On Friday, the totally redesigned 2024 Toyota Tacoma was unveiled. The fourth-generation model breaks plenty of new ground, and will be available with a hybrid powertrain and in a new Trailhunter hard-core off-road trim, though bucking current industry trends, the truck will still offer a six-speed manual transmission.
Starting with a proven foundation, the 2024 Tacoma shares the same basic TNGA-F global truck platform with the larger Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV. This includes a sturdy boxed frame made of high-strength steel with some portions of the upper body made of aluminum to save weight.
As for bodies, the truck will be offered in an extended-cab configuration with a 6-foot bed, or you’ll be able to get the new Tacoma with a larger crew cab body and either a 5- or a 6-foot cargo box.
The chassis has been overhauled, too. Leaf springs are standard on SR, SR5, XtraCab and TRD PreRunner models, though a brand-new multi-link rear suspension with coil springs is available. Naturally, tuning is unique for each model. The TRD Off Road grade features monotube Bilstein remote reservoir shocks with special internal valves, TRD Pro trucks have Fox QS3 three-way adjustable internal bypass dampers, also with remote reservoirs. The beastly Trailhunter comes with Old Man Emu (OME) 4×4 suspension by ARB, while the highfalutin Limited model boasts of an Adaptive Variable Suspension system with adjustable dampers.
The 2024 Tacoma also (finally) enters the 21st century. The truck’s outdated rear drum brakes have been replaced with discs. Beyond that upgrade, TRD models and higher get larger front brakes, while TRD models and above with the i-Force Max powertrain also gain larger aft brakes. For enhanced traction in adverse conditions, rear-drive variants come standard with an automatic limited-slip differential.
In a media release shared by the automaker, Dave Christ, Toyota group vice president and general manager said, “With even more off-road capability and the quality, durability, and reliability that our customers expect along with a host of options for every owner, we’re confident that Tacoma will remain the top choice for mid-size pickup buyers when it arrives later this year.”
Following a similar strategy that Chevy did with its new Colorado and, of course, Ford with the Ranger, Toyota’s new Tacoma features a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. In the base SR model, this 2.4-liter unit delivers a decent 228 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. All others trim levels, however, brandish 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of twist when matched with the eight-speed automatic transmission. If you opt for the available six-speed manual gearbox (hooray for offering this, Toyota!), the engine is rated at 270 hp and 310 lb-ft.
Stepping up, the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain is offered on TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited models, though it’s standard on the TRD Pro and Trailhunter grades. This arrangement is centered around the same four-cylinder engine but incorporates a 48-hp electric motor and a 1.9-kilowatt-hour NIMH battery pack. Together, all this technology cranks out an impressive 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of ground-pounding torque. That’s more than Ford squeezes from the 2024 Ranger’s newly available 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which is rated at 315 hp and 400 lb-ft. Even the new Ranger Raptor’s 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 comes up a little short in the torque department, delivering 405 hp and 430 lb-ft.
When properly equipped, this mid-size Toyota truck has a maximum tow rating of 6,500 pounds. Payload tops out at 1,709 pounds.
The new Tacoma Trailhunter model is inspired by a concept that was revealed at SEMA back in 2022. As its name suggests, this rig is designed for serious off roading. Hardware including Old Man Emu position sensitive 2.5-inch monotube shocks with external reservoirs, 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires, rock rails, a phalanx of skid plates, a steel rear bumper and loads of other goodies set this grade far apart from more pedestrian trims.
Easing drivers’ burdens, Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard across the Tacoma range. This suite of advanced assistance technologies includes amenities like automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and more, welcome additions to this pickup.
The mid-size truck market is heating up. New versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon were just introduced, Ford recently unveiled its redesigned Ranger and now Toyota has pulled the wrapper off an overhauled Tacoma. Fans of this nameplate are legion, and the updates made for 2024 should keep this truck selling in tremendous numbers. Pricing will be announced at a later date, but sweetening the deal, ToyotaCare will be included, which covers scheduled maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles. The new Tacoma is scheduled to go on sale late this year, with the Trailhunter model arriving at some point in early 2024.