Toyota has taken the wraps off the “entirely new” 2024 Tacoma mid-size line of pickup trucks, and overlanding fans will be excited to see the well-equipped Trailhunter and TRD Pro variants have made the cut along with six other trims. Toyota even managed to slip a 6-speed stick-shift manual into the mix, but only on the SR base truck and TRD Sport.
That base SR trim joins seven other variants, including the SR5, TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Pro, and the Trailhunter. The bones of the new trucks will be the TNGA-F ladder-frame truck platform shared with the Tundra and Sequoia. Like the competition at Ford and GM, Toyota is basing the entire Tacoma line around a turbocharged inline four-cylinder gas engine, which will displace 2.4 liters. The least-powerful version of its i-Force plant will only show up in the work-truck/fleet filler SR, and will make 228 ponies and 243-pound feet of torque — but only if you opt for the 8-speed automatic. If you go with the stick, power jumps to 270 hp and 310 bits of twist. Old-school alums, rejoice!
Move up to the SR5, and you lose the manual option, but power jumps to 278 hp and 317 torques; the same engine and 8-speed auto will also motivate the TRD PreRunner trim. Pony up for the TRD Sport, and buyers can opt for the same 278 hp mill or add in cash for the i-Force MAX hybrid powertrain, which bumps total output to 326 hp and a stout 465 pound-feet of grunt.
Toyota says the MAX electrification bits include a 48-horsepower electric motor that, more importantly, adds 84 more torques. Energy comes from a 1.87 kWh battery. None of the MAX hybrid versions include any electric-only driving range, and the battery is recharged while driving, not through a plug, which will make the hybrid system essentially transparent to drivers. A 2,400-watt A/C inverter is an option on i-Force MAX-equipped hybrid trucks, and it’s standard on the TRD Pro and Trailhunter. Non-hybrid trims can opt for a 400-Watt inverter.
Power flows to all four wheels, but drivers can switch between 4×2, 4×4 hi/low with A-TRAC, and a full-time 4WD mode. A limited slip diff is standard, with an e-locker as an option. The Limited trim includes a locking center differential but only with the hybrid powertrain option. PreRunner and above trims also get an electronically locking rear differential. Crawling controls are also an option.
Buyers have some options for seating on lower trims, with SR and SR5 versions coming in either two-door XtraCab or four-door Double Cab (crew cab). The TRD PreRunner only comes in the XtraCab format. Above that, the TRD versions, Limited, and Trailhunter, only come in Double Cab. Thankfully, there is a 6-foot-long bed option now as well. Colors include Supersonic Red, Blue Crush Metallic, something called “Underground,” Wind Chill Pearl, Solar Octane, Celestial Silver Metallic, Black, Ice Cap, and Bronze Oxide. A color exclusive to the TRD Pro is TBA later this summer.
Inside, Toyota has brought the tech up to date with a new digital gauge cluster and center screen in sizes ranging from eight inches on the SR to either a 12.3 or a 14-inch rectangle on the upper trims. JBL supplies the musicality in every trim, which includes a center-dash mounted detachable Flex Bluetooth speaker as standard or an option. Toyota says their newly updated and upgraded Safety Sense 3.0 suite of sensors and warnings is standard on all models and includes auto high beams, lane keeping, smart cruise, and more. A vertical wireless charging pad that tips phones forward sits below the main center screen on some trims.
Special features abound on the two top trims. On the desert-racing-inspired TRD-Pro, Toyota is introducing special IsoDynamic Performance Seats that have their own adjustable suspension system built in, with an air-over-oil shock absorber system allowing for vertical and lateral seat movement simultaneously to dampen body movement and stabilize the head and neck to keep alignment with the spine.” When not clearing big air in the dunes, the seats’ suspension can be locked out for “normal” driving.
The top-spec Trailhunter trim includes a long list of goodies, including special factory-installed built-to-spec aftermarket bits like steel ARB bumpers, RIGID LED aux lighting (with white and yellow hues), an air compressor integrated into the truck bed, burly 2.5 inch Old Man Emu position-sensitive shocks, 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires on 18-inch bronze alloy wheels, a high-mount air intake, rock rails, a suite of steel skid plates, front stabilizer bar disconnect and signature Trailhunter LED headlamps.
While the new trucks have physical keys, starting is by pushbutton in every model, and if you lose the key, an available Digital Key system will give access via your phone. Failing that, Toyota will also offer a credit-card style NFC key that goes in a wallet. With the digital key enabled, owners can also grant access to anyone who has a smartphone.
Pricing has not been announced for the new Tacomas; Toyota says the numbers will be finalized closer to production, which is scheduled for this summer. The hybrid i-Force models will arrive in 2024. Each will come with a 3-year/36.000-mile warranty as standard, while hybrid components have an 8-year/100,000-mile policy, and the battery gets a 10-year 150,000-mile transferable warranty. All of the trucks come with 2-year ToyotaCare coverage for routine maintenance and roadside assistance. Place your pre-orders!