The Toyota Tacoma, or affectionately known as the Taco by its adoring fans. It’s a conventional mid-size pickup truck that works well as an off-road toy. Not only are the Tacoma 4 Cylinder and V-6 engines powerful, but they’re quite potent dynamically, too. But the TRD models, in particular, excel at battling trails and playing in the mud.
However, the latter has a significant influence on its legend, especially when combined with Toyota’s legendary reliability. The 2021 Tacoma is popular for reasons relating to the heart rather than the head, despite its plasticky interior and the fact that even the crew-cab variant has a small back seat. Despite the fact that most of its rivals are more refined, and the Jeep Gladiator is even more capable. Tacoma has gained a fan status by delivering what buyers requested over time.
- What’s In The 2021 Model?
- 2021 vs. 2020
- What Are The Flaws?
- Final Verdict
What’s New In The Year 2021?
Toyota has released a limited-edition Tacoma Trail Edition model in 2021, with only 7000 units available. This model is based on the SR5 crew cab and comes with the option of rear- or four-wheel drive. It has unique TRD-style 16-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.
The Trail Edition sports a lockable storage compartment and a 120-volt outlet in the cargo bed, in addition to black exterior insignia and a distinctive grille. All-weather floor mats and black upholstery with tan contrast stitching are featured within the cabin.
Differences Between The 2020 Toyota Tacoma And The 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
Aside from a few cosmetic customization options and a couple of special editions, the Toyota Tacoma hasn’t changed much in 2021. Army Green is removed from the TRD Pro’s paint options to make room for Lunar Rock. The Nightshade Special Edition improves on the Limited by blacking out several of the external elements.
The new Trail Special Edition upgrades the entry-level SR5 with distinctive external components and a customized interior. Dual-zone climate control is now standard on all V6-powered vehicles, and premium remote services are available through an improved sound system on the TRD Sport and Off-Road packages.
Exterior Of A Toyota Tacoma
Because you may mix and match the cab and cargo bed choices. The Tacoma’s exact appearance is determined by how you arrange it. The Access Cab comes with two doors, while the Double Cab adds a third set at the back. The TRD Sport and Off-Road get honeycomb grilles, while the SR and SR5 get plain grilles.
The Limited has a silver horizontal bar grille, while the TRD Pro has the most aggressive Toyota heritage grille, with TOYOTA text replacing the logo on lower versions. There’s also a TRD Pro front skid plate and a hood scoop with a unique design. The headlights are the same across the range, although they change from normal halogen to LEDs on the Limited and higher, and every model except the base SR comes with fog lights.
The Trail Special Edition adopts the Limited’s grille and has Kevlar-wrapped 16-inch wheels. While the Nightshade has blacked-out exterior details, as the name implies. The regular wheels are 16-inch things in various styles across the lineup, with 17-inch items on the TRD Sport and bigger 18-inch wheels on the Limited and Nightshade. A power tilt-and-slide sunroof is also available on the top-tier versions.
Tacoma has the kind of dimensions that make it stand out, as you’d expect from a pickup truck that spends a lot of time playing in the mud. When you combine the Access Cab with the six-foot bed. You’ll have a wheelbase of 127.4 inches and a body length of 212.3 inches.
These measurements are the same for the Double Cab with the five-foot bed. While the Double Cab with the six-foot bed is 225.5 inches long with a 140.6-inch wheelbase. The lower trim levels have a width of 74.4 inches, while the TRD Sport adds an extra 0.8 inches when you upgrade.
Each model is 70.6 inches tall, with the exception of the TRD Pro, which is an inch larger than the others. The Tacoma weighs 3,915 pounds in its most basic configuration and 4,550 pounds in its most powerful configuration.
The Toyota truck has a 9.4-inch ground clearance to assist it in handling rougher terrain, but different configurations change break-over angles. The temperature ranges from 29/20/23.1 to 35/24/23.5 degrees.
This little pickup truck is available in two configurations: the Tacoma 4 Cylinder model seats up to four passengers, and the Double Cab seats five people. Cloth upholstery and four-way manually adjustable front seats are standard comfort components.
All available options are a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and leather-trimmed seats. The Tacoma’s front seats are low to the ground, although the driver’s seat can be adjusted to compensate. In both cabs, the rear-seat room is limited.
Two tiny rear jump seats are accessible through small, rear-hinged back doors on Tacoma 4 Cylinder vehicles. Double Cabs have full-size back doors and are the obvious choice for people who wish to transport rear passengers regularly, albeit room is still limited.
There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats for installing child safety seats, and Double Cabs feature a tether anchor for the back middle seat. The upper tether anchors are difficult to discover and easily confused for other gear.
In contrast, the bottom anchors on Double Cabs are set deeply in the seats, rendering this not the most straightforward LATCH system to use. For its ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety assigned this system the second-lowest grade of Marginal.
Transmission And Engine
The first of the two engines available for the Toyota truck is fairly underwhelming. The 2.7-liter Tacoma 4 Cylinder, which produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, propels the big Tacoma truck forward, but not quickly. A six-speed automatic transmission is used, and both 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains are available. This engine is standard on the SR and SR5 models, whereas the V6 engine is standard on the higher trims.
The larger 3.5-liter engine produces 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, and power is sent to the rear or all four wheels, albeit the TRD Pro only has access to the four-wheel powertrain. The same six-speed automatic transmission is available, although TRD grades can also be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission.
The base Tacoma 4 Cylinder is adequate if you merely want the Tacoma for its looks and never intend to put it to work, but if you plan to tow or go off-road, skip it. The V6 unleashes the vehicle’s actual capabilities, and it performs best when partnered with the manual transmission.
Driving And Handling Considerations
While the Tacoma 4 Cylinder enjoys getting dirty and muddy off-road, it takes your undivided attention when driving in town. With the way it drifts off course while traveling down the highway, you could even accuse it of being bored or restless. It has trouble handling the tarmac at slower speeds, with tiny road abrasions being communicated to the cabin. There is one redeeming feature, at least: the tough tires effectively minimize road noise.
It actually excels when you stop treating it like a car and wander off the beaten path. You’ll need the 4×4 drivetrain to get the most out of the adventure. When properly equipped, it feels completely at ease in more challenging terrain. The feedback is excellent, and the automated Crawl Control system will assist you if you prefer to concentrate on maneuvering rather than speed management.
Gas Mileage On A Tacoma Truck
The actual gas mileage you obtain is determined by how you set up your vehicle. With the RWD, you can expect roughly 20/23/21 mpg city/highway/combined and 19/22/20 mpg with the 4WD if you choose the basic Tacoma 4 Cylinder engine.
The V6 is not only more powerful, but it also gets the same fuel economy in mixed driving circumstances, with RWD getting 19/24/21 mpg and 4WD getting 18/22/20 mpg. Those figures, however, are for the V6 with the automatic transmission. The manual gearbox is the least efficient setup. As it can only be used with the V6 engine and four-wheel drivetrain.
In this combination, the EPA estimates 17/21/18 miles per gallon, with the Double Cab TRD Pro dropping another mile per gallon on the motorway. However, because Tacoma has a 21.1-gallon fuel tank. It can still travel 443 miles between pit stops in its most efficient version.
Capacity And Towing
The maximum payload of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma is 1,685 pounds with the Tacoma 4 Cylinder engine and 1,525 pounds with the V6 engine. With the Tacoma 4 Cylinder engine, the maximum towing weight is 3,500 pounds. That jumps to 6,800 pounds with the V6 engine and the Tow Prep package.
A Class IV receiver hitch, engine oil cooler, transmission fluid cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, four- and seven-pin connector with converter, and trailer sway control are all included in the tow package.
Infotainment & Features For The Tacoma
The Tacoma isn’t a luxury cruiser, but even the entry-level SR comes with all the essentials. There’s also a modest 4.2-inch driver information display, as well as air conditioning and power accessories. The tilt steering column, on the other hand, is manually adjustable. The Toyota Safety Sense P suite, which includes pre-collision avoidance, pedestrian recognition, lane departure alert, and dynamic radar cruise control, now consists of a rearview camera.
The Tacoma 4 Cylinder vehicle comes with keyless entry, while the TRD Sport adds keyless ignition, dual-zone temperature controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 120-volt power outlet, and a ten-way power driver’s seat,
The 2021 Tacoma 4 Cylinder includes driver and passenger front airbags, as well as side-seat, mounted, and front to rear curtain airbags. Toyota’s Star Safety System, which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Smart Stop Technology, is also included in the Tacoma. A tire pressure monitoring system, active head restraints, and side-impact door beams are all included as standard features.
It’s worth noting that these features only relate to the base trims; an SR5 with the V6 engine and Double Cab modifications, for example, is significantly better equipped. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power sunroof, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and rear sonar are all standard on the Limited and TRD Pro. The TRD Pro gets a multi-terrain display, while the Limited gets a panoramic view monitor.
On the Tacoma 4 Cylinder truck, the infotainment system has a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Amazon Alexa. This is accompanied by a six-speaker sound system with SiriusXM access. The SR5 adds navigation and a six-speaker JBL sound system. While the Limited adds navigation and a six-speaker JBL sound system. A wireless charging pad is included on all TRD Sport models and higher.
The TRD Pro has the same amenities as the TRD but uses a standard audio setup unless you choose the automated version, which includes a JBL sound system. Despite its many modern capabilities, the suite has the same aged feel as the Tacoma, with slow answers and awkward menus.
Every safety review of the Tacoma 4 Cylinder found it reasonably good, and it has a solid reputation. As seen by the IIHS’s 2019 Top Safety Pick. The organization has yet to evaluate the most recent model. Though the 2020 iteration obtained a Good rating in every category except the small overlap front: passenger-side test, which received an Acceptable rating.
The NHTSA has given it a four-out-of-five-star overall rating for 2021, with five stars for side crash testing and four stars for front and rollover tests.
Reliability And Tacoma Issues
J.D. Power’s reliability ratings for the 2021 model year came in at 78 out of 100. Although this may appear normal in other sectors, it is exceptional in the midsize pickup truck segment. There have been no recalls as of this writing, but it was recalled in 2020 due to a suspected fuel pump failure. Toyota’s warranty plan isn’t spectacular, but it’s adequate.
The bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts three years and 36,000 miles, while the powertrain warranty lasts five years and 60,000 miles. A five-year corrosion perforation warranty is included.
Coverage For Warranty And Maintenance
The warranty coverage on Tacoma 4 Cylinder is comparable to that of most competitors, and Toyota offers the finest complimentary scheduled maintenance plan in its class.
- Three years or 36,000 miles are covered under the limited warranty.
- A five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty is included.
- Maintenance is free for the first two years or 25,000 miles.
Perks Of The 2021 Tacoma 4 Cylinder
The Tacoma 4 Cylinder is made to last, and it’s famed for its ability to handle difficult terrain. There won’t be a lot of repairs needed if the driver keeps up with checkups at the auto shop. If cash is needed, the truck’s resale value is high due to its durable outerwear. The V6 engine is the way to go for stronger acceleration when driving if you have the extra cash.
The Tacoma 4 Cylinder engine likewise operates admirably, with little to no mechanical issues. Extra space and heated chairs are also included in the vehicle. This guarantees that both the passengers and the driver are comfortable during their cold-weather journeys.
The Tacoma 4 Cylinder TRD Off-Road sports a 4WD system, a front plate to avoid sliding, back wheel locking, and Crawl Control technology for going on mountains and other difficult locations when coming into contact with uneven terrain throughout the drive.
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If you want more style, the TRD Sport vented hood makes the driver appear more powerful and frightening. While the Tacoma 4 Cylinder comes in vibrant hues like Voodoo Blue, Barcelona Red, and Black Nightshade.
The 2021 Tacoma 4 Cylinder comes with improved safety technologies to safeguard the driver from dangers on the road. Preset speed systems, TSS (vehicle/pedestrian sensors), Dynamic radar cruise control for safer car-to-car driving, and a pre-collision system that automatically applies the brakes before colliding with another vehicle are among them.
The Tacoma has a lane departure warning system that ensures no cars are hit as you move in and out of positions when maneuvering through congested parking lots. The front and back of the Tacoma are equipped with cameras, allowing the driver to spot any problems before they occur.
Tacoma 4 Cylinder Flaws In 2021
When it comes to acceleration, the Tacoma 4 Cylinder base engine has a problem. The horsepower rises to 159 on average. The 2021 model with a V6 engine is the greatest option for more heavy-duty labor, but it will be more expensive.
Why A Tacoma 4 Cylinder Is Beneficial
Toyota has a long history of producing high-quality trucks, and they’re experts at designing and implementing Tacoma 4 Cylinder engines. For medium pickups, the Tacoma truck line now has V6 engines and 4-cylinder inserts. The 2020 truck model’s fuel efficiency isn’t the finest, but it is more efficient when it comes to hauling power.
Both the SR and SR5 Tacoma models have a 3.5-liter engine that delivers good performance when cruising through rugged terrain. Not to mention the towing capacity (3,500 pounds) required for any heavy-duty work. Be warned that the V6 will reduce the mpg when using the manual transmission, so keep that in mind.
If you’re doing a lot of city driving and don’t need maximum speeds. The six-speed manual transmission might be a better option. The 2021 Tacoma 4 Cylinder model gets 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Which is quite ordinary for a truck. The beginning price for truck drivers seeking a vehicle that is both reliable and strong is $28,000, which is less than the 6-cylinder truck.
Toyota Tacoma 4 Cylinder 2021 Comparisons
2021 Toyota Tacoma 4 Cylinder Vs. Ford Ranger
It’s difficult to compete with America’s most popular pickup truck brand, but Tacoma gives it its all. However, the fact that it becomes more expensive at each stage is not a promising start. The Ranger’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is significantly more capable than the Toyota’s, with faster acceleration times and a higher towing capability of 7,500 pounds. So, if you plan on doing heavy work with your pickup, the choice is apparent.
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However, if you wish to go off-road, things change dramatically. Tacoma outperforms Ford in this category. In fact, a quick test drive reveals that driving on paved roads is even more enjoyable. In terms of technology and safety characteristics, the two rivals are nearly identical. There’s no need to choose the Ranger over the Tacoma for this when there are certainly tougher vehicles out there, like the Ford F-150.
Toyota Tacoma 4 Cylinder Vs. Chevrolet Colorado
Just wait until you see the competition if you think Tacoma has a lot of configuration alternatives. You may customize the Chevy Colorado to fit your needs. Whether you spend most of your time in town or are more adventurous. It also has a higher power output than the Toyota, with a 308-hp V6 engine and a diesel motor that produces 369 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to pull up to 7,700 pounds.
Chevrolet hasn’t done a fantastic job keeping Colorado up to date in terms of technology. However, it is still more balanced and enjoyable than the Tacoma, with decent off-roading performance. More workhorse potential, and a better riding experience in town. With a starting price of $25,200, it’s also a little affordable.
Facts about Toyota Tacoma Engines: Four-Cylinder vs. V6
- The base engine for the Toyota Tacoma is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque.
- The four-cylinder engine is standard on the Toyota Tacoma SR and SR5 trims and is suitable for those looking for good gas mileage.
- The four-cylinder engine option won’t offer the best passing power on the highway and less power for climbing steep grades compared to the V6 option.
- The four-cylinder Toyota Tacoma with a rear-wheel-drive powertrain gets 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, while the four-wheel-drive gets 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
- The V6 engine option provides 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque and offers decent performance and towing muscle.
- The V6 engine is offered on all Tacoma trim levels above the SR and SR5, and it is also available on both SR and SR5 models.
- The V6 engine is more suitable for off-road maneuvering than passing other vehicles on the highway.
- The V6 Toyota Tacoma with a rear-wheel-drive configuration gets 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while the four-wheel-drive gets 18 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
- The Tacoma with the inline-four can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the V6 with a towing package can tow up to 6,800 pounds.
- The four-cylinder engine is a good starting point for buyers looking for a simple and reliable pickup truck at a good price point, but most critics advise against buying it and recommend the V6 engine for those who can afford it.
Tacoma 4 Cylinder – Final Verdict:
Tacoma has been around for a long time and has a devoted following. There’s also a compelling explanation for this. Despite its age, it’s a tough and powerful pickup with good towing capacity and genuine off-road capability. It is, however, far from ideal. While Toyota has done its best to bring Tacoma up to date in terms of technology. The truck hasn’t been fundamentally altered with a good infotainment system and reliable safety systems.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a truck, a Tacoma 4 Cylinder is a good choice. Given its capacity and hauling capabilities, it also works well as a small-job truck. From safety features to extreme weather changes, you may make use of popular technology included in Toyota’s line of cars.
The 2021 Tacoma 4 Cylinder is ideal for commuting and handling little jobs. When compared to the Toyota Tundra of 2021. The Tundra is more spacious for large families, comes equipped with a V8 engine, has a higher towing capability for bigger loads, and gets superior gas mileage.
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