Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Has 3 Drawbacks to Consider

Today we’re taking a closer look at the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. Does this truck live up to its fame, or is it a little hyped? It is the only option with the word taco in its name, after all. While no truck is perfect, the Toyota Tacoma is one popular option, and we found three potential drawbacks for you to consider. 

Three possible 2021 Toyota Tacoma issues 

First, we will provide a little background information about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. You can get started with one for about $26,400. This is an extremely competitive price. To provide some context, the 2021 Ford Ranger begins at about $24,820. 

For 2021 the Toyota Tacoma gained a special Nightshade edition that makes everything black. Also, the special Trail Edition model came out, but only 7,000 units will be available. It’s based on the SR5 crew cab with 16-inch TRD-style wheels and exterior badges and a unique grille.

1. The Toyota Tacoma doesn’t have the best ride quality

Car and Driver recommends avoiding the base engine. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. That’s surprisingly weak! You can upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine for 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. 

A white 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on display at an auto show
A 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The six-speed automatic transmission can struggle at times, and the ride is pretty stiff. Bumps can be felt in the road, and wind noise does enter the cabin at higher speeds. Edmunds noted that the handling is fine, but the brakes are grabby and can induce a nosedive. 

The 3.6-liter engine lacks a little power, but it’s fine for daily use. But on a positive note, the Tacoma shines as an off-roading beast. It’s almost on par with the Jeep Gladiator, with excellent ground clearance, gearing, and traction for tackling challenging terrain. 

2. Storage and muscle is a little lacking 

The Toyota Tacoma can only tow up to 6,800 lb. This is plenty of power, but it trails the competition. For example, the Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lbs, and the Chevy Colorado can tow up to 7,000 lbs. 

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Also, the Tacoma can carry a payload of up to 1,440 lbs, while the Ranger can carry up to 1,850 lb. The Tacoma can only carry that amount of weight with two-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine. With 4×4, the Tacoma can only tow up to 6,500 lbs.  

On a positive note, the Tacoma is easy to load because the tailgate opens laid, and the bedsides aren’t too tall. However, interior storage is described as adequate, and folding the seats down can be frustrating. 

3. The Toyota Tacoma has a disappointing interior 

We didn’t say it, Car and Driver did. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma has a disappointing interior because it has an outdated feel. The higher trim models rely on the use of heavy plastics and a minimal design. But that may be preferred by some fans who like simplicity in their trucks. 

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

The Tacoma has a very tall step-in height that can be annoying. Also, the rear seats aren’t known for being spacious. Taller passengers might have to squeeze in back there. But on a positive note, the Tacoma finally has a power driver’s seat. 

But the 2021 model did receive a tech upgrade. The 8.0-inch infotainment system has clear graphics and is easy to use. Also, the Tacoma finally features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.