When it comes to full-size pickup trucks, the muscular 2021 Toyota Tundra is tough to beat. This rugged truck is available in a variety of different configurations, each with multiple trims to choose from. From off-road adventure and serious towing to worksites and daily driving, there is a perfect Tundra for your needs. However, finding the perfect trim and features may take a little work with all the options Toyota offers.
For help in sorting through the multitude of 2021 Tundra trims and specs, you might seek guidance from your local Toyota dealership. But before you take that step, keep reading to get acquainted with the Tundra and everything Toyota’s flagship truck can offer. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have a basic understanding of what Toyota has brought to the table with its diverse line of 2021 Tundra trucks.
In accordance with Toyota tradition, the 2021 Tundra pairs a rugged and well-proven body and powertrain with modern tech and features. While the older design of the Tundra may not have the flashy looks of some competitors, experienced drivers know that buying the latest and greatest is often accompanied by frequent trips to the dealership for recalls and warranty work. With the Tundra, you are getting a truck where toughness and durability are found in more than just the advertising and looks.
A Real Work Truck
One might group the Tundra trims into four main categories: entry-level (including the base SR and the upgraded SR5); mid-level (Limited); off-road (TRD Pro); and premium (Platinum and 1794 Edition). However, unlike competing designs, where the entry-level trims are equipped with cheap V6 or turbocharged four-cylinder engines, every 2021 Tundra comes standard with the same proven 5.7L V8.
The 3UR-FE engine found in the 2021 Tundra is a bullet-proof design with a long history of powering Toyota’s most capable vehicles, including the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser. Producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, this mighty V8 provides over 30% more power than the base engines in competitors such as the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado. In fact, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma has best in class towing and payload ratings for any base engine in its segment. That means you don’t need to spend more to get the capability you need – any upgrades are purely a matter of features and comfort.
What are those towing and payload ratings? With the 2021 Tundra, you can haul a trailer weighing up to 10,200 lbs and move cargo weighing up to 1,730 lbs. Even better, the truck comes with a standard towing package so that you’re ready to go to work from the moment you drive off the dealership lot. While competing models are increasingly luxury vehicles first and trucks second, Toyota has never lost sight of what makes a truck a truck.
Inside the Truck
Behind the wheel of a basic Tundra, you’ll find yourself seated on either the standard three-person bench seat or the optional front bucket seats. No matter which option your truck has, it will also include a rear bench seat for a total seating capacity of either five or six. Two cab configurations are available – the standard double cab or the more spacious CrewMax. However, both of them offer plenty of interior space.
In order to make even better use of that space, the bottoms of the rear seats fold up so that you can easily carry large items without exposing them to the elements in the pickup bed. Speaking of the bed, you have three options, including a 5.5-foot short bed, a 6.5-foot regular bed, and an 8-foot long bed. No matter what you intend to use your truck for, the 2021 Tundra offers the perfect configuration.
One place where many trucks fall short is standard safety features. However, despite the age of the base design, the 2021 Tundra is filled with advanced safety features. Every single trim comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes high-tech driver assistance features to protect you on the road. Among these are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and even dynamic radar cruise control. This is an incredibly comprehensive suite even for a top-trim truck, let alone a base model.
The SR and SR5 Trims
If you’re looking into an entry-level Tundra but want to splurge just a little from the base model SR, you might consider the SR5 model. Unlike the base SR, the SR5 comes with halogen fog lights and offers LED headlights for better visibility. The upgraded SR5 also delivers a chrome rear bumper, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a chrome “Tundra” badge on the driver and front passenger doors, and other minor upgrades. If you choose to purchase an SR5, you can also consider adding the upgraded SR5 option package, which includes amenities such as a 38-gallon fuel tank.
Within the SR5 realm sits the 2021 Tundra Trail Special Edition, which emphasizes extra storage, convenience, and unique styling. The Tundra Trail edition will be based on the SR5 with the SR5 Upgrade Package (larger fuel tank, front bucket seats with driver’s power lumbar support, front center console, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, three front cupholders, and an anti-theft system with alarm and engine immobilizer). The Trail edition further adds unique black exterior badging, black seating with tan stitching and all-weather floor liners for easy cleaning after your off-road adventures.
The 2021 Tundra Limited
If 20-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and boosted audio are the types of amenities you’re looking for, these and other niceties come standard in the 2021 Toyota Tundra Limited model. The Limited also opens up additional options, such as an off-road package featuring all-terrain tires, premium shocks, tow hooks, added style features, and more.
The Tundra Limited can be had with a special new optional appearance package called Nightshade. It includes black 20-inch rims, black exterior elements (darkened chrome grille, black mirror caps, black door handles), black leather upholstery, and what Toyota has called “slightly sinister-looking black exterior trim.” To add to the look, the special Nightshade edition will be available in Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Windchill Pearl, Super White.
Adventure Off-Road With the TRD Pro
If you’re looking to take your Tundra on the path less traveled, you might consider the off-road equipped TRD Pro model. “TRD” stands for “Toyota Racing Development” and is Toyota’s in-house performance branch. When you see the TRD badge, you know that the vehicle wearing it includes upgraded parts to give it superior performance. In the case of the 2021 Tundra TRD Pro, that means an impressive array of off-road equipment.
To begin with, the TRD Pro trim is only available in 4×4 for traction in slippery conditions. However, that is just the start. You will also find standard skid plates to protect the underbody, front tow hooks to recover lesser vehicles, a 2-inch lift for better ground clearance, enhanced FOX shocks with a piggyback reservoir, and the upgraded 38-gallon fuel tank for exploring deep into the wild. Most importantly, the TRD Pro includes a two-speed transfer case and an automatic limited-slip differential for ultimate off-road performance.
Experience Luxury With the Platinum Trim
If you’re ready to take your Tundra experience to an elite level of luxury, you might consider the Platinum trim or the 1794 Edition. These are essentially the same vehicle, with the main difference being that the 1794 Edition includes a western theme to commemorate the founding of the San Antonio, TX, ranch that originally occupied the area where the Tundra pickup truck is now built.
The top-end Platinum and 1794 models come standard with a premium JBL sound system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, perforated leather heated and ventilated seats, and LED headlights. Also standard in the Platinum and 1794 are sonar-based front and rear parking sensors. These allow the driver to avoid hitting objects that are too low to be seen from the driver’s seat.
The Tundra is Ready For Anything
The Tundra is a tried-and-true, reliable truck that will not let you down. If you’re looking for a truck that has been recently redesigned and reimagined with flashy looks and the latest accouterments, Tundra might not be your first choice. But if you want a dependable truck with a solid heritage and a wide range of pricing and package options to fit your lifestyle and budget, then you probably want to explore the Tundra line to see which model is right for you.