The third-generation Toyota Tacoma debuted in 2016, bringing in a sharper look with harder body lines, a new grille, new headlights, and more. In 2021, we expect the Tacoma to be a carryover, but we now know that it will gain a few new special-editions to keep things exciting.
As a carryover pickup, we expect the 2021 Toyota Tacoma to carry on with the same looks it’s had since 2016. We expect this trend to continue until 2022 or 2023, which is likely when Toyota will get to redesigning this profit-driving midsize pickup finally. What will change for 2021 will be two new special-edition pickups: Trail Special Edition and Nightshade Special Edition.
The 2021 Tacoma Trail Special Edition will gain dark-gray 18-inch TRD Off-Road wheels with Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires, a custom grille, a 115-volt in-bed power outlet, and insulated lockable in-bed storage.
The 2021 Tacoma Nightshade Special Edition will be based on the Limited trim and will gain all-black leather seating, black exterior trim, darkened chrome trim, black-painted mirror caps and door handles, Dark Smoke 18-inch wheels, a black exhaust tip, black fog light bezels, and a new grille insert.
Inside, the current Tacoma is a delicate blend of ruggedness with its upright dash and chunky steering wheel, and sportiness with its rounded air vents and contrasting passenger-side dash accent. We expect this look to remain the same when the 2021 Tacoma rolls into showrooms.
We also expect the 2021 Toyota Tacoma to hit showrooms with the same powertrain options. If this is the case, it’ll arrive with a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The optional engine will remain a 3.5-liter V6 with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines will continue with standard rear-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive. The standard transmission will remain a six-speed automatic while a six-speed manual will be available with the V6 engine in select trims.
The current Tacoma is a rarity in the midsize pickup realm with a full suite of standard advanced safety gear, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. This suite of safety equipment plus “Good” crash test scores in all IIHS tests except the passenger-side small-overlap test resulted in it receiving an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating. We expect this and all safety ratings to remain the same in the 2021 Tacoma.