Toyota tore down a brand new Tacoma midsize pickup in Hawaii. The truck’s latest iteration follows its larger siblings, the Tundra and Sequoia, which are based on the automaker’s new TNGA-F truck platform.
Highlights of the fourth-generation Tacoma include a smaller turbocharged engine, new high-strength box ladder frame and longer bed length options. Toyota also seems to be paying special attention to off-road performance. It introduces a new Trailhunter trim level to complement the TRD Pro model to further differentiate different off-pavement uses.
The design of the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma follows design elements from the larger Tundra, using lighting and body cuts to create a semi-trapezoidal “cap” on each wheel. A full trapezoid at the front grille finishes it off. The Tacoma’s look differs from the Tundra’s at the tailgate, but there the lines are simpler and less angular.
The Tacoma will offer two versions of the new powertrain. Tacoma i-Force models will be equipped with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 278 horsepower (207 kilowatts) and 317 pound-feet (430 Newton-meters) of torque. Like the Tundra, the Tacoma i-Force MAX model will add a hybrid powertrain to the 2.4-liter base to produce 326 horsepower (243 kilowatts) and 465 pound-feet (630.5 Newton-meters) of torque. The hybrid system adds a 48-hp (36-kW) electric motor and a 288-volt, 1.87-kWh nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery. The point of the hybrid system is to add more power and performance without compromising fuel economy.
Two transmissions will be offered, with most models getting an eight-speed automatic. i-Force models will be available with a six-speed manual transmission option. The Tacoma’s manual transmission will be offered in the base-level SR as well as the mid-level TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road.
Two-wheel-drive models will have rear-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models will have a two-speed transfer case with an available electronic locking differential at the rear. Tacoma Limited i-Force MAX models will be available with permanent all-wheel drive with a locking center differential.
The suspension consists of a double wishbone front unit with rear leaf springs. Some trim models will come with standard or optional multi-link rear suspension. Ground clearance is 9.5 inches (maximum). Approach, breakaway and departure angles will depend on the model chosen, but can be as high as 33.8, 23.5 and 25.7 degrees respectively (TRD Pro model).
Three configurations of the 2024 Tacoma will be offered, depending on the “grade” (trim level) selected. The two-door XtraCab (extended cab) model with a 6-foot (1.8-meter) cargo bed, the four-door Double Cab with a 5-foot (1.5-meter) cargo bed and the with six-foot cargo bed will be offered.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma will be available in eight trim levels, starting with the base-level SR. Four Toyota Racing Development (TRD) models will be offered, including the TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro. Below the range-topping TRD Pro will be a new off-road model, the Trailhunter, which sits above the Limited model. Toyota promises that the TRD Pro model will be a baja-focused off-roader, while the Trailhunter stands out by focusing more on wilderness fun.
Towing and towing for the new 2024 Tacoma haven’t been fully announced, but Toyota rates the truck (SR5 i-Force, TRD PreRunner XtraCab models) with a maximum towing rating of 6,500 lb (2,948 kg) and a 1,709 lb (775 kg) cargo capacity ( TRD off-road models). Total towing and towing capacity will depend on trim level and engine options. Tow-equipped Tacoma models will include Trailer Brake Control, with optional digital display mirrors and Trailer Backup Guidance.
There’s a lot of new stuff on the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. The bed volume increased by about 7% for all bed sizes due to the height and width variation. The Tacoma’s tailgate is aluminum to reduce the truck’s weight, and the power on and off function can be selected with a button on the taillight assembly. i-Force models can be fitted with a 400W AC inverter socket on the van’s chassis and rear center console, while i-Force MAX models come standard with a 2400W AC inverter. Trailhunter models also feature a high-output air compressor in bed.
The various models of the Tacoma have added some off-road items as well. Toyota’s split front sway bar is now available on the newly redesigned Tacoma. This increases front-wheel articulation by 10 percent when disconnected, is electronically controlled, and will be compatible with Toyota-approved lift kits and suspension changes. Additionally, TRD Pro models have up to 11 inches of ground clearance from the factory. A new Multi-Terrain Monitoring system places cameras around the truck to see obstacles and trails in real time through an upgraded 14-inch touchscreen on most off-road Tacoma models.
Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system works with high and low four-wheel-drive settings and allows the driver to select a terrain-adapting mode to control wheel spin and power delivery. Dirt, mud and sand are the standard settings. The new CRAWL control functions as a low-speed off-road cruise control, while the downhill assist control maintains the speed limit without affecting braking during low-speed downhill maneuvers. Manual-transmission versions of the Tacoma will include a clutch-start cancel button, allowing the truck to start in gear without pressing the clutch.
The new 2024 Tacoma Trailhunter model is loosely based on the 2022 Tailhunter concept shown at SEMA, including off-road gear from Australia’s ARB. These include Old Man Emu (OME) position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks and remote oil tanks. As well as a steel rear bumper with rear recovery points and a bed utility bar with removable MOLLE panels. ARB has also developed a complete bed frame for both bed lengths of the new Tacoma for added gear options. Trailhunter models come standard with 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires with 2-inch front and 1-inch rear lift. High-clearance exhaust tips are standard on the Trailhunter, with low-profile, high-mounted air intakes running along the passenger-side front pillar. Guardrails and skid plates add protection to Tacoma Trailhunter models. Trailhunter models for general backcountry off-road and overland. In contrast, the TRD Pro model is designed for speed and baja-style desert running.
TRD Pro trim of the new Tacoma includes IsoDynamic performance seats for the driver. This seating system helps stabilize the driver’s field of vision during dynamic operation. The air cap oil damper system allows the seat to move vertically and laterally to dampen body motion on the track. The shape of the seat itself stabilizes head and neck alignment. The system is adjustable for body weight and preference, and can be bypassed entirely if desired.
Toyota’s latest infotainment system will appear on all 2024 Tacoma models with an 8-inch or optional 14-inch touchscreen. Toyota’s full suite of Safety Sense advanced active safety technologies and driver assistance technologies are also included in the new Tacoma. These were updated a bit last year as the TSS was upgraded to version 3.0, including new sensors for enhanced collision and pedestrian detection and a fourth follow distance setting for radar-based cruise control to improve the all-speed option. Toyota’s new Lane Tracing Assist and Lane Departure Alert systems combine into a new Emergency Driving Stop system that can bring the vehicle to a safe stop if the driver is completely inattentive, such as in a medical emergency.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma i-Force models will hit dealerships in late 2023, and the i-Force MAX models will arrive in early 2024. Pricing will be announced closer to the sale launch.