The midsize pickup market has grown increasingly crowded in recent years, with new and upgraded offerings from a variety of domestic and foreign brands. Yet, even though it’s been going up against some of the toughest competition it’s ever faced, the Toyota Tacoma has remained the overwhelming dominant option.
What’s all the more curious is that the outgoing Toyota Tacoma was the oldest model in the segment, yet also the most popular, easily outselling the nearest three competitors combined.
Now, however, the Japanese giant is ready to strike back with a major makeover of its midsize powerhouse. The 2024 Toyota not only gets a new design, inside and out, but a new lineup of powertrains and plenty of new technology. There’s also a new Tacoma Trailhunter edition, which is just one of four trim packages designed for tackling the most extreme off-road conditions.
In short: There’s a version of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma available for just about every midsize pickup buyer, from the base SR to the all-new Trailhunter edition. Buyers will find a more compelling exterior design, an upgraded interior, and a more contemporary suite of safety and comfort technologies.
After driving three versions of the fourth-generation Tacoma, it becomes clear that Toyota has put its money where it matters, improving ride and handling, enhancing the off-road manners of the TRD series, and delivering a better on-road ride across the board.
- Engines I-Force 2.4L 4-cyl turbo (SR only) (228 hp, 243 lb.-ft.), I-Force 2.4L 4-cyl turbo (270 hp, 310 lb-ft), I-Force 2.4L 4-cyl turbo (278 hp, 317 lb-ft.), I-Force Max Hybrid 2.7L w/ 1.87kWh lithium-ion battery (326 hp, 465 lb-ft.)
- Transmission 8-speed automatic (all models) or 6-speed manual (only TRD Off-Road and TRD Sport)
- Body styles XtraCab or Double Cab
- Towing Maximum 6,500 lbs. (Max 6,000 lbs. with I-Force Max Hybrid)
- Improved design, inside and out
- Options, options, options, including 8 trim packages
- Improved off-road features like TRD Pro’s IsoDynamic Performance Seat
- Low roofline restricts ingress and egress
- Design hasn’t changed as much as expected
- Limited Hybrid is the only model with full-time AWD
2024 Toyota Tacoma Review
Detroit’s Big Three automakers may dominate the market for full-size trucks. But when it comes to midsize pickups, they’re all in the after-thought category. For the vast majority of buyers, there’s only one option, and with a complete makeover just arriving in U.S. dealer showrooms, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma seems certain to retain its commanding lead.
There’s an updated design, new powertrain options, new tech features, more safety gear, and, for many GearJunkie readers, perhaps the biggest news for the 2024 model year comes with the debut of the first-ever Tacoma Trailhunter overlanding package.
It’s one of four off-road versions of the new Tacoma, including an upgraded TRD Pro set to challenge to the best the competition can offer, rugged models like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, GMC’s new Canyon AT4X AEV, and the Ford Ranger Raptor.
One of the most intriguing updates, in fact, is the TRD Pro’s new IsoDynamic Performance seat, of which we’ll have more shortly.
While Trailhunter won’t arrive until next year, I got the opportunity to test the mettle of a number of other 2024 Tacoma trims during a trip to Southern California earlier this month. That included the base SR, as well as the new TRD. My time behind the wheel made it clear why current Tacoma owners should consider trading in for a 2024 model.
2024 Tacoma Driving Experience
I had the chance to check out three of the eight 2024 Toyota Tacoma trim packages. Starting with some on-road time with the base SR and well-equipped Limited packages. Here’s a quick summary of what I discovered.
The entry-level SR might be devoid of many features but it’s a solid package, especially if you need a budget-minded work truck. It’s low on the fun-to-drive factor, with the base I-Force engine’s relatively modest power.
The Limited Hybrid makes a big step up the ladder, with its much more peppy drivetrain providing a lot of off-the-line grunt and the ability to execute quick, high-speed passes. Better yet, Toyota has done a good job of upgrading the suspension on the TNGA-F platform. That translates into the ability to handle hefty loads while still providing a comfortable and reasonably agile ride when lightly loaded.
I spent much of my time maneuvering some demanding off-road trails with the third trim package, the 2024 Tacoma TRD. While not quite up to the level of the Pro and Trailhunter editions, the TRD still proved capable of handling everything we could throw at it, from rock climbing to negotiating a 30-degree embankment while rounding a tight corner.
On Road & Off
What was particularly impressive about the TRD Off-Road was how well-balanced it proved to be in both on and off-road driving. We found far less of a trade-off than with the outgoing package. It’s reasonable to expect that it can crawl over a rock pile, but the 2024 model is far more adept at handling potholes on pavement, as well.
That said, the added ride height — at up to 11 inches with the 5-foot bed — does translate into compromise when it comes to handling. Weaving through the hill country north of Los Angeles, and down the winding trails towards the Malibu beachfront, there was a clear difference in ride between the TRD with its off-road package and the other two models I spent time in. With its plusher, more well-appointed seats, the Limited would be a clear choice for those who can afford it, at least from a ride and handling perspective.
Overall, the interior layout marks a big improvement over the last-generation Tacoma. By moving wheels to the corners, Toyota was able to provide a bit more space than before, though the cabin is far from cavernous. There’s still less space than backseat passengers would likely desire.
And, as with the outgoing model, the door opening and seat height combine to require a bit of contortion for tall passengers to slip inside and out of the truck. Conversely, in the new truck, the seat is slightly higher which makes for an improved driving position.
More Choices, More Distinctive Design
The 2024 Tacoma shares Toyota’s TNGA-F platform with the full-size Tundra. That allowed the automaker to stretch its wheelbase 4.5 inches and move the wheels closer to the corners. Along with the shortened overhands, the Gen-4 pickup gains 2.6 inches in track thanks to new axles. The overall look is wider and more muscular. Though, it’s far from a revolutionary redesign.
All told, there are now eight different trim packages, from the base Tacoma SR up to the new extreme machine, the Trailhunter. Each boasts distinctive touches, starting with their unique fascia and grille details.
There are unique bumpers for off-road models like Trailhunter and TRD Pro to enhance approach, breakover, and departure angles while off-roading. Those max out at 33.8 degrees, 23.5 degrees, and 25.7 degrees, respectively, on the TRD Pro. The Pro package also boasts a maximum of 11 inches of ground clearance.
If Toyota were to run a two-word ad campaign for the 2024 Tacoma it might simply say, “More Choices.” The automaker has a broad array of options including not only those eight trim packages but body styles and beds.
There is, for example, the Xtra Cab — with its single row of seats — and the two-row extended Double Cab package with seating for five. There’s a 6-foot bed on Xtra Cab models, including the SR, SR5, and TRD PreRunner, while Double Cab models offer a choice of 5 or 6-foot beds.
Upgraded Tacoma Interiors
Across the board, Toyota has been moving to address the biggest concern about its interiors: a heavy reliance on hard plastics. Depending upon the trim package, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma features upgraded material choices, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces on upper-level models.
The overall design of the Gen-4 pickup’s cabin has been upgraded, with lots more features and expanded storage space — though hybrid models do sacrifice some space in the hidden cargo space under the rear seats. That’s due to the intrusion of the lithium-ion battery pack.
Speaking of seats, one of the most intriguing updates for 2024 comes in the form of the IsoDynamic Performance Seat which, Toyota explains, helps “stabilize the driver’s field of vision to improve focus, comfort, and reduce fatigue while on rugged trails.” The adjustable system is offered for both front-seat occupants, but, sadly, only on the TRD Pro.
Toyota wants to set the benchmark in a number of areas. Base trucks get a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, higher trims a 12.3-inch display. Base models come with an 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, but a 14-inch package is available as standard or option, depending upon the trim. And Toyota’s Alexa-like voice assistant, the Audio Multimedia system, is offered across the board.
Wireless charging, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as options or standard, depending upon the trim. And there are numerous USB-C ports, including two 45W plugs in the center console.
Family buyers, in particular, will appreciate the fact that all 2024 Tacoma models come with the automaker’s Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of advanced driver assistance systems. These include pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, road sign assist, and other features. A handful of additional ADAS features, such as blind-spot detection, are optional upgrades.
2024 Tacoma Powertrain Options
Here’s where Toyota offers more options than anyone else in the midsize segment.
At the entry level, there’s the base SR model with its 2.4L four-cylinder turbo making 228 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota adds two upgraded versions of that I-Force four. The second one up the ladder makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet and is available in other trims. It is exclusively mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The third I-Force package jumps to 278 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with the eight-speed automatic and will offer up to 6,500 pounds of towing capacity.
For maximum performance — though with slightly less towing capacity — there’s the I-Force Max Hybrid. It pairs that gas engine with a 1.87kWh lithium-ion battery to deliver 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity dips slightly to 6,000 pounds.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma’s list of options includes two separate four-wheel-drive systems. The downside is that the only full-time all-wheel-drive system is available just on the Tacoma Limited Hybrid.
Meanwhile, TRD PreRunner, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades all come standard with an electronic locking rear differential.
2024 Tacoma Off-Road
With the addition of the new Trailhunter package, Tacoma now offers four different off-road trims. That new overlanding model adds such welcome features as ARB’s Old Man Emu position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback style remote reservoirs, a steel rear bumper, rear recovery points, and a bed utility bar with removable panels.
It also features 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires adding 2 inches of ground clearance up front and 1.5 inches in the rear. Other unique features include a trail exhaust tip, a high-mount air intake on the passenger side, and rock rails.
The TRD Pro, meanwhile, is aimed at everything from rock crawling to go-fast driving in desert situations and, among other things, features Fox Quick Shift shocks, Fox Internal Floating Piston bump stops, and cat-back dual exhaust tips. The big news, though, comes with the introduction of those IsoDynamic Performance Seats.
2024 Tacoma Review: Final Thoughts & Availability
The competition is determined to topple the midsize king-of-the-hill, and products like the new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison are clearly impressive options. But, Toyota isn’t about to cede leadership in the midsize pickup market.
Quite the opposite. It’s determined to gain share with the launch of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. And, based on the three trim packages I put through their paces, the truck should live up to those expectations.
Toyota is just getting the first of the Gen-4 models into U.S. showrooms, with sales officially starting by the end of the year. Unfortunately, it won’t complete the lineup until next spring, when three of the four off-road packages — the TRD PreRunner, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter — arrive.
Pricing starts around $34,700 for the Tacoma SR Extra-Cab with a 6-foot bed, with the Limited Double Cab and a 5-foot bed priced at $52,100 before options. The off-road version of the TRD is listed at $41,800. Pricing for the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter is expected somewhere in the mid-$50,000 range.