Work Hard, Ride Smooth

December 11th, 2020 by

 A black 2021 Toyota Tacoma is driving over a bridge at night, shown from the rear.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma continues to prove why it’s been the best selling of all the midsize pickup trucks for over a decade. The Tacoma got an upgrade in 2020, and the 2021 trims remain the same: there’s the hardworking SR, its slightly more stylish sibling the SR5, the performance-ready TRD Sport, the agile TRD Off-Road, the TRD Pro for even more off-roading capabilities and power, and the high-end Limited. There are also a few special editions for the 2021 model year and, of course, plenty of options for each version. Let’s look at what sets each line apart from each other – and well apart from the competition.

Basic Standards and Safety

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma begins at $26,150 and averages an EPA-estimated MPG of 20 city/23 highway. Standard features include a fiber-reinforced Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC) bed with a deck rail system so you can organize and secure almost anything in that SMC bed. Available skid plates protect the engine and front suspension anywhere you take your Tacoma, on or off the road. All Tacomas have connectivity with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, as well as three USB ports. ToyotaCare, a no-cost maintenance plan, will cover normal scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. It also includes 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, no matter how many miles you put on your new Tacoma.

When it comes to safety, all Tacomas come with tire pressure monitoring systems, integrated backup cameras, and an engine immobilizer that helps reduce the chance of theft. All Tacomas also come standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). TSS is a suite of safety features including a pre-collision system that can detect pedestrians, dynamic radar cruise control to help you maintain a steady distance when following another vehicle, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist to help you keep in the middle of the lane, and road sign assist that can read speed limit, stop, and other warning signs and display them on the driver’s information panel. Also standard on every new Tacoma is the Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and start-stop technology.

A green 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD is shown in profile driving up a steep desert incline.

Options and Differences

The SR comes with an Access Cab and a 6-foot bed or a Double Cab and a 5-foot bed. The SR5, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road have the third option of a Double Cab with a 6-foot bed. Limited and TRD Pro Tacomas only come with a Double Cab; the TRD Pro has a 5-foot bed length, and the Limited can have a 5-foot or a 6-foot bed. The SR and SR5 come standard with a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder dual overhead camshaft engine. This can be upgraded to a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is standard on the higher trims. While most trims have a six-speed automatic transmission, the three TRD trims are offered with a six-speed manual transmission for superior driver control. With the larger V6 engine, the 2021 Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,800 lbs.

The biggest difference between the SR and SR5 and the higher trims is the additional options and available packages, including the fact that there are fewer color options for the SRs. The TRD Pro and Limited trims have a power tilt and slide moonroof standard, while it’s an option on the TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road. The TRDs and Limited trims all have some form of LED exterior lighting, and while all of the 2021 Tacomas have heated power outside mirrors, the TRDs and Limited have turn signal indicators built into the mirrors. Another perk to the TRD and Limited lines is that they have a 120-volt power outlet built into the composite bed. Heated front seats are an option on the TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road and standard on the TRD Pro and Limited.

Rear parking assist and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert are available on the SR5, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road and standard on the TRD Pro and Limited. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors are standard on every model except the SR. The TRD Pro and the TRD Off-road models are, as the names imply, the trims best suited for difficult terrain, so they are offered with Crawl Control. Crawl Control will take over acceleration and braking at low speeds so the driver can focus more on steering. In addition, there is an available Panoramic View Monitor that will provide you with a 360-degree view of the terrain around you, including a front undercarriage video feed to dodge obstacles on the trail.

A red 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD is parked in the grass and angled right while attached to a trailer.

2021 Special Editions

Special for this model year, the Tacoma Trail is based on the SR5 Double Cab, although it borrows its grill from the Tacoma Limited. The Tacoma Trail comes in Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black, and Super White. No matter which primary color you chose, the Trail has black exterior badging and dark gray 18-inch TRD Off-Road wheels fitted with Kevlar All-Terrain tires. In the bed, you’ll find a 120-volt power outlet and insulated lockable storage compartments. Inside the Trail, you’ll find black seats with tan stitching.

The other special edition 2021 Tacoma is the Nightshade, following the popularity of other Nightshade special editions in the Toyota family. The Tacoma Nightshade is based on the top-of-the-line Limited trim. True to its name, there is black leather-trim seating and blacked-out exterior trim, from the mirror caps to the door handles to the fog light bezels and exhaust tip. There is a new insert design on the darkened chrome grille, and it’s all riding on 18-inch alloy wheels. You can make those black details pop against Windchill Pearl paint, or go for a more subtle look with Midnight Black or Magnetic Gray metallic paints. However, you will have to act fast as Toyota will only build 5,000 Tacoma Nightshades.

No More Details, How Does it Drive?

The Toyota Tacoma has been the best selling midsize pickup for thirteen years, a feat not possible if drivers didn’t love it. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma ranks so well, thanks in large part to its legendary quality and reliability. The frame is made of high-strength steel, and hot-stamped, ultra-high-strength steel comprises the body. This rides on top of a double-wishbone coil-spring front suspension and leaf-spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shocks – so while your Tacoma can handle most challenges you can throw at it, it will also ride smoothly on the road and handle off-road bumps with ease. That smooth ride is less disturbed by road noise thanks to enhanced door seals, a multi-layer acoustic windshield, a sound-absorbing headliner, and a floor silencer pad.

All in all, the possible configurations of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma are nearly endless. When it comes to finding which one is right for you, the team at Colonial Toyota is here to help. Our experienced sales department will take you through all the options while offering competitive financing and pricing plans. Colonial Toyota is located in Indiana, PA, not far from Greensburg, Johnstown, and Monroeville. We have been family owned and operated for over 70 years, and we look forward to welcoming you and your new Tacoma into our family.

Posted in 2021 Toyota Tacoma