The mid-sized truck world has witnessed the emergence of formidable contenders like the Ford Ranger and the Chevy Colorado. However, the spotlight has firmly fixated on the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, a vehicle we had the pleasure of seeing in person a few months ago at the reveal in Hawaii.
The Tacoma, affectionately known as the “Taco,” has maintained its popularity and become one of America’s top 10 best-selling vehicles. This increase in popularity underscores its enduring appeal and growing stature in the automotive market.
The Dawn of a New Era: Introducing the 2024 Tacoma
Elevating Performance and Efficiency
The fourth-generation Tacoma has been the subject of widespread speculation and enthusiasm, with fans eagerly anticipating advancements in performance, refined driving dynamics, and enhanced fuel efficiency. The arrival of the 2024 model marks the culmination of this anticipation, presenting a vehicle that promises to redefine the standards of its class.
The previous generation of Tacoma was getting “long in the tooth.” The old Tacoma was long overdue for an update from the ground up, and this one delivers.
Design and Features: A Closer Look
A New Approach to Pricing and Options
The 2024 Tacoma lineup offers a range of models, with the base 4×2 SR trim starting at an MSRP of $31,500. The high-end Limited grade tops out at $52,100, while a popular choice, the TRD Off-Road with a short bed and automatic transmission, starts at $42,900. Although the pricing for the hybrid models has not yet been disclosed, they are expected to follow a similar premium as seen in the Toyota Grand Highlander.
Revolutionary Platform: The TNGA-F Advantage
Toyota’s transition to the TNGA-F platform for its off-road trucks and SUVs, including the Tacoma, is a pivotal change. This new platform, characterized by a boxed steel ladder frame, is anticipated to enhance Tacoma’s agility, ride quality, and overall driving experience, drawing parallels from the positive reception of the Tundra on the same platform.
Powertrain Evolution: A New Chapter
In a significant shift, the 2024 Tacoma discontinued the V6 engine, opting for a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine available in multiple tunings. The base tuning offers 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, while the mid-grade i-Force engine provides a choice between manual (270 hp, 310 lb-ft) and automatic (278 hp, 317 lb-ft) versions. The top-tier i-Force Max engine delivers a robust 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, promising enhanced torque and improved fuel efficiency.
Introducing Trailhunter and PreRunner Trims
The 2024 Tacoma introduces two new trims: the Trailhunter and the PreRunner. The Trailhunter is an overlanding-focused trim with specialized features for challenging terrains. At the same time, the PreRunner, a 4×2 truck, is equipped for off-road course scouting with unique off-road modes and suspension enhancements.
Interior Upgrades: A Tech-Forward Approach
Toyota has significantly upgraded the Tacoma’s interior, aligning it with the modernized designs in the Tundra and Sequoia. The emphasis on technology is evident with the option for a 14-inch touchscreen, complemented by distinctive trim and feature variations across different grades.
Suspension and Braking Improvements
Most models in the Tacoma lineup now feature a coil-sprung, multi-link rear suspension, except for specific trims that retain leaf springs. This suspension update, coupled with four-wheel disc brakes and electric power steering, is expected to elevate the driving experience significantly.
Towing and Payload Capacities
The 2024 Tacoma’s towing capacity varies based on the engine configuration, with i-Force engines equipped with an automatic transmission capable of towing up to 6,500 lbs. The payload capacity for the i-Force Max stands at 1,709 kg, and the truck bed offers 7% more volume than its predecessors.
The new Tacoma boasts impressive off-road specs, starting with 9.5 inches of ground clearance and running ground clearance of 11 inches. Its design facilitates notable approach, breakover, and departure angles, making it a formidable off-road vehicle.
Release Timeline and Fuel Economy Expectations
The i-Force Tacoma models are set to hit dealerships in late 2023, with the i-Force Max models following in Spring 2024. The 2024 Tacoma is expected to
Offer improved fuel efficiency, with the most efficient 4×4 model rated for 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
Innovative Seating: IsoDynamic Performance Seat
A notable feature in the TRD Pro model is the IsoDynamic Performance Seat, which uses an air-over-oil shock absorber system to reduce fatigue over rugged terrains. This feature is tunable to suit the preferences of the driver and passengers.
It’s never been a better time to be in the market for a mid-size truck, especially if you are seeking one for your weekend off-road adventures or overlanding trips. We can’t wait to see the aftermarket opportunities explode for this truck and the incredible builds.