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3 Reasons to Buy 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road – and 3 for SR5

Two of the most popular 2021 Tacoma trim levels are SR5 and TRD Off-Road. We give key reasons for purchasing both.

One of the best things about America’s best-selling midsize truck, Toyota Tacoma, is the wide variety of trim levels available. There are levels designed for on-road travels, like an SR5 or TRD Sport. You can choose more Luxury with Tacoma Limited.

TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro are strong choices for those adventurers who want to explore those remote trails and mountain passes.

Or you could try one of the new 2021 Tacoma trim levels – Nightshade Edition and Trail Edition.

This variety, however, also can make your research confusing as well.

Here is an excerpt from an email I just received. “Can you give me advice on Tacoma grades? I have been researching and have it narrowed down to a 2021 SR5 and TRD Off-Road. Any advice?”

Thanks for your email Jimmy. Here are my thoughts.

2021 Tacoma TRD Off-Road

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Barcelona Red profile view

Potential truck buyers might consider a Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road if you have specific outdoor adventures in mind. I can see this perfect for camping, driving on the beach, or playing in the snow. So many other possibilities and so much potential.

The first thing I think of when advising a Tacoma Off-Road purchase is what you find up above (where the sunglasses holder normally is). Several controls and systems are designed to help you get the most traction possible based on terrain and weather conditions.

Multi-terrain select, crawl control and locking rear differential may bail you out of a jam or two when you need it most.

Additional suspension may be another reason to think TRD Off-Road Tacoma. A 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road, for example, is armed with TRD Off-Road suspension with Bilstein shocks. These can help stabilize your Tacoma on more challenging off-road terrain, as well as providing increased control on streets and highways.

A final reason to choose Tacoma TRD Off-Road might be a smaller, yet underappreciated, aspect. You can choose either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual when researching your Off-Road. Tacoma TRD Pro is also offered with 6-speed manual as an option. “Driving stick” may be considered a dying art by many, but there is nothing like driving a manual in my opinion. Is it for you?

Toyota Tacoma SR5 vs TRD Off-Road

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Barcelona Red 2021 Tacoma SR5 Cement

For me, I do not do much off-roading, so an SR5 might be my choice in this scenario. That does not mean I would not be tempted with all the off-roading gadgets on a TRD Off-Road, though.

I recently created a video on this topic (Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road vs SR5) for my “Toyotajeff” YouTube review channel. I found viewer comments enlightening and covering both sides of the table.

VIDEO: 2021 Tacoma TRD Off-Road vs SR5

Andrew made his choice. I got the 2021 SR5 almost 2 months ago and it is great. I got the silver Color.”

Molly weighed in. “We go camping wherever the road (or off-road) takes us. Need locking rear diff and multi-terrain select. TRD Off-Road all the way. Love your reviews!”

“All depends what you are going to be doing, I guess! TRD Off Road has way more techy cool stuff but no sunglass holder. So, if you are not an off-road person that’s just kinda sitting there. Whereas you can make an SR5 4x4 run great on and off trail. So, it really is personal preference and wallet size lol. I personally would get the TRD Pro.”
Great analysis Ryan.

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Cement profile view

The main reason you might want to pick a Toyota Tacoma SR5 is when you do not have a pressing need for off-roading resources that come standard on TRD Off-Road. An SR5 Tacoma is offered in both 4x2 and 4x4, so you can still maintain traction when it is raining or snowy outside. If you do not need crawl control, for example, some would question the rationale for paying for it.

Cost may be another reason to go SR5 with your Tacoma purchase. A 2021 Tacoma SR5 4x4 V6 double cab has a factory MSRP of $35,305. In comparison, a 2021 Tacoma TRD Off-Road with similar specs starts from the factory at $37,280. If budgeting is important to you, saving just about $2,000 by picking the right trim level is a great place to start.

Most Toyota Tacoma trucks utilize a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. torque. Some 4-cylinder (159 hp, 180 torque) Tacoma trims are available, including SR and SR5 trucks. This could be one way to get your Toyota Tacoma truck for around or slightly under $30,000. This is my third reason you might want to consider SR5.

Time for your thoughts on Toyota Tacoma

2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Barcelona Red wheels

Have you had to research Tacoma trim levels, and what did you end up choosing? What other factors were or still are important to you?

2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Cement wheels

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I discuss a potential new Toyota Grand Highlander.

Follow Jeff Teague on social media:

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Chris Michaels (not verified)    May 5, 2021 - 2:23AM

Telling people to buy over priced plastic trucks should be a sin. SR5 or TRD they are complete pieces of trash. No rebates or discounts. Just over priced trash.

AntSpeed (not verified)    September 29, 2021 - 8:18PM

In reply to by Chris Michaels (not verified)

Chris Michaels, the articles isn't telling people what to buy, hello, it's a review. Look around and count the Tacoma's you see on the road during your next drive. There is a reason Tacoma's OWN the market; not trash or over priced, you get what you pay for...Plastic Blaha