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2024 Toyota Tacoma Lineup Has Truck Choices to Please Everyone

Jul 17, 2023

The fully redesigned Tacoma pickup comes in eight versions, including the new Trailhunter and TRD PreRunner.

Toyota doubled down on its longstanding Tacoma success today, showing off a diverse and greatly expanded 2024 lineup that's sure to fare well against the newest versions of the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado. Unlike those competitors, Toyota has not restricted the Tacoma to a single crew cab/short bed configuration that's solely available with an automatic transmission.Instead, Toyota carries on with crew-cab and extended-cab configurations, with five- and six-foot beds available on the former and a six-foot bed paired with the latter. A new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the unloved six-speed autobox, and a six-speed manual is still available in the base SR, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road models.

The new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder is available in three strengths, spread across eight grades: SR, SR5, a new TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, a new Trailhunter, and the TRD Pro. The base engine appears exclusively in the SR, where it makes 228 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque—significantly more than last year's 159-hp base output. The iForce turbo four replaces last year's V-6 and is the standard powerplant in the SR5, TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited. It generates the same 278 horsepower as the outgoing V-6, but torque is significantly increased, rising a full 20 percent from 265 pound-feet to a healthy 317 pound-feet. Output is dialed back slightly to 270 horses and 310 pound-feet when the six-speed manual is specified on TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road, but it's a small price to pay.

But the top offering is now the iForce Max, which adds a hybrid system that ups total output to 326 horsepower and a best-in-class 465 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system also brings along a 2400-watt AC inverter that replaces the standard 300-watt unit. This setup is the base powertrain in the much-invigorated TRD Pro and newly introduced Trailhunter, but it is also notably available as an option in the TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited. Fuel economy has not yet been released for any of these new powertrains, but chances are high that iForce Max hybrid ratings will be impressive and will, at the very least, significantly outpace the Ranger Raptor and Colorado ZR2.

As rumored, the new Tacoma finally has disc brakes in back, and that allows for an electronic parking brake and certain high-end active safety systems, which are standard. The big party piece is, of course, the new coil-spring rear axle. But the transition to coils is not absolute, as the SR, the SR5 extended cab, and the TRD PreRunner—which only comes with the extended cab—have leaf springs supporting their hind ends. Put another way, the new five-link, coil-spring rear suspension is fitted to any crew cab Tacoma from SR5 on up.

As before, the TRD Off-Road has the potential to be the most popular model. Its popular recipe still includes a push-button rear differential lock, high-level terrain management features, and an off-road-tuned suspension. But the tires are now 33 inches tall, and the suspension has been improved significantly, with a slight nose lift and Bilstein remote reservoir shocks that feature a long-overdue increase in piston diameter and hydraulic end stop control that should soften landings as the suspension approaches full compression. What's more, a disconnecting front anti-roll bar is newly available, and Toyota says it will unlock even more suspension articulation than before.

The TRD Sport formula carries on with sport-tuned shocks, pavement-oriented tires, and a hood scoop, while the Limited has been even more clearly defined as the smooth-riding truck for those that are not interested in off-road prowess. Its suspension consists of adaptive variable shock absorbers, and it stands alone in the lineup by utilizing a full-time four-wheel-drive system that operates like all-wheel drive until you lock the center differential for off-road traction.

The vaunted TRD Pro remains the top dog for those who favor high-speed desert running, and its hand has been strengthened to do combat with the Ranger Raptor and Colorado ZR2. The standard-fitment iForce Max power output falls between those two, but it clearly tops them both in terms of torque. Moreover, its suspension has gained long-overdue beef, with the Pro gaining the high-riding, wide-track stance it never had before. Obvious fender flares are necessary because the track width is a full 3 inches broader than base model, and it rides 2 inches taller up front and 1.5 inches taller in back on its 33-inch tires and 18-inch wheels. Damping now comes from 2.5-inch Fox QS3 adjustable dampers—remote reservoir in back—and the rear end benefits from Fox IFP (internal floating piston) hydraulic bump stops that are nestled within the coil springs. The disconnecting front anti-roll bar is standard fare here.

New this year is the Trailhunter, an equal-billing marquee model for those who favor overland exploration. Like the Pro, it has the iForce Max hybrid powertrain, disconnecting front anti-roll bar, and high-riding, wide-track suspension. But the suspension features Old Man Emu position-sensitive remote reservoir shocks that are tuned to perform off-road while handling sustained bed loads and gear like rooftop tents. An onboard compressor is standard for airing up after airing down, and the Max hybrid's 2400-watt AC inverter seems especially handy for powering gear like an electric fridge, while the panel of three upfitter switches should ease the installation of accessory lights an owner may want to add above and beyond the Rigid forward lighting and lateral "scene lighting" that comes standard.

The new Tacoma's interior finally corrects a longstanding bugaboo, with a seat that sits over an inch higher than before to correct the feeling that you were sitting on the floor. Up top, the roof has been raised a like amount, so the repositioned seat does not result in diminished headroom. Add this to an improved steering wheel with more telescopic range, and you get a vastly improved driving position. The interior is nice to look at too, with logical controls and a fresh look that suggests that no switchgear was carried over. The attractive center screen stands within easy reach, and the configurable digital gauge cluster and its attendant steering wheel controls looks refreshingly modern.

There's even more in the details. The Tacoma is now available with an electronic trailer brake controller and a trailer backup guidance system. An optional system of three rooftop shark fins utilizes the outer pair to maintain contact with an available trailer-mounted rear camera. Its crawl control feature is now able to work in 4 High instead of just 4 Low, and we fully expect it to operate much smoother now that the braking system includes rear discs and an electronic brake booster. The available tailgate can power itself up and power down, and it can be triggered by the handle, the key fob, or buttons set into the taillights. You can even nudge an open tailgate up with a knee or hand, which triggers the power actuator to take over and finish the job.

Pricing and a full suite of specifications won't be revealed until much later in the year, and we won't get a chance to drive the Tacoma until we approach its fourth-quarter on-sale date. That timing applies to the iForce powertrain. The iForce Max hybrid powertrain will come later, not surfacing until the spring of 2024. That in turn dictates the arrival of the TRD Pro, Trailhunter, not to mention the optional powertrain configurations of the TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited.

Frankly, we're glad for the staggered rollout, because the new Tacoma's extensive menu of eight grades, two cabs, two beds, three engines, two transmissions, and a plethora of suspensions will take time to sort through. And that's the thing with the new Tacoma's multidimensional lineup. There really is something for everyone.

Dan Edmunds was born into the world of automobiles, but not how you might think. His father was a retired racing driver who opened Autoresearch, a race-car-building shop, where Dan cut his teeth as a metal fabricator. Engineering school followed, then SCCA Showroom Stock racing, and that combination landed him suspension development jobs at two different automakers. His writing career began when he was picked up by (no relation) to build a testing department.

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The 2024 Toyota Tacoma lineup packs eight trims, two cab and bed choices, automatic and manual gearboxes, and three versions of a new 2.4-liter turbo four. The popular TRD Off-Road model now has 33-inch tires, larger remote reservoir Bilstein shocks, a front-end lift, and a coil-spring rear suspension. There are now two top-dog models: an improved wide-track TRD Pro and a new Trailhunter designed to appeal to the overlander crowd.