2021 Toyota Tacoma
- Starting around $27,000 (estimated)
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- Trail and Nightshade special editions debut
- Part of the third Tacoma generation introduced for 2016
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 18-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.
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.