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Which 2021 Toyota Tacoma is Right for You?

Discover which version of Toyota’s popular mid-size truck best suits your needs.

The Toyota Tacoma was the best-selling mid-size pickup truck in Canada in 2020. There are good reasons for this, namely the Tacoma’s reputation for high quality, high resale value, and choices of two body styles, available automatic and manual transmissions, and a host of optional package choices. There’s a Tacoma to suit a wide range of needs and tastes, from an economical work truck to an off-road beast, but which one is right for you?

When the first body-on-frame Tacoma arrived for 1995, it was classified as a compact truck. But since the 2005 to 2015 2nd-generation debuted, the Tacoma is rated as mid-size. Rivals to the Toyota include the body-on-frame Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, Ford Ranger and unibody Honda Ridgeline.

The Tacoma got a freshening for the 2020 model year that gave it standard tech like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. All models include Toyota’s suite of active safety and driver-assist features, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. For 2021, the Tacoma lineup gets minor updates and the introduction of the Nightshade special edition.

The four-wheel-drive (4WD) 2021 Toyota Tacoma is available in 4-passenger Access Cab and 5-passenger Double Cab body styles. Its lone engine is a gasoline 6-cylinder that still has the muscle and capability to handle tough jobs. Rated at 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, the 3.5-litre 6-cylinder moves the Tacoma with brisk bursts of acceleration and enables it to tow up to 6,800 pounds (2,950 kilograms).

The Tacoma's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $38,350 CDN for the base Access Cab trim. There's the Tacoma Double Cab, starting at $39,350 CDN with more rear passenger room but a shorter cargo box. Next up is the $44,110 CDN Double Cab SB Trail, while the new $52,490 CDN Double Cab SB Nightshade special edition sits at the top of the range. 

Note that all 2021 Tacomas come standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission. But reverse to what you will find with other vehicles, Toyota charges a premium if you want to change gears yourself with its 6-speed manual, available on all trims except for the Nightshade. 

To help you make the right call on your next Toyota mid-size truck, here's a breakdown of 2021 Tacoma trim levels:


2021 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Access Cab 6A - Starting MSRP $38,350 CDN

In a relatively competitive class, the base Tacoma Access Cab still comes with plenty of standard equipment, including 4WD, automatic transmission, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, heated front seats, dual zone automatic climate control, backup camera and Toyota Safety Sense.. Its 6-foot cargo bed comes with tie-down cleats, rear step bumper, and a reinforced Easy Lower & Lift Locking Tailgate

Key options include:
•    6-speed manual transmission $3,640 CDN
•    SR5 Package $2,410 CDN
•    TRD Off road Package $5,085 CDN


2021 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab 6A - Starting MSRP $39,350 CDN

The longer Double Cab Tacoma offers all the standard equipment as the Access Cab, plus more rear cabin space for an additional passenger, wider rear doors, but a shorter, 5-foor cargo bed.

Key options include:
•    6-speed manual transmission $4,760 CDN
•    SR5 Package $2,410 CDN
•    TRD Sport Package $5,080 CDN
•    TRD Sport Premium Package $7,580 CDN


2021 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab 6A SB - Starting MSRP $44,110 CDN

The Double Cab SB adds Audio Plus (including 7” Touchscreen Display, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Safety Connect), 8-way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control, and unique interior accents.

Key options include:
•    6-speed manual transmission $1,230 CDN
•    TRD Off Road Package $300 CDN
•    TRD Off Road Premium Package $3,300 CDN
•    TRD Pro Premium Package $12,720 CDN


2021 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab 6A SB Nightshade- Starting MSRP $52,490 CDN

The new Nightshade edition comes one way: loaded. With no available options, standard features include Premium Audio with Remote (including Embedded Navigation, Destination Assist, Remote Connect, Safety Connect, Service Connect), unique black exterior accents and features, Smart Key System with Push-Button Start, JBL Audio, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control, and Birdseye View Monitor, 8-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Premium Black Leather Interior, Moonroof and Toyota Safety Sense, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Intelligent Clearance Sonar.


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