, but getting older, and being more of an outdoor person, I wanted something higher up, off road type and not family SUV like. Compared the Ford Ranger and Tacoma, and obviously went with Tacoma. The Truck rides excellent, comfortable, enough power, tech is good, bed is just enough, does need more storage I think in the cab. The complaints about the transmission is true, it is uncoordinated but manageable. I don’t expect engine or transmission problems with Toyota’s mechanical reliability. And there has been no complaints of transmission replacement of the 2020s. I don’t like the use of a key, as I’m use to push button start, seems so 90s. Higher up trims give you a push start but even the FOB looks early 2000s. Just put 1000 miles on it and still breaking it in. I feel that this truck will last a while but understand why Toyota doesn’t put all the fancy features in it right away, to reduce problems before they really had time to test them and make sure they are good so they provide a reliable vehicle.
5/5 stars, Great truck, much improved
Sam,
TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This 2021 Tacoma is a wonderful truck. I had a 2018 Tacoma but was unsatisfied with the cabin noise and transmission issues of shifting all the time. This 2021 TRD sport is very quiet, audio is improved, ride is very smooth and transmission issues of shifting all the time have disappeared. Couldn't be happier with this decision. Ordered it in August and was delivered in October. Haven't found anything I dislike about this truck.
4/5 stars, Smooth driving Pickup truck
Edjersey ,
TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I purchased this 2021 Tacoma double cab TRD Sport weeks ago! The good part! Drives smooth transmission shift smooth but when slowing down you can feel it downshifting. Some drivers complained about vibration @25mph car is engine braking then downshift! Fuel economy is good engine and transmission are responsive Trucks is nice to drive on long drive I’m 5 11” I feel like the steering should be able to adjust more! Exhaust sounds good! The hood is 50lbs my wife can’t open the hood it’s too heavy they should’ve added a lift! No light on dash(speedo/tachometer) when driving in the morning! Gas cap anybody can just open it. it would be nice if there’s a switch to press inside the cabin to open the filler door. No pockets behind the seats. Most of the dash is made of plastics but no rattles yet, we will see in a year or so? No roof handles like the 4runners so when you’re making sharp turns the passenger can grab on the roof handles. Owned 3 4Runners and this is my 1st Tacoma Update after owning it for 7 months. The only thing that I didn’t like is the Dynamic Cruise control. They should program it to give it gas smoothly not rev it to 4k plus to keep up with traffic that’s the only thing. Other than that the trucks drives nice plenty of power. My truck is stock just upgraded tires to 265/70/17
5/5 stars, My first Taco, and her name is Maggie
Connor McCollum,
SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I just leased a brand new 2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Double Cab on my birthday and couldn't be happier! I was casually looking for used ones but sales talked me into leasing a new one to keep my payment down and not paying for depreciation (which doesn't really exist on this vehicle by the way) This truck was literally fresh off the transporter with 4 miles on it! I even saw it get unloaded from the transporter thinking there's no way that would ever be mine. It wasn't my first color choice however considering I wanted what everyone else wants, either Cement Grey, Quicksand Brown, or Cavalry Blue. Of course those colors are red-hot which makes them virtually nonexistent and dealers aren't that willing to trade. So I had to make do with what they had but I have to say this shade of Magnetic Grey (hence the truck's nickname) is growing on me. I despised it over the years but once I saw it up close in person I really enjoy the metallic sparkle when the sun hits it just right. I'm so happy to not only have the practicality of a pickup truck but also having the convenience features I've been craving. I've always wanted a vehicle with a big touchscreen infotainment system and thankfully for 2020 onward, they added that as standard. Same goes for the power driver's seat. You can find the perfect seating position this way. Even the little features get me giddy such as a sunglasses holder, the LED dome light package, the behind-the-seats storage, a power sliding rear window, LED bedlights, and automatic climate control. The only feature that it's missing is push-button start, which should be standard considering all the money they charge for these trucks! Fuel economy is pretty decent. With a full tank of gas my range was 375 miles! It's been almost two weeks since the fill-up and I'm still at more than half a tank! And that's in-town driving! That's why I don't get these complaints about fuel economy. I did notice the transmission is a bit sluggish which is a complaint that I can actually agree with. The truck has a hard time finding gears especially from second to third. It also seems to clunk when downshifting or reeving at high RPMs. This shouldn't be the case considering it's only a six-speed. They've been using this transmission for years and it's just now suffering problems. But I'm just happy it's not turbocharged or a CVT which are prone to failure. Overall, I made a wise decision. You can't go wrong with a pickup truck. I can always find time to utilize it. And it's a midsize so parking and maneuverability is pretty decent. Also, this has the highest residual value of any vehicle in the market going for it. Not to mention it looks good. This is the best looking midsize on the market which is one of the reasons so many people go for it. And it's reliable. All I have to do is routine maintenance and I'm good to go!

2021 Toyota Tacoma videos

RYAN ZUMMALLEN: Today, we've got four-- count them-- four of the top mid-sized trucks you can buy. There's the tried and true Toyota Tacoma plus the GMC Canyon and Ford Ranger, and then there's this, the brand new Nissan Frontier. We know these trucks well because we've put each one through our exhaustive testing process. And now we want to find out exactly how they stack up against each other. If you ask me, midsize trucks are more like right-sized trucks. This group is livable and versatile while still packing a lot of utility and off-road capability. We'll run you through each of their strengths and weaknesses and show you some reasons why you might decide to buy one over the other. While you're here, be sure to throw us a like. And don't forget to subscribe so you see more Edmunds videos just like this one. And hey, if you like money, go to edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car right now. Seriously, right now. [MUSIC PLAYING] You've been waiting for it. We've been waiting for it. Well, wait no more. The redesigned Nissan Frontier is here with a load of enticing upgrades for 2022. Most noticeably, it has a burly new look and tons of options, including a wireless smartphone charging station, surround view camera, and those sweet-looking grab handles. Yee-haw. There's a lot that interests us here. So let's dive right in. One of the big highlights is a 3.8-liter V6 engine, which is standard on all trims. So there's no more 4-cylinder option. That engine is now the most powerful in the class. And it pairs with a 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth power and comfortable shifts. But perhaps even more crucial is the improved steering in the new Frontier plus Nissan's excellent zero gravity seats that come standard and a bigger stabilizer bar for better on-road comfort. Hill descent control is also standard on 4-by-4 models. OK, you know what? Let's just talk about how the dang thing drives. When it comes to driving feel and refinement, the Frontier is powerful and smooth and a definite upgrade from past Frontiers the steering can still be a little bit vague, but it's not bad for the body on frame midsize truck class. And as far as off-roading, this Pro-4x trim checks all the right boxes. It's got extra clearance, bigger shocks, three skid plates, and yes, a locking rear diff, all stuff you're going to expect from a midsize off-road truck, plus looks tough. Inside this Frontier, it's a world of improvement from the old one. First, you get an 8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all standard. You'll notice a lot of tightened design in here, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And that's a good base to start with. It's still not super premium, and there is a lot of hard plastic. But hey, for some, that's part of the Frontier charm. Again, grab handles. You get a 6-foot bed on extended cabs and a five footer with the crew cabs. One downside is the Frontier now has taller walls, so it's harder to reach inside the bed. But the standard damped gate is a big plus. Even better is a lot of tie-down options and an available cargo management system. Now, when it comes to trim levels, you've got the Frontier S and SV. Those are the work trucks and daily use trucks although this redesign model now checks in at a base price of about $29,000 with destination for the extended cab and over $30,000 for the crew cab. That's a far cry from the past model, which you could get from around $20K. Also new for this gen is the Pro-X trim, which is 2-wheel drive only and gets some of the cosmetic "off-road-y" bits, but it's nowhere near the equipment in the Pro-4x. Overall, this 2022 Frontier represents a big step forward. But at its increased price, is it still a work truck? Is it still a smart, affordable option? Let's see how it stacks up against the other three models we have here today. We've not been very high on the Ford Ranger in the past. And there are myriad reasons why. At its core, the Ranger feels like a carryover model that hasn't been fully modernized yet. That said, the Ranger has its benefits. And this Tremor package fixes the majority of the issues we have with the Ranger, but it doesn't fix them all. So what do we like about it? Well, the Ranger has strong acceleration from its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which is standard regardless of the trim level you choose. The infotainment system and available safety features are also strong points. Now, the Ranger has an admirable payload and towing capabilities in some configurations and even good fuel economy. But things start to go sideways as soon as you step through the doors beginning with a confusing layout and frustratingly small buttons, which can be annoying to aim for on bumpy roads. And frankly, nothing really stands out. Space is mostly fine for average-sized drivers. The seats feel OK. The tech all works. But there are few highlights. We do like the up-fitter switches in this Tremor, but you have to get the Tremor to get them. Once behind the wheel, you can appreciate the 2.3-liter engine. There's lots of torque. And it is not afraid to punch. However, the braking, handling, and shifting are not as refined. In fact, more than a few members on our team actually got some motion sickness while driving the regular Ranger. Now, this Tremor has an upgraded suspension that improves the flowy ride on other versions. And it brings significant improvements to off-road capability. Check out Carlos's video comparing the Tremor with the Tacoma TRD Pro to see how it stacked up. What about as a truck? Well, all of these trucks are body on frame, meaning they use an extra strong structure really good for serious off-roading and towing. And the Ranger does have strong max towing ratings. Its superb payload ratings are with the extended cab versions. We also find the bedsides to be way too tall. Worse, the rear seats lack 60-40 folding. And you can't lay the seatbacks down. Can you use it? Sure, but others offer a lot more. There are three trims to choose from with the Tremor package available on XLT or Lariat, which brings up an important point. Ranger packages are more important than the trim levels. Regardless of the model, there are lots of features that are hidden in different packages you need to add on top of the base price. So pay attention during the ordering process so you make sure you get what you need. From tip to tail, the Ranger just kind of misses the mark. If you need something that's versatile and good on gas, then sure. The Ranger makes some sense. But you'll be making concessions the others simply don't ask from you. Hey, maybe the next version will be better. Up next is the truck GM would love you to think is a luxury pickup, the GMC Canyon, which is here today also representing the similar Chevrolet Colorado. The Canyon is an upscale version of the Colorado. And is it comfortable? Sure. Luxury, though, might be a bit of a stretch. Regardless, the GMC Canyon is refined. And its top Denali trim is the most plush size pickup you can buy. But this ain't no Denali. This one here is the new AT4 off-road version. So what's really good in these streets? We like the V6 engine and especially the quiet cabin that keeps bumps and noises outside of the Canyon. We also like the available turbo diesel. And it's pretty tough off road because it shares a lot of DNA with the Colorado. These AT4 add-ons are no joke either, but best is the canyons mix of comfort, standard tech, and towing strength. Inside, you've got pretty good space all around. And while these seats should fit a wide range of body types, they aren't particularly supportive. The rears have the opposite problem. They're quite firm and might get uncomfortable quickly, but the rest of the cabin is peachy. These controls are easy and straightforward. And they connect to an excellent technology system. On the road, like I said, that V6 engine has solid acceleration and can really handle itself with a load. Driving response and feel are fine and accurate. It feels heavy at all times, though. But it puts all that toughness together when it's time to work. The Colorado and Canyon both are rated to tow up to 7,000 pounds with the V6 and 7,700 pounds with the available turbo diesel. The payload ratings are also high, making this a great choice if you have heavy needs and don't want to go full Gladiator. Our advice is if you're serious about towing, look for the integrated trailer brake. The bedsides are rather tall here, but we like the built-in step for easy access. One big bummer when it comes to storage is that the rear floor isn't totally flat. In lower trims, we just don't see a whole lot of value. So a Colorado makes more sense unless you're getting a Canyon Denali or this AT4, which is growing on me. All the serious off-road gear is here like skid plates and a locking diff. My one big beef, the Colorado and Canyon hang their shock towers down low and close to the middle where they're susceptible to rocks. Unacceptable. The Canyon has a lot going for it, but are we sure this AT4 is the best idea? This is supposed to be the mid-size pickup as a classy affair. So ask yourself if you're really going to risk your majestic new GMC on some rocks. Go ahead. Are ya? It's the Canyon Denali for us, or go all in with the hardcore Colorado ZR2. Just throw on some red tow hooks if you really like that look. The most tried and true of the bunch is the Toyota Tacoma. Granted, that's because it's been around for a while, since 2016 to be exact for this generation. But Toyota sells a ton of them because of its reputation for durability and the fact that you know exactly what to expect from them. There is plenty you should know about it. The Tacoma is aimed squarely at off-roading. It's got excellent ground clearance and pretty direct steering and handling that help a lot on the trails, but it's also livable. Witness the extensive standard driver assistance technologies and 8-inch touchscreen that comes on this model. Plus, there's good visibility and no need for expensive protective bed liners because it's composite as standard. Should I keep going? Now, it's not perfect. Step inside, and you'll see problems with, well, stepping inside. That high clearance means it's a steep climb just to get in. And once you're there, the steering wheel doesn't telescope very much, so it might be hard to get comfortable. However, the seats are much more adjustable than they've been in the past. And the control layout is excellent. Under the hood, we recommend the optional V6 engine. The muscle comes in handy. And it's very responsive in low-speed, off-road situations. The brakes are also appropriately sensitive off road, but on road they have a jumpy feel that takes some practice to get the nose not to dive all the way down. But the 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth. It's just a little dated. And the steering and handling is probably the best in this group. Ah, the bed. Like we said, it's composite, so you don't need to shell out for a protective lining surface, which is great. Also, the walls are low. So it's easier to reach the floor. And every Tacoma comes with tie-downs and a damped tailgate that opens nice and low to load heavy items. It's a simple, well-designed bed with the user in mind. Weird. One complaint is that folding its rear seats is a little bit fussy. We think more trucks should follow the Tacoma's lead when it comes to its model lineup. You've got the SR and SR5, which are great, affordable, barebones options and the Limited for fancier folk. Then the fun starts. This TRD Off-Road is a seriously capable package, backing up its skid plates and locking diff with the Tacoma's good dimensions. The TRD Pro is even on another level. As you can see, the Frontier is up against some stiff competition. You've got interesting outliers like the Jeep Gladiator, which we left out because it's more expensive than the rest here, and the Honda Ridgeline, which we left out because it's not a body-on-frame truck. With traditional pickups like the Ranger, Canyon, and Tacoma, there are distinct strengths and personalities to fit your needs. And the redesigned Nissan Frontier has clearly upped its game in response. Today's comparison solidifies our mid-size pickup rankings. The Ranger still trails the class. The Frontier has made huge strides, but we're having trouble grasping its new pricing structure. And the GMC Canyon works best at its classiest. The rugged AT4 may be a bridge too far. It's the Toyota Tacoma that we still consider the top choice out of the group we have in this video. It's an inherently capable truck with enough creature comforts and usability to make your life easier. Now, it's possible we could see new versions of the Tacoma, Ranger, and Colorado and Canyon very soon. But until then, if I got my choice out of the group, I'm taking the Taco. Thanks so much for watching. Don't forget to throw us a like and leave a comment below to tell me how we got this horribly wrong. If you'd like to read an in-depth article about each of these trucks, click the link in the description below. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2021 Midsize Truck Comparison: Tacoma vs. Ranger vs. Frontier vs. Colorado & Canyon


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$32,480
MPG & Fuel
19 City / 24 Hwy / 21 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Engine
V6 cylinder
Horsepower: 278 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 265 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
Base Engine Size: 3.5 L
Base Engine Type: Gas
Towing & Hauling
Max Towing Capacity: 6,700 lbs.
Max Payload Capacity: 1,395 lbs.
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 212.3 in. / Height: 70.6 in.
Bed Length: 60.5 in.
Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
Overall Width without Mirrors: 75.2 in.
Curb Weight: 4205 lbs.

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At a Glance:
  • 9 Colors
  • 4 Trims
Build and Pricetoyota.com
Prototype shown with options.

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Tacoma safety features:

Blind-Spot Monitor
Issues a visual or audio warning if the driver initiates a lane change when another vehicle is there or approaching rapidly.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Alerts the driver if traffic is approaching from the side when the car is backing out of a perpendicular or angled parking space.
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Warns of potential collisions with pedestrians or vehicles and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not react in time.

NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover14.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good



2021 Toyota Tacoma First Impressions

What is the Tacoma?

Not everybody needs the size and capabilities of a full-size pickup. That's where the midsize trucks come in, and the Toyota Tacoma is one of the better choices in that class. It's in a respectable third place in Edmunds' rankings, trailing the more city-friendly Honda Ridgeline and all-terrain Jeep Gladiator. In some ways, the Tacoma is a sensible middle ground between the two.

Among the Tacoma's positive aspects, we count its considerable off-road prowess, easy-to use controls, and an available six-speed manual transmission on the V6 model. Our complaints are limited to its rather tall ride height that might require some effort for smaller passengers.

For 2021, the Tacoma adds a new Trail Special Edition. It's based on the near entry-level SR5 trim with the double-cab body style. It will be offered in either two- or four-wheel drive and available in the cool Army Green and Cement colors for the exterior, along with black or white. Other flourishes include dark 16-inch wheels and black badging.

Outside of the cosmetics, the Trail Special Edition Tacoma will come with all-terrain tires and feature locking bins in the pickup bed. The driver's side bin will even be insulated so it can function as a built-in cooler. Toyota plans to offer 7,000 of these models. There will also be a Nightshade Special Edition based on the more expensive Limited trim, but changes are only aesthetic, with blacked-out badging and trim throughout. Just 5,000 are planned for production.

The rest of the lineup is expected to return largely unchanged, so if you're not so keen on the Trail or Nightshade edition, a 2020 Tacoma will likely suit you just fine.

2021 Toyota Tacoma - Cargo
2021 Toyota Tacoma
EdmundsEdmunds says

The Toyota Tacoma is a strong performer in the midsize pickup class, balancing comfort and capabilities better than some other trucks. It gets a few new packages for 2021, but they're mostly cosmetic.

2021 Toyota Tacoma - Rear 3/4
2021 Toyota Tacoma

FAQ

Is the Toyota Tacoma a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Tacoma both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.7 out of 10. You probably care about Toyota Tacoma fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Tacoma gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg to 21 mpg, depending on the configuration. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Toyota Tacoma. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma:

  • Trail and Nightshade special editions debut
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control standard on V6 models
  • TRD Sport and Off-Road trims get upgraded audio
  • Part of the third Tacoma generation introduced for 2016
Learn more

Is the Toyota Tacoma reliable?

To determine whether the Toyota Tacoma is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Tacoma. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Tacoma's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Tacoma and gave it a 7.7 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Tacoma is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

The least-expensive 2021 Toyota Tacoma is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma SR 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $27,230.

Other versions include:

  • TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $37,530
  • SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $32,480
  • TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $37,530
  • SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $35,555
  • SR 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $32,665
  • TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $34,565
  • TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $38,140
  • SR 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $27,230
  • TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $47,030
  • TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $38,140
  • TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M) which starts at $35,700
  • Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $42,230
  • SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $36,055
  • SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $29,080
  • TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $34,565
  • TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M) which starts at $35,700
  • TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $35,065
  • SR5 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $32,980
  • Limited 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $39,155
  • TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M) which starts at $44,325
  • Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $42,730
Learn more

What are the different models of Toyota Tacoma?

If you're interested in the Toyota Tacoma, the next question is, which Tacoma model is right for you? Tacoma variants include TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A). For a full list of Tacoma models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma

2021 Toyota Tacoma Overview

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is offered in the following submodels: Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Double Cab. Available styles include TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), SR5 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A). Toyota Tacoma models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 278 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Tacoma 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Tacoma.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Tacoma featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 Toyota Tacoma SR 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 7 2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 92 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 36 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 21 2021 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Which 2021 Toyota Tacomas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Toyota Tacoma for sale near. There are currently 332 new 2021 Tacomas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $25,860 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,798 on a used or CPO 2021 Tacoma available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Toyota Tacomas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Toyota for sale - 4 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $12,416.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 6-speed automatic, regular unleaded
20 compined MPG,
18 city MPG/22 highway MPG

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 6-speed automatic, regular unleaded
21 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/24 highway MPG

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 6-speed automatic, regular unleaded
20 compined MPG,
18 city MPG/22 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG20
Transmission6-speed automatic
Drive Trainfour wheel drive
Displacement3.5 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase127.4 in.
Length212.3 in.
WidthN/A
Height70.6 in.
Curb Weight4445 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials