2021 Toyota Tacoma

MSRP $26,050 - $27,825

Ranked #1 in Pickup-truck

8.1

Overall Rating

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2021 Toyota Tacoma Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 8, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Toyota Tacoma is the perfect companion for someone who doesn’t need a full-size pickup truck but something that can do some rugged hauling while being easy to handle in tighter and urban spaces. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes as a carryover model with slight changes from the 2020 model. It is still part of the third generation of Tacoma introduced in 2016. The Tacoma Access Cab comes in four trim options including an off-road-oriented 4WD-only TRD Offroad trim.

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful engines

Available manual transmission

Great off-road capability

Cons

Not the best shifting automatic transmission

Cramped back seat

What's New?

Dual-zone automatic climate control standard in V6 models

TRD trims come with an upgraded audio system

Remains mostly unchanged for 2021


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$26050

bodystyle

4dr Access Cab

passenger capacity

4

top speed

113 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

164 cu.in.

horsepower

159 hp @ 5200 rpm

torque

180 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm

transmission

6 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.8/10 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

127.4 in.

length

212.3 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

70.6 in.

curb weight

4205 lbs.

ground clearance

9.4 in.

capacity

passenger volume

88.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

1620 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7 sec.

zero to 100 mph

23.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

180 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SR$26,050 onwards

SR5$27,825 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Toyota Tacoma in Magnetic Gray Metallic color
Magnetic Gray Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

7.5

Interior

8.0

Exterior

9.0

Safety

8.5

Competition

8.0

Final Verdict

8.0

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.1

Overall Rating


The Tacoma comes with two engine options and a manual transmission is also available with a specific trim. For 2021 the Tacoma comes with dual-zone climate control as standard in all models equipped with the stronger V6 engine while the TRD trims also come equipped with an upgraded audio system. It competes with other small-size trucks in the segment including the Ford Ranger SuperCab, Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab, and the Nissan Frontier King Cab. 

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab front view
2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab rear view

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

9.0/10
Exterior

8.5/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition

8.0/10
Final Verdict


2021 Toyota Tacoma Features

The Toyota Tacoma Access Cab is available in four trim options which are the base SR, SR5, and the top-end TRD Sport and TRD Offroad trims. All trims are available in both 2WD as well as 4WD configurations except the TRD Offroad which is exclusively 4WD. There are two available engine options on offer with the Tacoma Access Cab which are a 2.7 L Inline-4 standard in the SR and SR5 trims while the TRD trims come equipped with a stronger 3.5 L V6. The standard transmission option is a 6-speed automatic in all trims except the TRD Sport trim, which comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. 

The lower trims could also be equipped with the stronger 3.5 L V6 engine which is a nice option to have. The available packages with the Tacoma Access Cab vary according to the trim chosen. The lower trims could be equipped with simpler packages like the Utility Package, SR Convenience Package, and the SR5 Dynamic Package whereas the higher trims are offered with more feature-rich packages including the TRD Premium Sport Package and the TRD Premium Offroad Package. The following table shows the detailed pricing as well as the differentiating features of each trim of the Tacoma Access Cab- 

Trims

SR

SR5

TRD Sport

TRD Offroad

MSRP

$26,400 (2.7 L 2WD)

$29,475 (2.7 L 4WD)

$28,660 (3.5 L 2WD)

$32,125 (3.5 L 4WD)

$28,190 (2.7 L 2WD)

$31,265 (2.7 L 4WD)

$31,335 (3.5 L 2WD)

$31,335 (3.5 L 4WD)

$33,310 (2WD Automatic)

$35,085 (4WD Manual)

$36,595 (4WD Automatic)

 

$34,565 (4WD Automatic)

Key Features

Fiber-reinforced Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC) bed

16-in. dark gray alloy wheels

Qi-compatible wireless smartphone and mobile device charging 

Crawl Control (CRAWL)

 

16-in. styled steel wheels

16-in. dark gray alloy wheels

17-in. machined alloy wheels

16-in. machined contrast alloy wheels

 

Deck rail system

Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with individual tire location alert

Fabric-trimmed 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat

Multi-Terrain Select (MTS)

 

Skid plates on engine/front suspension

Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)

Leather-trimmed shift lever

Electronically controlled locking rear differential

 

Integrated color-keyed tailgate spoiler

Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Front dual-zone automatic climate control (V6 only)

Color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and chrome rear bumper

 

Three total USB ports

Remote keyless entry

Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation 

Apple CarPlay 100 & Android Auto & Amazon Alexa compatible

 

Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) 

8-in. touchscreen audio with six speakers

Auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror

Projector-beam headlights with Daytime Running Lights (DRL)

 

Driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System

 

Color-keyed door handles, over-fenders, and rear bumper

Fabric-trimmed 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat

 

Engine immobilizer 

 

Projector-beam headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)

 

We Recommend

The TRD Sport trim would be the best option as it comes with a lot of flexible options and possible configurations. It comes equipped with the stronger 3.5 L V6 engine under the hood and can be configured in 2WD as well as 4WD drivetrain options. It also comes with larger wheels and a more premium interior along with adjustable seats and a leather-covered shift knob. Overall, it is the best option for a combined usage while the TRD Offroad is advised for more rugged and offroad usage.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Engine and Performance

8.0/10

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab comes with two engine options. The base SR and the SR5 trims come standard with a 2.7 L Inline-4 under the hood putting out 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of maximum power and torque. Optional on these trims and standard in the TRD trims is a stronger 3.5 V6 producing 278 hp and 265 lb-ft. All models except the TRD Offroad come as standard in a 2WD drivetrain whereas the TRD Offroad trim is exclusively 4WD. The standard transmission option is a 6-speed automatic whereas the TRD Sport trim is available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab engine bay

Opting for the stronger V6 engine is always the ideal choice as it comes with adequate power whereas the Inline-4 is weaker and underpowered. The V6 can take the Tacoma Access Cab to a speed of 60mph in 7.7 seconds and cross the quarter-mile mark in 16.0 seconds. These figures are not the very best but are definitely impressive. The 6-speed automatic transmission is predictive and delivers smooth shifts most of the time but can be a bit clunky at times. We have taken the more powerful available engine options of every vehicle in this competition for comparison.

Models

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab XLT

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab LT 

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab S

MSRP

$28,660

$28,870

$27,700

$27,190

Engine

3.5 L V6

2.3 L Inline-4

2.5 Inline-4

3.8 L V6

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

10-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

278 hp @ 6000 rpm

270 hp @ 5500 rpm

200 hp @ 6300 rpm

310 hp @ 6400 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

265 ft-lbs. @ 4600 rpm

310 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm

191 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm

281 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

7.7

6.1

8.2

7.3

Quarter Mile (sec)

16.0

14.0

16.3

15.6

Top Speed (mph)

113

110

115

120

Towing Capacity (lbs)

6800

7,500

7,000

6,720

Payload Capacity (lbs)

1685

1,860

1,550

1,460

The Nissan Frontier is the most powerful option and comes with a single-engine option which is a 3.8 L V6 that puts out 310 hp and 281 lb-ft. The Tacoma with the stronger engine is the second most powerful option. Whereas the Ford Ranger which comes at third place in terms of power is actually the fastest in 0 to 60 as well as quarter-mile times. The Toyota Tacoma is surely a capable contender in terms of power output and straight-line performance. 

How well does the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Drive and Handle?

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is an easy-to-drive machine that handles well in city spaces as well as other tight spaces in the urban environment. All trims except the TRD Offroad are road-focused and the earlier mentioned handling characteristics are best associated with these models. The TRD Offroad is a more off-road-focused trim and comes with some rugged additions and off-road performance features. Overall the handling and driving dynamics of the Tacoma is impressive and it delivers a comfortable travel experience. 

The ride quality is impressive and comfortable in the road-focused trims while the TRD Offroad makes the ride a bit more bouncy while enhancing the offroad abilities. The Offroad trim is equipped with exclusive features including an off-road-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), and Crawl Control (CRAWL) functions along with Active Traction Control. All of these features make the TRD Offroad trim a far superior rugged machine compared to the other trims. 

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab? 

The brakes in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab are super impressive. Although they are a bit over catchy and do cause quite a bit of nosedive, they manage to stop the truck in a very short distance effectively. The Tacoma Access Cab comes equipped with 10.8-inch rotors in the front and 10.0-inch ones in the rear. The size of the rotors are comparatively smaller in the segment but they function effectively and stops the Tacoma from 60mph at a distance of 112 ft. which is the absolute best in the segment. 

Model

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab XLT

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab LT 

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab S

Brake Rotors Front

10.8

12.2

12.2

11.1

Brake Rotors Rear

10.0

12.1

12.8

11.3

Curb Weight

4,075

4,145

3,935

4,180

Braking Distance 60-0 (ft.)

112

127

124

N/A

The Tacoma as we discussed is the best in bringing itself to a stop. It outperforms all of the competitors in this department. The Chevy Colorado follows with the second-best braking distance which is actually significantly more than the Toyota’s. The Ford is in third place while being just a bit slower than the Chey. The exact braking distance of the Nissan Frontier is not available for comparison, but the Toyota is definitely the overall best performer.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Fuel Economy

7.5/10

The surprising fact is that the Tacoma’s V6 engine is as efficient as the weaker base engine. This gives you another reason to opt for the stronger engine as it comes with a lot more power without compromising fuel economy. The Tacoma delivers a fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city, 24 on the highway, and a combined efficiency of 21mpg. The fuel capacity of the Tacoma is 21.1 gallons which result in the truck providing a range of around 443 miles combined. Overall the Tacoma Access Cab is a great option considering its good fuel economy figures. 

Models

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab XLT

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab LT 

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab S

MPG (City)

19

21

19

18

MPG (Highway)

24

26

25

24

MPG (Combined)

21

23

22

20

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

21.1

18.0

21.0

21.1

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

401/506/443

378/468/414

299/525/462

380/506/422

The 2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab is the most efficient option among all these machines. It provides an impressive combined fuel economy of 23mpg. But it also has the smallest fuel capacity which means that the range provided by the Ranger is the lowest. The Chevy and the Toyota in the same order provide the most range of 462 miles and 443 miles respectively with their bigger fuel capacity. The Nissan however, is the least efficient machine delivering a lower combined fuel economy of 20mpg.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Interior

8.0/10

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes with a spacious front row and a cramped second row not intended for adults to be seated in. The ingress to the Tacoma is not the easiest because of its higher ride height, bit, once you’re inside the front row seats, is comfortable and provides a smooth travel experience whether long or short. The second-row seats are extremely tight and are not at all suitable or comfortable for adults.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab cockpit area

The interior upholstery changes according to the chosen trim. The lower trims feature fabric-trimmed seats with 4-way adjustability for the driver’s seat with lumbar support while the front passenger seat is 4-way adjustable. The TRD trims upgrade the seats with 10-way adjustability for the driver’s seat along with 2-way power lumbar support. There are no leather-covered seats available with the Access Cab models whereas dual-zone automatic climate control is now standard in all V6 equipped models.

Models

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab XLT

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab LT 

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab S

Seating Capacity

4

5

4

4

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.7/58.3/42.9

39.8/56.6/43.1

41.4/57.5/45.0

39.7/58.3/42.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

34.9/56.5/24.6

35.9/55.2/30.4

36.7/57.3/28.6

36.6/54.9/25.4

Bed Length (ft.)

6

6

6

6

The Ford Ranger SuperCab is the most spacious option among these trucks with a spacious and comfortable enough for adults. The Chevy also offers usable second-row seats with enough legroom while the Nissan and Toyota come with useless second-row seats. The quality of the interior is fairly well inside all of the trucks but the dashboard and the controls of the Toyota and the Ford look updated and well-arranged. The following are some of the most important interior features in the Toyota Tacoma Access Cab-

  • Front dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and individual temperature settings for driver and front passenger
  • Fabric-trimmed seats
  • 10-way adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support 
  • 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever

How intuitive is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit which is not the easiest to use or the most intuitive. There are rivals offering a more intuitive user interface and a more responsive touchscreen system. An audio system is a 6-speaker unit that does not deliver a very superior listening experience but is pretty good. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay as well as Amazon Alexa are standard features in the Tacoma which is a nice addition.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab infotainment screen

The following are some of the standout infotainment features-

  • 8.0-in. Touchscreen infotainment unit 
  • Six speakers
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto & Amazon Alexa
  • Bluetooth wireless technology, 
  • SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial subscription

2021 Toyota Tacoma Exterior

9.0/10

The Toyota Tacoma Access Cab is one of the best-looking trucks in the segment offering a rugged and muscular look with the usual boxy design language of trucks. The front end features a hexagonal grille that comes in different color codes and surrounds finishes according to the trim chosen. The headlights on the Tacoma Access Cab are beautiful-looking projector headlamps accentuated with LED DRLS and accent lights which enhance the exterior beauty of the Tacoma.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab 

The Tacoma features a fiber-reinforced Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC) inner bed with steel outer panels, storage compartments, and rail caps, with easy lower, lockable, and a removable tailgate. The wheels in the Tacoma also change according to the trim chosen. The base trim gets steel wheels of 16-inch in size which gets upgraded to dark grey alloys in the SR5 trim. The TRD Sport trim comes with larger 17-inch machined alloy wheels whereas the TRD Offroad trim features 16-inch machined contrast alloy wheels. 

Models

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab XLT

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab LT 

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab S

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,075

4,145

3,935

4,180

Length (inches)

212.3

210.8

212.7

205.5

Width (inches)

74.4

73.3

74.3

72.8

Height (inches)

70.6

70.9

70.4

70.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

9.4

8.4

8.4

9.8

Wheelbase (inches)

127.4

126.8

128.3

125.9

The Tacoma and the Ford Ranger are the best-looking trucks in this segment while the Chevy and the Frontier look outdated and old with a too simple design. The Chevy and the Toyota are the longest and widest. The Nissan and the Tacoma have the most ground clearance which makes them the most practical as well as offroad capable machines. The Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger are the best options in terms of exterior beauty whereas the other two options are just boring to look at. The following are some of the most important safety features of the Toyota Tacoma-

  • Sliding rear glass with privacy glass
  • Gray grille with smoked finish and chrome surround
  • Projector-beam headlights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) 
  • Integrated wide-angle fog lights
  • Skid plates on the engine and front suspension
  • Integrated color-keyed tailgate spoiler

2021 Toyota Tacoma Safety

8.5/10

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab comes with the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) as standard which includes a set of high-tech safety features. The Tacoma has also been tested and rated by both NHTSA as well as IIHS. NHTSA has provided the 2021 Tacoma with an overall safety rating of 4-stars which is impressive. It also received 4 or 5-star ratings under all individual parameters; it was tested by NHTSA. IIHS has also provided the Tacoma with impressive safety ratings which mostly consist of ‘Good’ which makes it a safe option. The following are the most important safety features-

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) 
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) 
  • Sway Warning System (SWS)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB) 
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with individual tire location alert
  • Available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Available Rear parking assist sonar

2021 Toyota Tacoma Competition

8.0/10

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab vs 2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab

The Ford Ranger is faster than the Toyota by a significant margin. The Ford is also pretty good-looking, but the Toyota is also a looker. The Ford, however, also comes with a better fuel economy than the Toyota while also having a better towing and payload capacity. The Ford is also a more spacious option with a much better second-row space. All of this makes the Ford Ranger a better choice than the Toyota Access. 

2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab vs 2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab

The Chevrolet Colorado is a more spacious option compared to the Toyota Tacoma. It has much more space in the second row and has a slightly higher fuel economy which are the only pros the Chevy has over the Toyota. The Toyota is much better-looking than the Chevy while also being more updated on the exterior as well as interior. It also comes with impressive braking and safety capabilities and features which makes it the obvious better choice.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab

 

2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab vs 2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab

The Nissan Frontier is the most powerful among these trucks and is faster than the Tacoma. It however delivers a lower fuel economy while also being the heaviest. The interior space inside both these machines is similar, but the Tacoma has a better-looking cabin with a more premium feel to it. On the outside also the Tacoma is the better-looking option. All of this combined with better braking and safety features makes the 2021 Tacoma Access Cab a better option.

2021 Nissan Frontier King Cab

 

2021 Toyota Tacoma Final Verdict

8.0/10

The new Toyota Tacoma Access Cab is a superb option in the lightweight truck segment offering a beautiful-looking exterior and interior. It is made up of quality elements and superior build quality combined with Toyota’s impeccable reliability. The higher-powered V6 engine is also a great performer with impressive power outputs and towing as well as payload capacities. 

The fuel economy on this machine is also really good. However, the second-row space of the Tacoma Access Cab is super disappointing and cramped. That makes the Ford Ranger with more space and power a better choice than the Tacoma. But the Tacoma is a great option for a more off-road-focused driving experience with its TRD Offroad trim and available manual transmission. 

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