All-New 2024 Toyota Tacoma is a Powerful Hybrid Midsize Truck
The Ford F-150 might dominate the full-size pickup segment, but over in the midsize arena, the competition is quite fierce — and getting even fiercer still. Once upon a time, it was just a matter of choosing between a Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, or Nissan Frontier. But in the past few years, the segment has just about doubled. Now there’s the also the Ford Maverick, Ford Ranger, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Jeep Gladiator to contend with.
In other words, this all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma had better bring some top upgrades to continue attracting customers. Good news for fans of the brand: it does. Totally redesigned from the ground up on a new modular platform that it shares with the next-gen Tundra and Sequoia, the Tacoma features a new high-strength boxed steel-ladder frame, a new suspension system, and a hybrid engine that develops a whopping 465 lb-ft of torque.
Related: Explore the full Toyota truck lineup
Under the hood
The 2024 Tacoma is offered with three versions of a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder powertrain. The entry-level SR gets a detuned 228-horsepower variant while every other Tacoma model gets at least 278 hp and 317 lb-ft out of it — except for those equipped with the six-speed manual, which reduces power down to 270 hp and 310 lb-ft.
But the most interesting and capable powertrain is the i-FORCE MAX, which combines the 2.4-liter with a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic. This puts out 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Despite this, towing capacity is no better than the outgoing model: 6,500 pounds. Then again, it’s unlikely you’d want more out of a midsize truck. The key benefit of the hybrid should be the efficiency, though fuel economy figures are not yet available.
New Trailhunter trim
The Tacoma was already a capable machine off the beaten path, but a new Trailhunter trim is ensuring that shoppers looking to get muddy — and more importantly, looking to look like they get muddy — have just the right truck. It has a lot of the same features already shared by the TRD models focused on overland exploration, like 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires and an aluminum skid plate, but also adds a whole host of accessories. These include a snorkel air intake, tow hooks, steel rear bumper, a panel of three upfitter switches, and even an onboard compressor that can quickly air the tires up or down after spending lots of time on the trail. If you want even more accessories, Toyota has included a QR code in a hidden interior side pocket that sends owners to a website for 3D-printing items such as a toolkit or lantern.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma interior boasts the most significant changes, starting with the driving feel. The seat, roof, and telescopic steering wheel have all been adjusted to raise the seating position by an inch, improving outward visibility. The dashboard seems completely new, with all-new switches and dials lending the cabin a truly modern feel, which the optional 14-inch touch-screen display further doing its part. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, while the optional JBL audio system has received a few notable upgrades. In addition to the 10 speakers inside the cabin, you get a new externally coupled subwoofer and a Bluetooth portable speaker that can be paired with other JBL speakers as well as submerged in up to three feet of water.
A midsize truck like the Toyota Tacoma has long been the sensible option for customers seeking the practicality of a pickup bed without all of the negatives that come with full-size trucks: horrible fuel economy, unwieldy maneuverability, and unsafe size. Of course, midsize trucks are hardly any smaller than the full-size trucks of old, so one can only really call them “compact” by comparison. Still, if you have need of a 5- or 6-foot bed, the occasional towing power, and truly serious off-roading capabilities that you’ll feel happy knowing are available but will probably never use, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma is a great pick.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.