Trucks & SUVs

Avoid the 2021 Toyota Tacoma If You Actually Want to Like Your Truck

If you’re on the hunt for a capable new pickup truck, odds are you have the 2021 Toyota Tacoma somewhere on your list. It is one of the most popular pickups on the market, after all. But is this year’s model actually worth buying? Maybe not. Because, as it turns out, this year’s Tacoma isn’t all that. So, if you actually want to like your new pickup? Then you may want to avoid this year’s new Tacoma all together.

2021 Toyota Tacoma in a field
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma didn’t do well in road tests

No one expects the Toyota Tacoma to drive like a smooth sailing SUV. But let’s be honest here. Do you really want to drive a truck that Consumer Reports says drives like a primitive, agricultural-era relic? Probably not. Unfortunately, that’s the best way to describe what driving the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is like. Handling is clumsy, the ride isn’t all that comfortable, and visibility can be a challenge in certain situations. Consumer Reports wasn’t the only one to think so either.

Car and Driver also took this year’s model out for a spin. After doing so, they reported back that the Tacoma’s base four-cylinder engine feels underpowered and should probably be avoided. The Tacoma’s six-speed automatic transmission was pretty disappointing too. In the end? Car and Driver said that the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is “far from the first choice for ride quality and handling.”

2021-Toyota-Tacoma-Trail-Edition
2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota

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The interior of this year’s Tacoma leaves a lot to be desired

Plastic, plastic, and more plastic. That’s the best way to describe the interior of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. Though, according to Consumer Reports, some of that plastic does have a nice silver touch to it. But overall? The interior of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma isn’t all that impressive. In fact, Consumer Reports says that the interior of the Tacoma makes trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and the new Honda Ridgeline feel downright decadent. 

Unfortunately for the Tacoma, too much plastic isn’t its only problem. Car and Driver reports that a cramped cabin has become a staple of the Tacoma. Opt for the crew cab and Car and Driver says that you can anticipate a pretty tight squeeze. Don’t expect the seats to be all that comfortable either.

2021 Toyota Tacoma parked
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

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What current owners have to say about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma

So what do current owners have to say about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma? It’s a mixed bag. Sure, some owners of it are happy with their purchase. The Toyota Tacoma does offer pretty impressive towing capabilities, so that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. But not everyone is happy with this year’s model.

In a review posted on Edmunds, one owner of this year’s Tacoma called out its interior specifically. They explained that while the Tacoma does feel like a solid truck, its interior plastic panels feel “pretty cheap and hard.” 

Another review detailed having problems with deceleration. It explained, “When ever I am decelerating, the RPM goes up. Specially when gears are changing the the speed is changing from 40 to 38 or from 20 to 29. sometimes, even the speed also raises and I feel a pull and then it starts going down like normal.” All in all, the Toyota Tacoma earned a 3.8 consumer rating fom Edmunds. Not bad, but also not great. 

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You might want to consider these alternatives instead

Fortunately, the Toyota Tacoma isn’t the only pickup out there. Trucks like the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, and the Ford Ranger received higher marks from Car and Driver. Consumer Reports also gave the 2021 Jeep Gladiator a higher rating than the Toyota Tacoma. 

And if you still have your heart set on the Toyota Tacoma? Not to worry. We get it. The Toyota Tacoma is an icon among its segment. Maybe just prepare yourslef to be slightly disappointed in it.