2024 Toyota Tacoma Adds More Capability, Tech and Hybrid Power To Classic Formula

The Toyota Tacoma has always had a firm grip on the sales throne in the mid-size pickup wars. The current one was showing its age, but Toyota wanted buyers to see the truck for its core values. Unfortunately, the segment is heating up with the Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado and even the Ford Ranger all benefitting from major updates that threaten to outshine the Tacoma. Toyota wasn’t about to let that happen though and has unveiled the heavily updated 2024 Toyota Tacoma which aims to show the segment who the real king is.


Toyota Tundra Cues Make This Taco Tougher Than Ever

At first glance, it would seem that Toyota just merely shrink wrapped the Toyota Tundra and called it a day. However, the design of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma has actually been hiding in plain sight for a long time, with the bodywork first making its appearance on a pickup EV concept that the company unveiled a short while back. Slim headlights and faux vents help make the front bumper look more aggressive while bigger wheel arches help add more chunky angles to the truck.

These details will vary depending on trim level with base Tacoma’s using a simple blacked out front grille while the luxury focused Limited model swaps it out for a chrome adorned look with elegant slats and chrome accents for the wheels. TRD PRO and Trailhunter models use the “TOYOTA” word script grille and also add other accents to enhance their off-road ready personas. Toyota’s TGNA-F platform underpins the new truck and it uses high strength steel components with aluminum pieces in the upper half of the body helping to reduce weight. The platform also ditches the archaic leaf-springs for a newly available multi-link rear-suspension but the 2024 model does lose 300 lbs of towing capability when compared to the outgoing model with this version of the Taco now only slated to tow a max weight of 6,500 lbs. However, Toyota is making up for this deficit by giving the truck more trailer assist tech including a digital rearview mirror, trailer brake controller, and a trailer backup guide.


More Technology and Comfort In Store For Tacoma Buyers

Toyota has also made some enhancements to the interior for 2024. An 8.0-inch infotainment system is the base unit, but buyers that move to higher trims will be greeted with a larger 14.0-inch display that’s paired with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (a smaller 7.0-inch cluster is standard.) Both systems benefit from the same software suite that debuted on the larger Tundra with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both being standard. Qi wireless phone charging is also standard too.

The rest of the cabin is largely familiar to Tundra owners with the Tacoma taking some of its cues from its bigger corporate stablemate with chunky design cues and large switchgear being the dominating themes here. Trim level choice will also play a role in what passengers get on their slice of the dashboard. TRD PRO and Trailhunter models get the aforementioned TOYOTA script while luxury focused models add a slice of faux-wood trim to the Tacoma moniker. This also plays into a broader effort by Toyota to not only spruce up the cabin, but also make it look more premium and upscale to buyers. It’s no secret that more truck buyers are moving to the mid-size segment and some of the expectations that they have for a full-size truck will also move with them to this segment.

Our highlight feature though are the sport bucket seats in the TRD Pro and Trailhunter models with these thrones coming equipped with their own suspension system (no joke). The seatbacks have their own set of ball joints and vertically and laterally mounted shock absorbers with Toyota claiming that it’s all about reducing fatigue while also preventing occupants from being tossed around. The seats can also be locked in place for excursions in the urban jungle, but you do lose the power recline feature in exchange.


Hybrid Performance Defines All Four-Cylinder Lineup

The bigger changes here are in regards to performance, The V6 has been axed and in its place is an all four-cylinder lineup. A 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is standard across the board, but there are multiple outputs depending on application. The base SR model gets a 228-horsepower version of the engine which was partially due to some revisions that Toyota engineers made to try and keep the price down. Climb up the trim ladder and you’ll encounter a higher-output version of the engine that makes 278-hp with the eight speed automatic or 270-hp when equipped with the six-speed manual.

This 2.4-liter also serves as the core building block for the hybrid model which gets a 48-hp electric motor and a nickel metal-hydride battery pack that helps the setup produced a combined system output of 326-hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. That’s an impressive amount of performance but the hybrid also comes with a 2.4 kW onboard power generator that allows the Tacoma to serve as a power hub for gear and other accessories. Rear-wheel drive is standard in lower trims but buyers can either equip the Tacoma with the optional all-wheel drive system or move to a higher trim where it becomes standard.

The TRD Pro continues to be the most performance focused Tacoma in the lineup with this model getting Fox sourced off-road shocks, a suspension lift, and a sway bar disconnect system. The exterior also gets a reworked front bumper, and ARB sourced steel rear bumper, recovery hooks and wider fender flares. The model also gets 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T off-road tires but buyers will be limited to the hybrid engine only.

Meanwhile, the Trailhunter is the newest member of the family and shares alot of traits with the TRD Pro and as a result, it has alot of the same core features. However, the 33-inch tires are shod with model exclusive bronze wheels and the bronze accents also extend to the interior and the front grille. Old Man Emu shocks are swapped in for the Trailhunter and a utility bar in the rear comes with MOLLE points that allow owners to mount a wide assortment of gear to the truck. The bed itself also comes with a built-in air compressor to help reinflate tires or other items.


When Can I Buy One?

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is slated to go on sale later this year. Non-hybrid equipped models will be sold first with the aforementioned hybrid models making there appearance in showrooms early next year. Toyota didn’t announce fuel economy or final pricing for the lineup, but look for those lingering questions to be resolved closer to the Tacoma’s official launch. In the meantime, buyers will be pleased to hear that the 2024 Tacoma will arrive with an impressive array of safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams for the headlights and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.