On Thursday, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma debuted with a dizzying array of configurations not seen in the mid-size pickup segment. While it’s the first update since 2016, the last truck used a frame that dated back to 2005. When the first models arrive this year the new 2024 Tacoma introduce turbocharged and hybrid powertrains, seats with built-in shock absorbers, and new Trailhunter model.
The 2024 Tacoma lineup shuffles and expands with eight trims, three powertrains, and two four-wheel-drive systems. It continues with two cab sizes and two bed lengths, but the smaller cab also gets a new configuration.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but most models will arrive in dealers later this year. Off-road-oriented TRD Pro and Trailhunter trims, along with any other truck ordered with the hybrid powertrain, will follow in spring 2024.
Toyota Tacoma engines
The tried-and-true 3.5-liter V-6 and 5-speed automatic transmission is dead. Now, every Tacoma gets a turbocharged engine. Base Tacomas are powered by a detuned 2.4-liter turbo-4 rated at 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Trucks with this engine don’t get the oil cooler, an engine mount, and some sound deadener that more powerful Tacomas have.
Most Tacomas feature a 2.4-liter turbo-4 with more boost than the base engine for output of 278 hp and 310 lb-ft. It’s the same turbo-4 found in the Highlander crossover SUV, but it sits longitudinally instead of transversely and some internal components have been beefed up.
Available in TRD Sport, TRD, Off-Road, and Limited, and standard on TRD Pro and Trailhunter models, is a new 2.4-liter turbo-4 hybrid powertrain with a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the transmission for a combined output of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft.
Nearly every Tacoma comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but a 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching is available on the base SR trim. Models with the manual transmission get the uprated turbo-4 slightly detuned to 270 hp and 310 lb-ft, as well as a smaller 8.5-inch rear differential (uprated turbo-4 models have a 9.5-inch rear differential) with torque limited in first gear due to axle windup.
Rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential comes standard. Part-time four-wheel drive with a 2-speed transfer case is available, as is an electronic rear locking differential. More expensive Limited models feature full-time four-wheel drive with a 2-speed transfer case, and TRD Pro and Trailhunter models get the same equipment plus a locking center differential. All Tacomas use disc brakes at all four corners.
Toyota hasn’t provided full specifications, but said the uprated turbo-4 models with an automatic transmission can tow up to 6,500 pounds and the hybrid models tow up to 6,000 pounds. The hybrid’s max payload checks in at 1,709 pounds. Toyota said the Tacoma will have up to 11.0 inches of ground clearance, a 33.8-degree approach angle, a 23.5-degree breakover angle, and a 25.7-degree departure angle, though the automaker didn’t say which model these figures represent.
Toyota Tacoma grows larger
The Tacoma’s overall footprint hasn’t changed, which means it’ll still fit in an 18-foot garage. The rear axle has been moved back to stretch the wheelbase 4.5 inches, which in turn should improve ride quality. The width hasn’t changed, but beefier axles have been widened by 2.6 inches for a more planted stance around corners or on trails.
Built on the TNGA-F platform shared with the full-size Tundra and Sequoia SUV, the Tacoma sits on a high-strength steel ladder frame that’s more rigid than before. The crossmembers are stronger for better durability and less twist. Toyota said aluminum body panels drop weight but wouldn’t say how much.
Lower-trim SR, SR5, and TRD PreRunner models in the Xtra Cab configuration still use rear leaf springs, but every Double Cab model swaps in a multilink rear suspension with coil springs for a better ride.
The base XtraCab is a regular cab with two doors and no rear seat, but it has lots of storage space behind the seats thanks to lockable cubbies in the floor and back panel. It replaces last year’s Access Cab, which was a four-door extended cab with rear-hinged rear doors and a pair of jump seats. The front passenger seat back can fold flat to become a workspace with a built-in cupholder. The SR, SR5, and TRD PreRunner can be configured with the XtraCab and a 6-foot bed.
Double Cab models have four full doors and seating for five with either a 5- or 6-foot bed. Non-hybrid models get more storage space under the rear seats than current Tacomas, but hybrid versions use that space for the battery pack just like the larger Tundra. All beds have 7% more volume than the current Tacoma due to new packaging.
Tacoma TRD Pro and Trailhunter aim off-road
The Off-road TRD Pro model uses upgraded TRD upper control arms with revised geometry and reduced unsprung weight. It rides on 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass shocks with three compression damping settings manually adjusted via a dial on the shock body. There’s also Fox bump stops for when suspension travel maxes out, plus an electronically controlled disconnecting front sway bar. TRD Pro models ride 2.0 inches higher in the front and 1.5 inches higher in the rear with a 3.0-inch wider stance compared to an SR5 model. The TRD-specific 18-inch wheels are wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires. Toyota also swaps in a high-clearance ARB metal rear bumper with integrated recovery hooks and an aluminum front skid plate.
The new Trailhunter model is designed for overlanding. It features ARB Old Man Emu (OME) position-sensitive 2.5-inch monotube shocks at all four corners, and the rear shocks have external remote reservoirs. Available with either a 5- or 6-foot bed, the Trailhunter gets a bed-mounted air compressor, a bed utility bar with removable Molle panels, a steel rear bumper with recovery points, and the same tires and ride height as the TRD Pro model. In addition, a snorkel-like air intake mounts on the passenger-side A-pillar, a set of rock rails comes standard to protect the rockers, and several (Toyota didn’t go into detail) high-strength steel skid plates protect the underside of the truck. Toyota even installs a high-clearance exhaust tip to keep it off the rocks.
Toyota Tacoma looks like a Tundra
The Tacoma’s new design is evolutionary at best, with some of the best bits cribbed from the full-size Tundra.
The blocky shape sports a blunt front end, sharply angled front bumper corners for better approach angles, and bulging fender flares covering the wider axles. Low bed sides are retained for ease of access, unlike the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado. Each of the eight trim levels has its own design elements, but all are chunky. The TRD Pro and Trailhunter models stand out with their raised ride heights, big off-road tires, and extra LED lighting. The Tundra’s best feature, the electronic tailgate release that can be opened with the bump of an elbow next to the driver-side taillight, ports over to the Tacoma. Toyota took the feature one step further here and installed the same electronic release on the passenger side taillight as well.
Inside, the Tacoma’s dash is crowned by either an 8.0- or 14.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the word TACOMA slapped onto the passenger side. Upper trim models have a 12.3-inch digital cluster, and a 7.0-inch digital cluster comes standard. TRD Pro models get a bit wild with shock absorbers built into the seat backs to help with lateral stabilization while off-roading. Non-hybrid Tacomas come with a 400-watt AC inverter in the bed (along with a second one in the center console inside the cab), but hybrids upgrade the bed output to 2,400 watts.
Toyota Tacoma safety features
Toyota outfits every Tacoma with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and an emergency stop function that stops the truck if the driver becomes unresponsive to alerts and warnings. Blind-spot monitors and a surround-view camera system are available.
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