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Is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition with bed storage bins worth the money?

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When one of the top-selling midsize pickup trucks comes out with a new trim package, we’ve just gotta see it in person and find out if its worth the money. This week, Publisher Tim Esterdahl gets to spend some time in the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition and while he does talk about the engine, drive impressions and reliability of the Tacoma his main focus is the Trail Edition trim and what those add-ons look like.

What’s the big deal?

At first glance, it seems like the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition just adds a new grille option and some black badging. The truck is basically an SR5 and doesn’t come with any bold features to make it stand out. But on closer examination, we can see it has some unique 16-inch TRD off-road wheels with off-road tires.

Inside the truck, you’ll find unique fabric seats with contrasting tan stitching that is unique to the Trail Edition. And best of all, this truck comes with all-weather floor liners to help protect the carpet in your truck from your muddy boots.

The upgrades are in the bed

If you’re taking a small truck out into the wilderness for a camping or hunting expedition, you don’t always need major off-road capabilities like crawl control or drive modes (this truck lacks both) but you are going to need storage for items you don’t want to leave in plain sight and you’re definitely going to need a cooler for drinks or a place to keep your catch. This is where the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition shines. The in-bed storage boxes are located over the wheel wells and are lockable. They aren’t very big, but they will accommodate small items like power tools and electronics. The bin on the driver’s side also doubles as a cooler, complete with a drain.

The downside? With the boxes installed (yes, they are removable) the space between them is less than 3 feet across. This might not be a big deal if your cargo is sleeping bags, tents, and fishing rods, but those boxes will likely get in the way if you decide to buy something from the home improvement store.

However, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition’s composite bed doesn’t rust. This is a big plus for the outdoorsman whose truck is likely to spend more nights under the stars than in the garage.

Is it worth it?

The cost for the Trail Edition package is just $1,775. So, if it were all stickers and eye candy, maybe not. But a composite bed, lockable storage and rubber floor mats are pretty practical. What do you think?

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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