Consumer Reports: The 2020 Toyota Tacoma Is Better Than the 2021 Tacoma

Normally when a brand releases a new version of a vehicle, it improves upon the year before. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is still a solid light-duty truck, but the 2020 Toyota Tacoma is too. Is the 2021 model worth it?

Is the 2020 Tacoma worth it?

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma Is Better Than the 2021
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma Is Better Than the 2021 | Toyota

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma truck is definitely worth it. Looking at the ratings from Consumer Reports, the 2020 Tacoma is far superior to the 2021 Tacoma. Consumer Reports rated the reliability a five out of five. For the owner satisfaction category, it received a four out of five. When rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most crash ratings were “good.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the Tacoma four stars in most areas. It also has many safety features standard.

If we compare these to the Consumer Reports ratings for the 2021 Tacoma, there is a large difference. CR ranked the 2021 Tacoma third out of 10 compact pickup trucks. The overall score was only 51 out of 100. When it came to predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction, both of these scored three out of five. As far as safety features and ratings from both the IIHS and NHTSA, it scored similarly.

So what made the older model a better buy? The 2021 model has a high resale value and a lot of standard safety features. However, it is fairly outdated and uncomfortable. CR found the ride stiff and the handling clumsy. It also lacks a full four-wheel-drive system that allows drivers to shift between two and four-wheel-drive. These were some of the same complaints lodged in 2020 that remain unchanged.

Is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma a good truck?

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is still an excellent vehicle for those who need a light-duty truck. Toyota isn’t exactly known for changing up designs that work, which is likely why the Tacoma hasn’t changed much in recent years. “While full-sized pickup trucks increasingly adopt luxury trappings, most compact trucks remain utilitarian workhorses. The Tacoma is a down-and-dirty example of function trumping form,” Consumer Reports noted.

The 2021 Tacoma is also offered in a new Trail Special Edition. Additionally, it has a few other trims. The SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. It also offers upgraded bits like Panoramic View Monitor, a rail deck system, and a Multi-Terrain monitor.

Newer vehicles will always have more features than older models, but there might be some other benefits to the 2020 Tacoma. Since it isn’t exactly old, buyers are likely to find a 2020 model with low miles and a warranty left.

Either truck will get the job done

Drivers can’t go wrong with a 2020 Toyota Tacoma or a 2021 Tacoma. Even if the models didn’t change much over the years, both trucks have a lot to offer buyers. While there is a shortage of new vehicles this year due to the semiconductor chip shortage, it might be easier to get ahold of a 2020 Tacoma, too.

Depending on budget restrictions, the 2020 Tundra might be an all-around better deal. As we roll into 2022, you might be able to snag a 2021 model at a discounted rate. However, the 2020 Tacoma will serve you well.

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