What’s Old Is New: 2024 Toyota Tacoma Adds Tech, Trims, Hybrid Powertrain

toyota-tacoma-trd-2-shot-exterior-oem-19 2024 Toyota Tacoma | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, Nissan Frontier

Looks like: A beefier version of the current Tacoma, a baby Tundra

Powertrain: 278-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (228 hp for SR, 270 hp for manual transmissions) or 326-hp, turbo 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid; eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission; rear- or four-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late 2023 (2024 for hybrids)

Apart from its last redesign in 2016, the Toyota Tacoma has seen few significant changes in nearly two decades, yet it remains the bestselling mid-size pickup truck on the market. Following a series of teasers, the next-generation 2024 Tacoma has been fully revealed, allowing Taco aficionados and prospective shoppers to finally get a closer look inside, outside and under the hood.

Related: 2021 Toyota Tacoma Review: Over the Hill We Go

The mid-size Tacoma follows the lead of its full-size stablemates, utilizing Toyota’s body-on-frame global truck platform which it shares with the Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV. Like the Tundra before it, the 2024 Tacoma also gains an available hybrid powertrain, which will likely improve upon the mediocre fuel economy of the current model. The Tacoma also gains new trims, configurations, off-road enhancements, and tech and safety features that promise to modernize the aging truck.

New Skin, Stronger Bones

The new Tacoma is inspired by the off-road capability of Toyota’s Baja race trucks and its comparably sized HiLux counterpart sold overseas, according to the automaker. The new exterior look is intended to bear a family resemblance to the Tundra and Sequoia while still maintaining its distinct character with unique features for each of its eight trim levels. The Tacoma’s front end gets a facelift with a new hexagonal grille, high-mounted headlights, skid plates and side air intakes. The pickup also takes on a more athletic stance with a narrow body and larger tires, says Toyota.

Other notable changes are found under the skin. Toyota says the pickup’s rigidity is increased thanks to high-strength steel in the chassis, steering input and handling has been improved, and aluminum used in the upper body has resulted in weight reduction.

Powertrain Picks: Gas-Only or Hybrid

toyota-tacoma-limited-2024-exterior-oem-30 2024 Toyota Tacoma | Manufacturer image

In addition to the updated exterior and stronger chassis, the 2024 Tacoma gets significant changes under the hood with a pair of new engines that bring a boost in horsepower and payload, but reduce maximum towing capacity. Replacing the outgoing Tacoma’s base 159-hp 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is Toyota’s gas-only turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes up to 278 hp and 317 pounds-feet of torque (in the base SR trim, the engine’s output drops to 228 hp and 242 pounds-feet).

While the current Tacoma’s available 3.5-liter V-6 disappears for 2024, shoppers who want more power can opt for the i-Force Max turbo 2.4-liter hybrid four-cylinder that boosts output to 326 hp and torque to 465 pounds-feet.

Both engines can be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the gas-only four-cylinder also offers a six-speed manual that Toyota promised would stick around for the new generation. Tacoma models with the gas-only engine and a manual make 270 hp and 310 pounds-feet of torque.

The Tacoma’s standard engine coupled with the eight-speed automatic transmission offers the model’s highest towing capacity of 6,500 pounds, per the automaker’s estimates, while the hybrid engine can pull up to 6,000 pounds. (Currently, the 2023 Tacoma tows up to 6,800 pounds when equipped with the V-6 engine and a tow package.) While its max towing numbers take a hit, the new Tacoma’s payload capacity grows — at least in the hybrid variant. Toyota has revealed the payload capacity will top out at 1,709 pounds for hybrid models, which is an increase from the 2023 model’s 1,685-pound maximum. The payload capacity for gas-engine models will be confirmed at a later date.

Another lingering question is how the hybrid powertrain will impact fuel economy. Currently, the 2023 Tacoma is EPA-rated up to 20/23/21 mpg city/highway/combined for its four-cylinder and V-6 engines with rear-wheel drive. The new Tacoma has not yet received an official EPA rating, but Toyota says it will provide estimates for the 2024 model closer to its on-sale date.

Upon its arrival, the 2024 Tacoma will be the only mid-size pickup to offer a hybrid engine, setting it apart from gas-only rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier and redesigned Ford Ranger. Currently, shoppers looking for a hybrid pickup truck can choose from the compact Ford Maverick or the full-size Ford F-150 and Toyota’s Tundra.

Trailhunter Introduced, TRD Pro Enhanced

After teasing the Tacoma Trailhunter in April, Toyota has revealed more details on its new overlanding trim. The Trailhunter was developed with aftermarket accessory company ARB and features exclusive off-road features like Old Man Emu forged monotube shocks, a steel rear bumper and a bed utility bar. Shoppers can also add an available ARB bed rack to support adventure gear like a rooftop tent. The Trailhunter’s shocks and 33-inch Goodyear tires result in an extra 2-inch lift in front and 1.5-inch lift out back. It also gets a high-mounted air intake, standard high-clearance trail exhaust tip, rock rails, an ARB steel rear bumper with tow hooks, and high-strength steel skid plates for added protection off-road.

The Trailhunter can be identified with a bronze grille with “Toyota” lettering, a 20-inch LED light bar and LED foglamps. Campsite-ready features include integrated bed lights and a power supply for the cabin and bed.

The Tacoma’s off-road-oriented TRD Pro grade returns for 2024 with the hybrid engine standard and an off-road-tuned suspension with Fox shocks and bump stops enhanced for high-speed off-roading capability. New for the TRD Pro are Toyota’s IsoDynamic performance seats that employ a shock-absorbing system to stabilize and dampen body movement for proper alignment; the automaker says the technology improves focus and comfort while reducing fatigue during off-road jaunts.

Performance and Utility

toyota-tacoma-TRD-Pro-2024-exterior-oem-32 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Manufacturer image

Ride, off-road prowess, utility and storage are also enhanced in the redesign. A newly available multilink rear suspension found on higher trims replaces leaf springs with coils to improve ride and handling. A new front stabilizer bar disconnect is available and increases articulation by 10% over the outgoing model. The Tacoma’s maximum ground clearance of 9.5 inches is nearly unchanged from the outgoing model’s 9.4 inches, while the pickup’s maximum approach, breakover and departure angles measure 33.8, 23.5 and 25.7 degrees, respectively.

Toyota says the Tacoma’s bed volume has increased 7%, and a new XtraCab long bed is available for the SR, SR5 and resurrected TRD PreRunner trims; the two-door configuration seats two and comes with a 6-foot bed. The XtraCab is intended to serve as a workhorse with a focus on cargo space and in-cabin storage; lockable storage is found in the rear floor and back panel for work tools and longer items like shovels, and the passenger seat folds flat to double as an additional workspace.

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Interior Adds Storage, Tech and Safety

Inside, the Tacoma sees improvements to its cargo space and storage options. Storage space underneath the rear seat increases threefold over the outgoing model, according to Toyota, and the rear seatback folds flat for easier loading.

The Tacoma’s tech upgrades include a standard 8-inch touchscreen or an available 14-inch display with the latest version of Toyota’s multimedia system that first launched on the 2022 Tundra; our review of the new system found it user-friendly with simple menus and faster processing times. The new display replaces the 2024 Tacoma’s standard 7-inch unit and gains available wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A 7-inch gauge cluster is standard, with an available 12.3-inch digital cluster on higher trims. The Tacoma also adds a newly available 10-speaker JBL audio system that comes with a portable speaker geared for outdoor adventures.

The Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver-assist suite comes standard across all Tacoma trims and includes automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane-centering steering, which now works with adaptive cruise control. A new feature included in Toyota Safety Sense is Proactive Driving Assist, which allows for automatic braking in curves, plus braking and steering support to maintain distance from a vehicle in front. Road sign assist is also new for the 2024 Tacoma.

Trims, Pricing and Release Date

toyota-tacoma-TRD-Pro-2024-exterior-oem-31 2024 Toyota Tacoma | Manufacturer image

The 2024 Tacoma’s eight trims upon arrival will be the SR, SR5, TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, Trailhunter and TRD Pro. The TRD PreRunner is exclusively offered with the XtraCab’s two-door, two-seat configuration and rear-wheel drive. The SR, SR5 will also offer the XtraCab option, while higher trims are only available with a four-door double cab setup with a 5- or 6-foot bed. The new PreRunner gets a lifted front suspension, all-terrain tires and an electronically locking rear differential. The TRD Sport returns with unique black 18-inch wheels, color-keyed door handles and fenders, a hood scoop and black exterior badging. The Limited adds power-retractable sidesteps, a head-up display, standard 14-inch touchscreen, digital rearview mirror and power moonroof.

The Tacoma’s i-Force Max hybrid powertrain is available on the TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited, and it comes standard on the TRD Pro and Trailhunter trims. The SR, SR5 and PreRunner will be powered by the base gas-only i-Force engine exclusively.

Gas-only variants of the 2024 Tacoma are expected to arrive in late 2023, followed by hybrid models in early 2024. Pricing for the redesigned pickup is expected to be announced closer to its arrival. With significant updates made to the Tacoma’s powertrains, tech and capability, shoppers should expect a price bump over the 2023 Tacoma, which starts at $29,585 for the base SR and $49,020 (prices include destination) for the range-topping TRD Pro with a manual transmission.

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Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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