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The 2021 Toyota Tundra is a full-sized pickup truck with some serious off-road capabilities. It also offers impressive hauling and towing capacities. The Tundra comes in a variety of different body styles and configurations. All models can accommodate up to six people. The Toyota Tundra will be available in six different trim levels and two different special editions.
Every version of the 2021 Toyota Tundra will be powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine. This engine can produce around 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. All of that power and torque provides a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds, when your truck is properly equipped. Most versions of the Tundra will have a combined fuel-economy rating of about 15 miles-per-gallon. This will vary slightly depending on the bed length and body style.
There are a lot of options for customizing a Tundra to fit your specific needs. This makes the Tundra a great work truck. It's also a nice daily driver that can haul the occasional load, tow a trailer or even go on an off-road adventure. With so many options, it may be difficult to decide which version of the Tundra to choose. We will take a look at each trim level and how they stack up to one another.
Compare the 2021 Toyota Tundra SR vs SR5 - What is the Difference?
The base trim SR model and the SR5 both come equipped with the same V8 engine. They also share the same 6-speed automatic transmission. The transmission system provides overdrive and an auto-manual feature that allows the driver to manually move through the gears when needed. This can come in handy when using the truck for towing or for hauling a heavy payload. All remaining trim levels share the same powertrain.
The SR model is only available in the Double Cab configuration. There's still ample room for the backseat passengers here. There are also two extra doors for easier access. The Tundra no longer offers a Regular Cab version. You can get a Double Cab SR with a 6.5 foot or an 8.1 foot truck bed. The SR is also available in 4X2 or 4X4 variations.
The SR5 trim is also available as a 4X2 or 4X4 truck. The Double Cab and bed-length options for the SR are again available here. What is new is the addition of the CrewMax Cab option. The CrewMax Cab offers a whole lot more room for the rear passengers. This body style also has larger, full-sized rear doors for even easier access.
Both cab styles have the same interior space up front. All of the extra room is for the benefit of the rear passengers only. Due to the extended cab size, a CrewMax truck is only available with a 5.5 foot truck bed. This is something to keep in mind if you plan to haul around a lot of cargo on a regular basis.
Most of the remaining mechanical features are the same for both the SR and SR5 trim levels. Both models get the Toyota standard, stainless-steel exhaust system. Rear-wheel-drive trucks offer an automatic limited-slip differential. Four-wheel-drive trucks add Active Traction Control and an electronically-controlled transfer case.
The SR and SR5 both share the same suspension system. Both offer the same anti-lock brakes. They have power-assisted, ventilated disc brakes up front and ventilated disc brakes in the rear. The steering system is hydraulic powered rack-and-pinion. The two trims come outfitted with 18-inch steel wheels and a set of all-season tires. The SR5 has the option for larger wheels and all-season, all-terrain tires.
For the exterior, both trims come stock with basic halogen headlights. The SR5 also has halogen fog lamps. The exterior mirrors have a heating feature for quick defrosting. There are front and rear mudflaps and windshield de-icers on both truck models. They also come equipped with Toyota's Easy Lower and Lift Tailgate.
The main exterior differences lie in the available options. There are a lot of extra packages and features that can be added on to the SR5. Some are simply cosmetic in nature. Some, like LED headlights or a larger fuel tank, are nice upgrades from the stock features.
Both trims also share similar interior features. They both come with carpeted floors and fabric-trimmed upholstery. Up front, you get bucket seats with 4-way power adjustments. In the rear, you'll get 60/40 splitting seats. The SR5 has an extra storage compartment underneath of them. Both trucks come with a basic AC and heating unit, power locks and power windows.
There is a decent amount of cup holders and small-item storage compartments throughout the interior. Both trucks get a backup camera. The SR5 also offers an auto-dimming, rear-view mirror with a compass. The SR has a fixed rear window while the SR5 offers a sliding window with privacy glass.
The SR infotainment system offers six speakers, AM/FM radio and SiriusXM compatibility. It comes equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display. Voice recognition technology allows for hands-free use and phone calling. There are USB ports for multimedia use and for charging your phones and other devices.
You can connect your phone wirelessly via Bluetooth technology to stream music or to make calls. The system is even compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. The SR5 offers a few upgrades here. You get a bigger, 8-inch display. You also get an extra speaker in an SR5 Double Cab and two extra speakers in a CrewMax Cab.
The standard safety features are identical in an SR and SR5 Tundra. The only difference is that the SR5 once again gets a couple of extra options. Every trim level gets Toyota's Safety Sense package. This system offers Pre-Collision and Pedestrian Detection. There is also a Lane Departure Alert and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
All trim levels also get Toyota's Star Safety System. This includes Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology. Every trim gets a total of eight airbags. Trailer-Sway Control and an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller are standard equipment on every Tundra. You also get ToyotaCare, a maintenance plan with roadside assistance.
Some of the options available to the SR5 include an Anti-Theft System, a Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Sonar Parking Assist. These features all come in various add-on packages. None of them are available for the SR trim level.
Compare the 2021 Toyota Tundra SR5 vs Limited - What is the Difference?
Moving up to the Limited model, you get a lot of chrome trim for the exterior. This includes parts of the silver grille, the door handles and the bumper end-caps. The headlights and fog lamps get upgraded to LED models. The Limited comes with a larger, 38-gallon fuel tank installed. The standard tank in an SR5 only holds 26.4 gallons.
On the inside, the Limited gives you Automatic Dual-Zone Climate Control with a dust and pollen filter. The seats get upgraded to leather-trimmed and heated bucket seats up front. These seats also get 10-way power adjustments for the driver and 6-way power adjustments for the front passenger.
The Limited adds on a power-operated, sliding rear window. The steering wheel now comes wrapped in soft leather. The infotainment system gets some nice upgrades here too. You get the same features as the SR5, but with an added navigation system and a premium sound system. The safety features are the same with the exception of an Anti-Theft System and Engine Immobilizer for the Limited.
Compare the 2021 Toyota Tundra Limited vs Platinum Trim Level. - What is the Difference?
On the outside, both the Limited and the Platinum get 20-inch wheels. The Limited has a five-spoke design while the Platinum has a six-spoke design. Both are outfitted with a set of all-season tires. The front grille has a unique, honeycomb design on the Platinum.
The Platinum trim has heated, power-operated exterior mirrors. The mirrors have memory settings, automatic dimming and integrated turn signals with blind-spot warning indicators. The Platinum is only available in a CrewMax Cab configuration. This means you can only get the 5.5 foot bed length here. As always, it comes in 4X2 and 4X4 variations.
The front seats for the Limited are covered in premium, perforated leather. Both front seats now come with heating and ventilation. The driver's seat is upgraded to a bucket seat with 12-way power adjustments and 2-way lumbar support. The infotainment system gets another upgrade at this level. You now get 12 JBL speakers including a subwoofer and an amplifier.
The safety features are mostly the same here. The Platinum comes equipped with some features that were only options for the Limited. This includes the Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and the Sonar Parking Assist. The Anti-Theft System for the Platinum adds on special sensors that can detect when any of the windows are broken.
Compare the 2021 Toyota Tundra Platinum vs 1794 Edition. - What is the Difference?
The 1794 Edition is a nod to the Toyota plant in San Antonia, Texas where the Tundra is built. It has a unique, western theme with special colors for the exterior and interior. The interior offers rich, brown leather upholstery and matching suede trim. The shift knobs, door panels and steering wheel all get matching leather trim.
There isn't too much to say about the exterior other than the 1794 badging. Both trims even share similar wheels and the same set of tires. Other than the cosmetic changes, the inside isn't too different from the Limited either. At least not where actual features are concerned. Both vehicles have identical infotainment systems. The 1794 Edition has the same safety features as the Limited model too. The 1794 Edition feels more akin to a special edition than its own trim level.
Compare the 2021 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition vs TRD Pro Trim. - What is the Difference?
The TRD Pro is available in Double Cab and CrewMax Cab variations. It can only be had in a 4X4 configuration. This model is geared toward the off-road enthusiast. It comes equipped with an upgraded suspension system. This is to help the vehicle cope with rock crawling and driving over tough terrain.
The exterior gets a lot of trim badges to showcase the off-road nature of this beast. There are some minor cosmetic changes to give this Tundra a more aggressive look. It also comes with Rigid Industries LED fog lights. It is outfitted with a set of BBS forged-aluminum, black alloy wheels and all-season, all-terrain tires.
The interior offers pro black leather upholstery with contrasting red stitching. You get TRD Pro badges on the floor mats, carpets and gear knob. Most of the remaining interior features and perks remain the same as those found on the 1794 Edition. Most of the safety features are the same as well, but the TRD Pro is curiously missing the Blind-Spot Monitor and sonar parking sensors.
2021 Toyota Tundra Nightshade and Trail Special Editions. - What is the Difference?
The latest Toyota Tundra will also be available in two special editions. These are called the Nightshade Edition and the Trail Special Edition. The Nightshade Edition is based on the Limited trim level. As such, it offers all of the same features as that model, but with some cosmetic flourishes.
The Nightshade Edition comes in a blacked-out motif. The interior gets black carpeting and black leather seats. On the outside, there are black door handles and mirror caps. Even the wheels and exhaust tips get the blacked-out treatment.
The Trail Special Edition is based on the SR5 model in a CrewMax Cab configuration. It can be had in rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive variations. It offers all-weather floor liners, black interior with tan stitching and a unique wheel design.
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Which Trim to Choose?
If you need a truck specifically for work or as a second vehicle, stick with the SR5 model. It offers just enough extras over the base model to make it worth the extra cost. It would be perfect as a work truck while still being a comfortable ride to and from the worksite. Keep in mind that you will get similar performance from any of the trim levels.
For everyone else, the Platinum edition is probably your best bet. The Platinum makes for a fantastic, comfortable daily driver for a single person or a family. It can still tackle the occasional tough job, go off-roading and pull a trailer along for vacations. More importantly, it offers enough creature comforts and amenities to make for a pleasant driving experience no matter where you go.
• Compare the 2020 Toyota Tundra Trim Levels