The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Ed Has Polarizing New Feature That Might Ruin the Bed

Oh, pickup trucks and their many, many doodads… This topic never gets old to pick up peeps, and although I’m not exactly “pick up people,” I do like them and find all the options fun and interesting. Take the Ford F-150 Hybrid, for instance. That thing has more gadgets and compartments than the man on the moon. Even Toyota has gotten into the truck-options game lately. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition is now offered with bedside-mounted storage. Depending on how you use your Tacoma, these can either be a Godsend or a massive pain in the ass. 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition has a new feature

Although this new bed-storage system is only on the Trail Edition Tacomas, which are specifically geared for off-roading and maybe even a base for overlanding, some people seem annoyed that the storage is sacrificing valuable bed space. This is also the only mid-size truck with built-in bedside-mounted storage from the factory.

A silver 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition on display in front of a mountain range
The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition on display | Toyota

MotorTrend reports that the Trail was designed as an off-roading, trail-ready Tacoma and less as a normal working truck. The Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition is based on the SR5 trim and only comes with the crew cab body style. The only engine option is the same old V6 as the other trims. 

According to MotorTrend, the Trail Edition offers 16-inch wheels and Kevlar-lined all-terrain tires from the Tacoma TRD Off-Road model, blacked-out badges, black fabric seats with tan stitching, a 120-volt outlet in the bed, all-weather floor liners, and a chrome grille from the Tacoma Limited. Unlike the TRD models of the Tacoma or Tundra, the Trail Edition seems to be going for something a little closer to a base to build an overlander on. 

How long is the Toyota Tacoma Bed

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition only comes with a five-foot bed. This is not very large by pickup truck standards. What makes this new feature polarizing is that with a short bed to start with, making it narrower by adding these storage boxes makes the bed significantly smaller than other trucks.

2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition new bed storage
2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition bed | Toyota

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It is for this reason that we don’t typically see bed storage on mid-size trucks. However, the few mid-size models that do have storage in the bed often do things a bit more cleverly than just adding boxes inside the bed. For instance, the Honda Ridgeline has a compartment under the base of the bed. The Chevy Silverado has storage built into the space above the wheel wells. 

Overlanders rejoice 

While normal truck drivers might not be into the Trail Edition’s new feature, the overlanding crowd will likely be stoked on this new trim. Overlanding requires a lot of gear because the whole point is to spend long periods of time off-roading. These trips could be days, weeks, or even months. With that in mind, these drivers not only need a ton of gear, but they also need it to be organized and safe from the elements.

Just throwing all your recovery or camping gear into the truck bed is not the most efficient or even safest way to go about this. These compartments can help to organize gear in such a way that makes it quickly and easily accessible.

The Trail Edition has even more to offer

The Tacoma trail edition isn’t just storage bins; although, that is the main draw of this trim. The Toyota Tundra Trail Edition also features four new colors; Midnight Black, Super White, Cement, and Army Green. That last color, a kind of forest-green hue, is only available on the SR5 via the Trail Edition. It is also available in either two- or four-wheel drive (although, who’s picking the 2wd?) This new package starts at the reasonable price of $1,775 and fully loaded peaks at $4,055.