Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The Toyota Tacoma, is Canada’s best-selling model in the midsize truck segment. And it is not hard to see why, the”Tac” has always offered an excellent combination of good looks, performance reliability, and resale. The pretty, high sitting 2021 Tacoma is still available as an Access Cab, Double Cab or four -door crew cab. There is no more four cylinder option, just V6-power and four-wheel-drive. No more two wheel drive either. For the 2021 model year, there is an upgraded infotainment interface with bigger screen sizes, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Exterior changes include: a new grille design, different wheels, revised taillights, new LED headlights (select models), a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and new exterior camera systems.
Across the range, the Tacoma is powered by a 3.5L V6 that makes 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. All models are four-wheel-drive, with a choice of six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts at $38,350- for the Access Cab short bed, at five feet, while other models offer longer 6-foot box such as the Double cab crew at $39,350. There are more expensive models such as the Double Cab TRD off Road with automatic transmission, at $44, 10. And the addition of the mighty TRD Pro Package option at a googly eyed $12,400 extra! So you can easily pay up to $57,000 for a fully loaded truck- that is entering the bigger full-size Tundra sector.
We tested a new version of the Tacoma, – a special “Nightshade” Edition priced at $52,490 based in the 4×4 Limited Double Cab with unique Black exterior accents and gloss black wheels. Also added was: Premium Audio with Remote, including Embedded Navigation, Destination Assist 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, Moonroof, Premium Black Leather Interior. Exterior-wise the Nightshade Edition was very fetching and elicited lot of questions about the All-black look.
But it is not all visuals, the Tacoma is practical. Out back, The Tacoma models have a cargo bed depth of 485 mm (19.1 inches) maximum towing capacity of 2,900 kg (6,393 lb) and top payload of 450 kg (992 lb). It can tow 3,470 kg (7,650 lb) and haul 726 kg (1,600 lb). The tailgate is damped, locks and is removable.
Inside, there is a lot of rather hard black plastic in a neat, simple designs, but the cabin does looks very durable and well finished. Simple, logical controls have glove handed friendly large dials for the climate control (automatic dual-zone on the TRD package), and an elegant touch screen with nice bright menus and icons, There are also a sensible dials for the volume and tuning, and hard buttons for different functions. . The front cabin has decent enough storage space, and the front seats are comfortable enough. At the back there is an adequate cabin with a rear seat that folds and stows. Handy hidden stealth compartments are also a nice touch handy in the rear. There’s a dial for switching from rear-wheel to four-wheel drive, while terrain select, a locking rear differential, and crawl control are handled by buttons and dials in the overhead
On the road the Tacoma is an easy to drive, satisfying truck. Yes there is some truck rumble and the harsher steering feedback than a sedan, but that is too be expected really. In contrast the Tacoma excels on rough trails and gravel. Four wheel drive is selected by a turn of a dial and the multi-mode function adjusts for different terrain such as loose rocks or mud. Tackle rougher ground and the crawl control feature comes into, allowing for constant lower control without having always juggle with the throttle.
The Tacoma is rated at 13.0 L/100 km in the city and 10.5 on the highway, for a combined official figure of 11.9 L/100 km. Downsides are few, to be expected with truck that is refined, updated and improved with every generation. Yes, the options packs can make the truck pricy, but even the base trucks come pretty well equipped. It is all there, in this high resale, high value truck. The Nightshade version adds some new drama to the Tacoma line and is highly recommended for work and
2021 Toyota Tacoma Nightshade Edition: priced from $52,490. Plus freight and PDI.