Taco Tuesday: 2021 Toyota Tacoma Impresses Critics With its Rugged Charm

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is set to hit dealerships this fall. But the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is still out there winning the hearts of critics with its rugged charm. With 16 years of success as the top-selling midsize pickup truck, the Tacoma has made a name for itself to say the least. 

A dark green 2021 Toyota Tacoma sitting on top of a brown rocky terrain with a cloud covered background.
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

It has a sea of devoted fans, high resale value, and looks that appeal across a spectrum of truck buyers. Even though the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a bit dated, this midsize off-road truck is undeniably compelling. Here’s what the crew at CNET’s RoadShow segment has to say about the sturdy truck. 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro ticks all the right boxes for a traditional midsize off-road truck

If you want a truck that comes stock with everything you need for serious off-roading, it doesn’t really get any better than the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Its only real competition in this area is the new Jeep Gladiator pickup. But the Tacoma boasts historic reliability, resale value, and a tough construction that’s proven to withstand the tests of time.

“Even though the current-generation Tacoma is getting old, it’s still an attractive rig.”

RoadShow

On top of that, the TRD Pro Tacoma just takes a cool-looking truck and gives it an extra heaping helping of rugged style. It charms the pickup truck shoppers with an adventurous spirit with its visible off-road enhancements and iconic TOYOTA grille. Regardless of age, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a midsize off-road truck with undeniable charm.

Is the TRD Pro Tacoma worth buying?

An army green 2021 toyota tacoma TRD Pro grille on display at an auto show
TRD Pro Tacoma | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro as tested by the RoadShow team costs about $48,000. So there’s definitely a limited number of buyers that are willing to spend that much cheddar on a midsize off-road pickup truck. Especially considering the potential for damage, there’s perhaps a more feasible market for older, cheaper trucks if you plan to play around off the pavement on the weekends. 

That said, the TRD Pro Tacoma carries with it enough appeal to draw in plenty of buyers. Basically, those who can afford a 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and want a small off-road Toyota truck get one. It’s perhaps not the most practical buy for some people, but those who need a TRD Pro model know who they are and they know why they need it. So its primitive on-road manners and slightly dated tech won’t matter to them. 

What is the next best thing to TRD Pro? 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition
2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition | Toyota

According to the RoadShow review of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, there is another option that saves thousands. If you want a similar truck with good capability and a smaller price tag, the Army Green TRD Off-Road Double Cab with four-wheel drive and a 5-foot bed is a great starting point. With the automatic transmission this truck’s price starts at $38,705 including the destination fee. 

Then you can add some extras to your midsize off-road Toyota truck. The $2,790 Premium Audio and Navigation Package includes important additional features. Extras like improved audio, LED headlights, and blind-spot monitoring are all part of this package. A $499 TRD skid plate will further the truck’s off-road performance. Plus, $469 steps, $160 badging, and $169 all-weather rubber interior mats. You can even add mudguards for $129. 

All this would come to $42,921. While this is still pretty high, the truck will serve virtually every purpose the TRD Pro Tacoma does but for thousands less. Overall, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is impressing critics even with the 2022 model year on the horizon. The 2022 model will offer other TRD Pro alternatives such as the all-new Trail Edition Taco. While it might not be a huge departure from its stone age roots, the TRD Pro Taco in its 2021 model year is still a compelling midsize off-road Toyota truck.