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Off-roading isn’t for everyone. Riding in a cab that bounces like a bucking bronco, crashing through rivers, and getting your vehicle covered in mud is enough to send some drivers screaming into the night. For other drivers, it’s like a siren’s song that they can’t deny. If you fit into the latter category, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is for you.

In spite of some fierce competition from other automakers, the Tacoma continues to reign supreme in the midsize truck division. But is the Tacoma for everyone? According to Autotrader, there’s only one type of person who should invest money in it.

The Toyota Tacoma is the top midsize truck

The front grille of a Toyota Tacoma on display at an auto show
A Toyota Tacoma on display at an auto show | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Just a few years ago, the midsize truck division was in danger of fizzling out. Drivers were flocking to sedans, which got better fuel mileage. Now the script has been flipped. Sedans are rapidly being discontinued, and midsize trucks are all the rage. 

Companies like Ford, Jeep, and Chevrolet are scrambling to push out midsize trucks in an effort to take advantage of this new figurative gold mine. Yet no matter what they try, the Toyota Tacoma is still a driver favorite. Ford is reportedly coming out with a Ford Ranger Raptor that could very well dethrone the mighty Tacoma, but that remains to be seen.

An off-roader’s dream come true

If you’re into off-roading, then you’ll love the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. You can add a snorkel to your Tacoma, and then head off into the sunset. 

Unfortunately, you can’t go into incredibly deep water, even with a snorkel. The general consensus is that you don’t go deeper than the height of the interior electronics. Otherwise, there are very few places in the wilderness your Tacoma can’t go. 

The Tacoma is such a great off-road vehicle it has even beat out the new cool kid on the block, the Jeep Gladiator. The newest member of the Jeep family put up a valiant fight, but the Tacoma still managed to hold onto its crown.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a 4-cylinder engine, but you might want to upgrade to the V6 if you plan to go off-roading. The 4-cylinder engine is decent, but just barely. If you need some power in order to climb over boulders, then you probably need the V6. 

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road and the TRD Pro are specifically designed to go off-road. That being said, just because the other trim levels aren’t designed to go racing through the desert doesn’t mean they perform well in civilization.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma isn’t for everyone

If you’re the type of driver who sticks to paved roads, then you definitely want to pass on the Tacoma. While it might conquer mountain trails as if it were hills, a straight road with no obstacles to be conquered seems to be too much for the Tacoma to handle.

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma failed miserably on Consumer Report’s road test because things like routine and emergency handling, as well as braking simply aren’t up to par. It also lacks in things like acceleration and can feel a little clunky. The 2021 model year doesn’t seem to be much better. 

Autotrader reports,

“When running errands around town or covering long distances on the highway, the Tacoma can feel a bit more rough-and-tumble than its rivals from General Motors and the Honda Ridgeline. The Tacoma’s ride is a bit bouncier and its driving position is still a bit odd, as the default seat height has you sitting pretty low to the floor.”

That being said, nearly all of the critics agree that the Tacoma is a blast to drive. It might not be for everyone, but for those who do choose to go with the Tacoma, they’re rarely disappointed.