Trucks & SUVs

This 2021 Toyota Tacoma Issue Makes Things Complicated for Families

If you’ve read anything else I’ve written about the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro I recently tested, you already know I––almost embarrassingly––fell head over heels. My review is certainly a positive one. However, there is one 2021 Toyota Tacoma issue I learned while driving the TRD Pro model that makes things complicated for families.

If you want a truck for your family, the TRD Pro Taco might fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and haul your crew quite well. However, it’s not perfect. Getting child safety seats into the Toyota Tacoma isn’t exactly an easy feat.

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

Carseats in a 2021 Toyota Tacoma

If you have small children with rear-facing car seats, this won’t be an issue yet. Once you get them in, child safety seats work fine in the backseat of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. The latch points are easy to find and clip in, but the rear anchor is a bit of a problem.

rear seat with the seatbacks folded down giving us a view of the three rear anchors for carseats.
Toyota Tacoma rear seat | U.S. News and World Report

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There are rear anchors behind all three of the rear seats of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma backseat. The Toyota Tacoma issue here is that in order to clip a child safety seat into its respective rear anchor you have to jump through some hoops. Specifically, the seats have to be folded over in order to access the rear anchor point.

As we already clarified, car seats in the Toyota Tacoma work fine. But if your family switches between vehicles or takes the child safety seats in and out much, you may want to look at some other trucks. If car seat compatibility is a high priority for you, then you probably won’t love this Toyota Tacoma issue.

rear seats of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Rear Seat | U.S. News and World Report

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The TRD Pro model

If off-road adventure is something your family frequently enjoys, the child safety seat Toyota Tacoma issue might be overlooked. The TRD Pro model of this pickup truck comes equipped for tons of fun off the pavement––straight from the factory. The way this truck handles on trails is a massive part of its appeal.

A 2021 Toyota Tacoma parked on sand
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota

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Obviously, however, if you are going to bomb around on trails with the whole family in tow then child safety seats are a must for anyone small enough to need them. When it comes to off-road driving with kids in the car––or even just with adults––safety should always come first. The seats for my boys fit OK into the TRD Pro model Taco that we tested.

But that’s once I finagled them in. The fact that we had to fold over the seats in order to connect to the anchor points was super annoying. Especially so the first time I decided to put the carseats in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro off-roading
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota

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Toyota Tacoma issue

The first time I went to install our child safety seats into the TRD Pro model Tacoma, I didn’t know about this minor complication. So I had already connected the base of the car seat to the latch point. When I realized that I had to fold over the seatback in order to access the rear anchor, it was already too late.

I ended up having to disengage the latch points and start all the way over. The rear anchor has to be clipped in first or the seatback won’t fold over. In short, I seriously love the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model. But families need to make sure this one Toyota Tacoma issue isn’t a deal-breaker.