The 2024 Toyota Tacoma has been fully unveiled after a series of leaks showed off the fourth-generation, which takes after the Tundra in its redesign. For the latest midsize truck, that means it’s riding on the same TNGA-F global truck platform, and is powered by the same 2.4-liter four cylinder hybrid engine configuration, or i-Force Max, which will make 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
Toyota says that nearly doubles the torque produced by the current V6 engine in the outgoing Taco. However, the 2.4-liter will not come standard on all of Tacoma’s trims. The base model Tacoma SR will will feature a 2.4-liter tuborcharged four-cylinder engine making 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque.
Higher trims without the i-Force Max hybrid engine generate an extra 50 hp at 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity is up to 6,500 pounds on certain trims, but not all, while max payload capacity is 1,709 pounds. And, yes, there will still be options for 5- or 6-foot beds, and Xtracab or double cab configurations.
The hybrid engine configuration will be standard only on the Tacoma TRD Pro and Trailhunter. However, it is an available option for TRD Sport, TRD Off Road and Limited. The new Tacoma trims, overall, start with the base model SR, then on to the SR5, TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, TRD Pro and, finally, the new Trailhunter, which is meant to be an off-the-shelf overlander outfitted with gear from ARB and Old Man Emu.
The 2024 Tacoma is also finally joining modern cars on the market with things like four-wheel disc brakes and newly available multi-link coil rear suspension, which will be featured on higher trims such as the TRD Pro and Trailhunter. Lower trims like the base Tacoma SR, SR5 and TRD PreRunner will still come standard with leaf springs at the rear. The 2024 Tacoma will also now feature electric power steering and electronic parking brake.
And for the enthusiasts, Toyota is making the stick-shift optional. Rejoice! The 2024 Tacoma will feature a six-speed “intelligent” manual transmission with automatic rev-matchig and anti-stall tech. Manual-equipped Tacomas will even come with clutch start cancel that allows the truck to start in gear. Drivers don’t have to press the clutch pedal when starting, which Toyota says will help in tricky off-road situations. The only caveat is that the i-Force Max will exclusively be paired with an eight-speed transmission. Drivers will have to choose between the higher power and torque of the hybrid or the lower output of the stick-shift.
Toyota says the new Tacoma’s design edict revolved around a “Badass Adventure Machine,” which is in line with the Tacoma’s reputation as one of the most sought-after platforms for overlanding builds. The truck’s popularity has only gained momentum in the off-road frenzy that ensued in the midst of the global pandemic. People seemed eager to go off-grid and outdoors, and that was reflected by the explosion of all things off-road in the industry.
But despite the Toyota Tacoma being massively popular, the truck had become a little long in the tooth. It’s popularity is due, in part, to the truck’s reputation for reliability, but Toyota says its rebuilt the Tacoma on a stronger platform that will make it even more durable: using high-strength steel with blanking and laser welds throughout the chassis to increase rigidity, and topping that with aluminum on the upper body for reduced weight.
The new Tacoma will go on sale later this year, and i-Force Max hybrid trucks will start arriving early next year. Toyota has not released pricing for its new midsizer yet, nor MPG figures. Fingers crossed for impactful gains to fuel economy, but at least now we know the Tacoma can say in earnest that it’s taken a big leap ahead. The Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado seem to have their work cut out for them.