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  5. What's New: Looking Ahead for Toyota 2021 SUVs and Trucks

Derek Shiekhi | Oct 28, 2020

Exterior view of a black Toyota pickup truck

If you've been wanting to get out of the house, here's a great idea: Go to an AutoNation Toyota dealership. That's where you'll see all of the updated and new truck and SUV models Toyota added to its lineup for 2021.

Nightshade Editions

The C-HR, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra are the newest models to receive Toyota's popular Nightshade Edition treatment, which darkens or blacks out a variety of exterior and interior components for a sleek and sinister look. The C-HR Nightshade uses the same black fabric/gunmetal trim interior treatment as the LE model. For the trucks and Sequoia, the Nightshade Edition is based on the upscale Limited trim level and available on two- and four-wheel-drive models.

Don't let the sun rise on your chance to get one. Toyota will only build 5,000 Tacoma Nightshades, 5,000 Tundra Nightshades and 2,500 Sequoia Nightshades.

New Toyota Trims

Two- and four-wheel-drive versions of the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner are available in special edition Trail trim. That builds upon the SR5 package by adding storage and convenience features, as well as special design cues, such as black badges, all-weather floor mats and black seats with tan stitching, that set Trail models apart from their siblings. Toyota dresses the Tacoma Trail in the Tacoma Limited's grille and a set of dark gray 16-inch TRD Off-Road wheels surrounded by all-terrain tires that feature tough and heat-resistant Kevlar material.

The Tundra Trail gets the 1794 Edition's chrome grille set inside of a body-color frame and its own special 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain rubber. Both pickups come with lockable bed storage that includes an insulated section on the driver's side that can be used as a cooler. The 4Runner Trail comes equipped with dark gray 17-inch TRD Off-Road wheels and a roof-mounted cargo basket to hold gear that just won't fit behind the seats. It may not have a bed like its Tacoma and Tundra siblings, but it can keep drinks chilled in its very own 40-quart cooler.

After Toyota builds 7,000 Tacoma, 5,000 Tundra and 4,000 4Runner Trail Editions, these special models will ride off into the sunset.Other changes to the 2021 line of Toyota pickups and SUVs are more specific. Here are the highlights, model by model.

Toyota 2021 C-HR

Exterior view of the Toyota C-HR

Toyota has altered the range of colors available on its distinctive sport coupe/hatchback/compact crossover. Oxide Bronze, Oxide Bronze with Black Roof and Magnetic Gray Metallic with Black Roof join Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Blue Eclipse Metallic and Supersonic Red on the color palette. Those last two colors are exclusive to the XLE and Limited grades.

Sorry, Knockout Silver Metallic and Hot Lava fans, but Toyota retired those colors. No matter which color or trim level you choose for the 2021 C-HR, you get the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of features as standard equipment.

Shop Toyota C-HR Inventory

Toyota 2021 Highlander

Exterior view of the Toyota Highlander

There's never been an XSE version of the Highlander…until now.  It fits between the XLE and Limited models and offers the sportiest driving experience in the Highlander range. It's easy to spot, thanks to its special front-end styling, headlights, rocker panels, 20-inch wheels and dual exhaust finishers. Two color schemes are available for the cabin: black Softex seats with fabric inserts or red and black leather seats.

The Highlander XSE's 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, new springs and stabilizer bar and sport-tuned shocks and steering give it the performance to match its looks. For a little more driving excitement, opt for the Highlander XSE with Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive, which can send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear axle and split that between the two back wheels to make hauling the family around more exciting.

Shop Toyota Highlander Inventory

Toyota 2021 Land Cruiser

Exterior view of the Toyota Land Cruiser

The Heritage Edition that Toyota introduced for the 2020 model year returns for 2021. It still has the same vintage-style exterior badge, black-accented grille and bronze 18-inch forged aluminum wheels, but gets some cosmetic and functional updates. You can now configure the Heritage Edition with two or three rows of seats. Toyota added Classic Silver Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic to the list of available colors, which also includes Midnight Black Metallic and Blizzard Pearl.

Shop Toyota Sienna Inventory

Toyota 2021 RAV4

Exterior view of the Toyota RAV4

Believe it or not, the fastest four-door Toyota makes isn't the TRD-modified version of the Camry or Avalon. It's the new RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid SUV with 302 net horsepower and electronically assisted all-wheel drive that can travel 42 miles on electricity alone, hit 94 MPGe and zap to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.

Shop Toyota RAV4 Inventory

Toyota 2021 4Runner

Exterior view of the Toyota 4Runner

The entire range of 4Runner trim levels get LED headlights and fog lights as standard equipment; Limited, Nightshade and TRD Pro grades also come with standard LED high beams.

Toyota made several other changes to the TRD Pro, as well. It's now available in the distinctive Lunar Rock color that we loved on the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road. When it comes to rocks on Earth, the most rugged 4Runner is ready to get over them with its new lighter and stronger 17-inch TRD wheels and Nitto Terra Grappler tires. Those work together with re-tuned 2.5-inch Fox shocks with internal bypasses to take the 4Runner TRD Pro further into the great outdoors.

Shop Toyota 4Runner Inventory

Toyota 2021 Tundra

Exterior view of the Toyota Tundra

Just like it did with the 4Runner TRD Pro, Toyota added Lunar Rock to the Tundra TRD Pro's list of colors. The bad news is that it takes the place of Army Green.

Shop Toyota Tundra Inventory

Toyota 2021 Venza

Exterior view of the Toyota Venza

The Venza returns as Toyota's newest crossover. This time it's a dedicated hybrid powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and three electric motors that produce a total of 219 horsepower. The Venza sends that to the road through an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and standard Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive that uses a rear-mounted electric motor to turn the back wheels when additional traction is needed. According to Toyota, that setup can return 40 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 39 mpg combined in all three trim levels (LE, XLE and Limited).

The Venza's interior has some impressive numbers of its own. In addition to a fixed panoramic glass roof that can go from transparent to frosted with the push of a button, the Venza offers seating for five, a nine-speaker JBL audio system, ten-inch color head-up display and 12.3-inch touchscreen.

Shop Toyota Venza Inventory

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