Buyer's Guide

2021 Toyota Tacoma
Select a Different Model (31 Available): Limited 2WD Double Cab
Fuel Economy $ 19 / 24 mpg
Towing (Max) 6600 lbs.
Payload (Max) 1345 lbs.
Horsepower 278@6,000
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Toyota Tacoma MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Proven reliability and value
  • High-quality construction
  • Good off-road capability in TRD guise

Cons

  • Cramped interior
  • Rough ride quality
  • Poor drivetrain calibration

Humble little truck or automotive icon? The Tacoma is the quintessential small pickup, one that's endured over decades of production and millions of units sold. It has shaped the midsize pickup truck segment and spurred automakers to build direct competitors. The 2021 Tacoma is offered in two cab sizes, two bed lengths, and a choice of RWD or 4WD.

In double cab configuration, the Toyota Tacoma is a 2021 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value winner.

What's New

What We Think

The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling midsize pickup in the U.S., and it's easy to see why. It's a good-looking truck that carries a reputation for quality and reliability. But from behind the wheel, its appeal fades.

It's hard to get comfortable in the cabin due to the cramped, awkward seating position and firm seat cushioning. Ride quality on standard trims is rough and brittle, although the fancy off-road suspension on the TRD Pro model smooths things out somewhat.

Driving dynamics are sloppy and unrefined. The engines feel underpowered, the automatic transmission is often in the wrong gear, and there's significant brake dive.

Off-road enthusiasts will be impressed by the TRD Pro model's trail-ready capabilities. Still, after an epic overlanding adventure, we decided there are other trucks we prefer. As an everyday driver or work truck, too, there are better options.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Tacoma's standard engine is a 2.7-liter I-4 producing 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It's paired to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. RWD is standard, and 4WD is optional. EPA-rated fuel economy with the automatic transmission is 20/23 mpg city/highway with RWD, or 19/22 with 4WD.

A 3.5-liter V-6 making 278 hp and 265 lb-ft is available as an upgrade. It's also connected to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, with RWD standard and 4WD available. In MotorTrend testing, Tacomas with this engine and automatic transmission took about 7.0 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph. Fuel economy with the automatic transmission is EPA-rated at 19/24 mpg with RWD, or 18/22 with 4WD. With the manual transmission in TRD Pro trim, fuel economy measures 17/20 mpg.

Safety

From the NHTSA, the Tacoma earns a four-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). When last tested by the IIHS, Tacoma models equipped with the available LED headlights earned 2019 Top Safety Pick designation.

All Tacoma models are equipped with the TSS (Toyota Safety Sense) driver-assist and active safety suite. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beams. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional or included depending on trim.

What Size Bed Does the 2021 Tacoma Have?

The Tacoma is available with two bed sizes. The short bed measures 60.5 inches long, while the standard bed is 73.7 inches long. Both beds are 19.1 inches deep and 41.5 inches wide.

How Much Can the 2021 Tacoma Tow?

Four-cylinder Tacoma models are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. V-6 models equipped with the tow prep package can tow up to 6,400 pounds in double cab 4WD configuration, and 6,800 pounds in access cab RWD configuration.

Double cab long bed V-6 4WD Tacoma models have the lowest payload of any Tacoma at 1,120 pounds. The Tacoma with the highest payload is the access cab I-4 RWD model, which can haul up to 1,620 pounds.

Technology

The base Tacoma is equipped with a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen; an 8.0-inch upgrade unit is available. Both include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth connectivity. Built-in navigation is optional or included depending on trim, and a wireless charging pad is available. Base trucks have a four-speaker audio system, and higher-end models get a six-speaker JBL premium setup.

Tacoma TRD vs. TRD Pro: What's the Difference?

Want to go off-roading in your Tacoma? Consider a TRD model. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) kits up the Tacoma to make it more trail-ready.

The Tacoma TRD Sport gets 17-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, skidplates under the engine and front suspension, a hood scoop, and a locking rear differential.

The Tacoma TRD Off Road upgrades to 16-inch wheels with bigger tires, off-road-tuned Bilstein suspension, and electronic locking differential. There's also an inclinometer with pitch and roll displays inside the cabin.

The Tacoma TRD Pro is Toyota's ultimate off-road truck. It has 16-inch black-painted wheels with all-terrain tires, Fox internal bypass shock absorbers, a bigger front skidplate, and TRD exhaust system. An air intake snorkel is available to help it ford deep water. Improved off-road driving modes and a front-facing camera assist on tough trails. Plus it's fitted with heated leather seats for a more upscale feel.

If you're not set on a Toyota, also consider the comparison-winning Chevrolet Colorado.

Key Competitors:

2021 TOYOTA TACOMA SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: V6 3.5 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, ECT-i 6 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
Limited 2WD Double Cab
Class
Mid-Size Pickup
Horsepower
278@6,000
Standard MPG
19/24
Body Style
Truck
Drivetrain
RWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
24
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Miles
25,000
Roadside Assistance Months
24
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Toyota announces a College Graduate Rebate on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Toyota announces a Military Rebate on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Toyota announces Bonus Cash on select models for eligible current owners. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Toyota announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021