Pros: Strong power and torque; enormous configurability; loads of off-road options; quiet and refined ride; manual transmission availability
Cons: Coarse engine; on the expensive side; Limited not as plush as it could be; manual is clunky
The Toyota Tacoma is finally all-new for the 2024 model year. We say finally because the truck was last redesigned eight years ago, and even then, it wasn’t exactly a sea-change overhaul from the truck that came before. In the intervening years, the Tacoma gradually fell further behind a growing collection of competitors while, paradoxically, its sales increased. People love them, which makes it even more important that it’s in fact improved. They all deserve a better Tacoma, and it finally is one.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma starts with a completely new frame shared with the Tundra and also-new Land Cruiser, but shrunken to Tacoma size. As before, there are multiple cab and bed configurations and loads of trims, including multiple off-road versions, but the variety of options increases further for 2024. There are two suspension variants, with lower trim models getting traditional leaf-spring rear suspension, while higher trim versions get coil springs.. Turbocharged four-cylinders are available across the line, replacing the naturally aspirated four- and six-cylinder options. There’s also now a hybrid as the range topper, with more than 300 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Two- and four-wheel drive are available, as is a manual transmission with the more powerful turbo-four.
We've had the opportunity to try out the non-hybrid versions, and they are finally strong competitors with good performance, economy and comfort. We still haven't had an opportunity to sample the high-performance hybrid models, we've rounded up everything we know so far in this buying guide, and you can be sure that we'll complete it as soon as we get time behind the hybrid wheel early next year.
What's New for 2024?
Interiors of the TRD Sport (blue), Trailhunter (orange stitching), and TRD PreRunner (plain black, small screen)
What are the Tacoma's interior and in-car technology like?
The Tacoma's interior looks very much like a scaled down Tundra interior. Everything is squared off and chunky, there are grab handles aplenty, and there's even a big badge on the passenger side to remind you what truck you're in. Depending on trim levels, there are plenty of color and material options from the cheery, colorful accents in the TRD Sport and TRD Pro, to the more subdued interiors of base Tacomas and higher-trim Limited models. There are plenty of luxuries available, including a wireless charging pad and heated and ventilated front seats, but the actual feeling of luxury is absent. The most plush Limited model still falls short of the ritzy interior found in the GMC Canyon Denali and even upper trim levels of the Jeep Gladiator.
Depending on specification, you'll get different instruments and screens. Base models get a simpler instrument cluster with a 7-inch screen, as well as an infotainment touchscreen that measures 8 inches. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14-inch infotainment screen are available as options or on higher trim levels. Regardless of the screen size, the underlying system is bright, responsive and modern in appearance. As we’ve discovered in other Toyotas with the same systems, we appreciate the shortcut buttons on the driver side in particular, but even more so the dedicated climate controls and volume knob. These are suitably chunky looking and feeling, too. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but it can be very frustrating going back and forth between the Apple/Android interfaces and the Toyota system. Those shortcut buttons disappear, leaving you to click-click-click back and forth (other car companies manage to keep them present when using CarPlay/Android Auto). We’ve also had frustrations with the functionality of the navigation system map.
How big is the Tacoma?
The Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck that competes with the likes of the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator and Honda Ridgeline. It's somewhat unusual in the number of cab and bed configurations available. Two cabs are available: the extended Access Cab pictured below and crew-style Double Cab. The former only has front seats and front doors, eschewing the available rear bench and half doors of past models. That leaves the Double Cab with conventional rear doors as the only option for carrying rear passengers. Two bed lengths are available, too, with the Access Cab getting the longer bed as the only option. The Double Cab gets a short bed as standard, but the longer extended cab bed can be fitted optionally for the maximum amount of people and cargo carrying ability. The Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon do not offer such an option of a crew cab/long bed combo.
The interior is one of the most spacious feeling in the segment alongside GM's midsize trucks. The front seats offer loads of head, shoulder and leg room for a midsize truck. The rear seats aren't exceptional, but they're right on par with the competition offering decent head and shoulder room, and tight legroom when taller folks are up front.
What are the Tacoma's performance and fuel economy?
Every 2024 Tacoma will come with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder of some variety, and no V6 will be offered. The basic split is between non-hybrid and hybrid engines, and we'll start with the non-hybrid engine. On the entry-level SR trim, it makes 228 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, and comes only with the eight-speed automatic transmission. With two-wheel-drive, this powertrain, which gets 21 mpg city (20 in SR trim), 26 highway and 23 mpg combined. Add four-wheel drive, and the fuel economy drops to 19 city, 24 highway and 21 combined.
Above that is the high-output version for higher trims that makes 278 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque with the eight-speed automatic, and 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque with the six-speed manual transmission. All of these models are available with either two- or four-wheel-drive. With two transmissions and two drivelines, fuel economy varies more for this powertrain. City economy ranges from 18 to 20 mpg, highway from 23 to 24, and combined from 20 to 21.
The hybrid powertrain is a new flagship of the line. It combines the same turbo four-cylinder with an electric motor to produce 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Nothing in the midsize pickup segment comes close to that output, nor is there another hybrid. It's also only available with the eight-speed automatic, but can have two- or four-wheel drive. At the time of writing, fuel economy has not been announced for the hybrid models.
TRD Sport (blue), TRD Pro (white) and the shock-absorbing seats in the TRD Pro.
What's the Tacoma like to drive?
The new Tacoma is far better to drive than its predecessor in nearly every way. Both versions of the turbocharged, non-hybrid engine provide strong low-end torque that makes it feel swifter and less strained than the naturally aspirated engine options of the old truck. And while the high-output version is quicker, the base one doesn't feel sluggish. The new eight-speed automatic shifts smoother and faster than the old automatic, and it helps make the most of that low-end torque. Combined with its solid efficiency, these engines with the automatic are nearly as good as those from Ford and GM. One area where they fall short: refinement. Even though the competition's turbo four-cylinders aren't that smooth, the Toyota engines are still a step rougher. Also, while the manual transmission is a nice gesture for traditionalists, its long clutch, ropey shifter and slow-revving engine make it rather unpleasant to use. As for the hybrid, we'll have to report back when we have had an opportunity to drive it.
What the engines may lack in refinement, however, the ride makes up for in spades. It's easily the most comfortable-riding midsize truck (besides the crossover Ridgeline), smoothing out light bumps more like a car than the slightly skittery feel of other midsize trucks. Larger bumps will reveal some of the truckiness, but that seems hard to avoid with a body-on-frame truck. The chassis and body rigidity are impressive, too, with almost none of the shuddering that can crop up in body-on-frame trucks. Body lean is plentiful, which isn’t surprising for a truck, but when paired with steering that’s slow, light in effort and bereft in feel, it's not an especially sporty truck on-road.
What other Toyota Tacoma reviews can I read?
We drive every version of the non-hybrid Tacoma, including base, manual, automatic and fully loaded variants.
What is the 2024 Tacoma price and features?
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is more expensive than before. Whereas the outgoing 2023 Tacoma started at $30,095, the new truck starts at $32,995. Pricing has only been announced for the non-hybrid trucks. We likely won't know hybrid pricing (which includes the TRD Pro and Trailhunter trims) until early in 2024 when those powertrains will enter production.
SR (2WD): $32,995
SR5 (2WD): $37,695
TRD PreRunner (2WD): $39,595
TRD Sport (2WD): $40,895
TRD Off-Road (4WD): $43,295
Limited (4WD): $53,595
The Tacoma offers more choices than just the usual trim levels, so let’s focus on those choices here. The Access Cab models no longer have rear doors or the option of a rear seat. If you want rear seating, you need the Double Cab. Also, the SR, SR5 and TRD PreRunner all come with two-wheel drive and a leaf-spring rear suspension as standard, with the exception of the SR5 Double Cab, which gets the coil-spring suspension.
Moving up to the TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, TRD Pro, Trailhunter and Limited models brings coil-spring rear suspension. A manual transmission is an exclusive option for the TRD Off-Road and TRD Sport. The Jeep Gladiator is the only other truck to offer a manual. The Limited also gets electronically adjustable shocks for more customization of comfort and handling.
Toyota has a few off-road options for the Tacoma, the first of which is the PreRunner. It's the most budget-oriented off-roader, only available with two-wheel drive, but it gets a 2-inch front suspension lift, skid plates, 33-inch tires and an electronic locking rear differential. Next up is the TRD Off-Road, which also gets the tires, skid plates and locking rear differential from the PreRunner, but adds off-road-tuned Bilstein shocks and the CRAWL Control off-road cruise control and assist. It can further be upgraded with front and surround cameras plus an electronic front anti-roll bar disconnect. At the top of the off-road hierarchy are the TRD Pro and the Trailhunter. The TRD Pro is the high-speed off-roader with Fox shocks and bump stops, forged front upper control arms, the rear locker, 33-inch tires, a skid plate, steel bumpers, sway bar disconnect, off-road lighting and rock rails among other upgrades. It also boasts front seats with air shocks to help stabilize the driver off road (they're pictured above). For slower off-roading, there's the Trailhunter pictured below. Many of the changes are the same, but it gets Old Man Emu shocks instead, additional skid plates, utility racks and an on-board air compressor.
What are the Tacoma safety ratings and driver assistance features?
As is the case with all Toyotas, the new 2024 Tacoma will come standard with many highly desirable safety features. Included are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering, road sign detection, hill-start assist and automatic high beams. Optionally available is blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Being a completely new model, the crash test ratings for the redesigned Tacoma have not been announced.
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