Every year there’s a slew of announcements about updates for almost every vehicle on the market, and honestly, they’re not always that exciting. Manufacturers do their best to make two new exterior colors or new wheel designs sound like a big deal, but let’s be honest: they’re not. On the other hand, we occasionally get some much bigger announcements that deserve the attention they’re getting—announcements like the release of the first details about the all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Whenever we get an all-new model update, there’s much to be excited about, but the Tacoma has more than I had expected.
First released for the 1995 model year, the Tacoma started its life as a compact truck but has been one of the most popular midsize pickups since its second generation in 2004. This was updated with a third-generation Tacoma for the 2016 model year, which Toyota has been building upon and improving each year since…at least until now. For the 2024 model, the Tacoma is getting a full redesign and the launch of a fourth generation with a whole barrage of impressive features inside and out. Let’s look at some of the highlights to see why so many people are looking forward to taking one of these for a spin.
New Design, New Engineering
First and foremost, people are excited that the 2024 Tacoma has been redesigned from the ground up and features all kinds of improvements as a result. This is not simply an update to what we’ve seen for the last eight years—the all-new Tacoma is built on Toyota’s TNGA-F truck platform, which the Toyota Tundra and the Sequoia utilize, so it’s already proven itself. High-strength steel is being used in its construction, with aluminum to keep the overall weight of the Tacoma down, featuring a boxed, steel-ladder frame that is rugged enough to handle quite a lot of abuse.
A newly-available multi-link rear suspension replaces the older leaf springs from the last generation with coils—though you’ll still find leaves on certain models. This improved suspension allows for a superior ride, along with four-wheel disc brakes, to help improve braking performance in all kinds of conditions. These brakes are offered in two different packages, with larger rear or front brakes depending on the model, and the suspension has been tuned for each Tacoma grade. For example, the TRD Sport model has red TRD sport-tuned shocks, while the TRD Off-Road grade features monotube Bilstein remote reservoir shocks for improved wheel travel and better performance in rough conditions. Overall, it’s clear that Toyota understands what its fans are looking for regarding engineering and performance. Speaking of which…
Better Engines, Boosted Performance
Two engines are available for the 2024 Toyota Tacoma with different amounts of output between them, plus additional levels of power depending on the configuration you choose. The standard option is a 2.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder beauty that delivers 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque on starting trims; other trims with this model instead get to enjoy 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Even better, there’s an available six-speed intelligent manual transmission for folks who like total control over their truck; this drops power slightly to 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, but it’s a small price to pay for a manual.
If you really want to experience serious power, then there’s an available i-FORCE MAX hybrid engine that pairs the standard 2.4L engine with a 48-hp electric motor, along with the eight-speed automatic. This incredible setup delivers 326 hp and a monstrous 465 lb-ft of torque—I’d like to remind you that this is a midsize truck with that kind of power. I love it, and Toyota fans (or midsize truck fans in general) should love it too! You can get the Tacoma with rear-wheel drive and an automatic limited-slip differential or four-wheel drive (4WD) with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case; a new Limited trim features full-time 4WD.
Improved Off-Road Capability
Speaking of 4WD, the Tacoma is already well-known as a great choice for hitting the trail, and this new generation will cement that even further. An all-new front stabilizer bar disconnect improves the Tacoma’s articulation by 10% compared to the current generation. Even better—at least for some folks—it’s fully compatible with Toyota-approved lift kits, letting you customize the Tacoma and still get remarkable trail performance.
This all-new Tacoma has up to a 33.8-degree approach angle, 23.5-degree breakover angle, and 25.7-degree departure angle on the TRD Pro model. This same grade offers 11 inches of ground clearance, and there are numerous available cameras to provide you with greater visibility while going off-road to see potential obstacles before you discover them the hard way. The Multi-Terrain Select traction control system now functions with both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low modes, plus an improved, quieter CRAWL Control system is now offered on the Tacoma.
The All-New Trailhunter Grade for the Tacoma
The off-road features are already great, but something that’s going to get a lot of interest from certain drivers is the new Trailhunter grade. Toyota models are already popular with overlanders, and the Trailhunter model is their way of delivering something truly exceptional: a factory-built model designed for overlanding. Working with a prestigious ARB engineering team from Australia, Toyota co-developed Old Man Emu (OME) position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback style remote reservoirs, along with a steel rear bumper and much more.
This all comes together in the Trailhunter, available with a 5-foot or 6-foot bed, a Double Cab, and either a light or heavy-duty ARB bed rack that can support rooftop tents, canopies, and more. With 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires to boost the Trailhunter higher up and high-clearance exhaust tips, this model is ready to go anywhere.
Elevated Technology Inside
However, the all-new Tacoma isn’t just about roughing it, as the redesigned interior brings greater luxury and technology than ever before. Although an 8-inch infotainment display is standard, the available 14-inch screen is the star of the show inside this truck. It’s absolutely massive and provides you with gorgeous views of your surroundings through the available cameras, making it perfect for hitting the trail, getting around town, and anything else you need.
This new infotainment system is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, features numerous USB ports for connectivity and charging, and there’s an available Qi wireless charging pad for compatible devices. A 7-inch gauge cluster is standard on starting trims, while higher grades feature a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with numerous styles to elevate your driving experience even further. Paired with the available 10-speaker JBL sound system with an externally coupled subwoofer and a JBL FLEX portable speaker, this new interior creates a truly exceptional driving experience.
The 2024 Tacoma Is Easy to Get Excited About
This has been a brief overview of what the 2024 Tacoma is bringing to the road (and off the road), with much more to offer than I can possibly cover. I didn’t even get into the expansive color palette available or the fact that every all-new Tacoma will come with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 standard, including a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and much more. Compact and midsize trucks are becoming more desirable than ever, and with models like the 2024 Tacoma, it’s easy to see why. Toyota fans are definitely getting something special with this pickup, but all of us who enjoy the functionality and design of midsize trucks are getting spoiled too, which is just fine by me.