Toyota Tacoma 4WD

Editors' Review

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For 16 years, the Toyota Tacoma has sat atop the midsize pickup truck sales charts thanks in part to its sterling reputation and excellent resale value. Even as the midsize truck class has grown in recent years to to include a reborn Ford Ranger and new Jeep Gladiator, the Toyota continues to rule the roost with a Tacoma lineup that encompasses more than 30 configurations all offering good looks, plenty of utility and proper on- and off-road capabilities. And after spending a week with what is now a 6-year-old truck, I'm reminded again of all the things that contribute to the Tacoma's lasting appeal. 

Rugged looks

Even though the current-generation Tacoma is getting old, it's still an attractive rig. The blockier looks are even more beefed up on my TRD Off-Road tester with a very cool Army Green paint job and contrasting black fender trim. Throw in slick 16-inch wheels wrapped in meaty Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires, black tube steps and TRD skid plates, and this truck looks more than ready to play in the dirt.

Inside the Taco, the squared-off dash continues the rugged design theme, and much of the cabin is built from acres of hard, nicely grained plastics that are easy to clean and should look good for years to come. Don't worry, it's not all hard plastic all the time, with key touchpoints like the steering wheel and shift knob wrapped in leather and armrests covered in padded vinyl. The front seat cushions are firm and their minimal bolstering allows them to accommodate a variety of body types.

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Model Year

The Good ~ Rugged styling ~ Smooth V6 ~ Composed ride

The Bad ~ Limited headroom ~ Not great fuel economy ~ Gets pricey

The Bottom Line The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup for people looking for a proper truck.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 6.5

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