For the first time in a long time the most popular midsize truck on the market is getting an entirely new look, with the 2024 Toyota Tacoma undergoing a revolutionary redesign.
While short of radical, the overhauled Tacoma represents the biggest styling departure we’ve seen in years for this truck that’s looked largely the same since the second generation debuted nearly 20 years ago. The decidedly Tundra-like styling suits the Tacoma’s midsize proportions well, while the much smaller grille is the one true ode to the truck that came before it.
A Turbocharged Tacoma
Otherwise, the 2024 Tacoma marks a major departure from its predecessor in almost every way, including what powers it. The V6 of old is set to go the way of the dodo, with a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines in its place. Well, it’s really the same engine two ways: a 2.4L with or without the addition of electrified power.
The standard version uses the turbocharger bolted to its side to spin up 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque – the latter being a significant increase compared to what the 3.5L in the current truck makes. That’s for Tacomas that relay output to all four wheels via a new eight-speed automatic transmission; ones equipped with the available six-speed manual make a little less of both counts, with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, range-topping trims like the TRD Pro and all-new Trailhunter come equipped with a hybrid system that uses a transmission-mounted electric motor along with a 1.87-kWh battery pack to generate a combined 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid powertrain will also be available optionally with the TRD Off-Road and Limited trims, according to Toyota Canada.
Beyond retaining its manual transmission – it’s worth noting that it’s new this time and features auto rev-matching, as well as an anti-stall system – the 2024 Tacoma adds a much-needed full-time four-wheel drive system, although it’s exclusive to the new Limited trim that Toyota is billing as the luxurious trim in the lineup. That means the rest of the pack will use the same two-speed transfer case as before with selectable high- and low-range gearing.
Other new mechanical goodies include four-corner coil springs compared to the rear leaf springs used before, as well as disc brakes front and back. (The outgoing truck has rear drum brakes.)
Crew Cab for Canada
Unsurprisingly, the redesigned Tacoma will arrive at Canadian dealers later this year in a crew cab configuration with the choice of five- or six-foot beds bolted to the back. (The cab-and-a-half version will live on in the United States.) It’s built on the same modular platform that underpins its bigger siblings, the Tundra and Sequoia, with all kinds of structural enhancements meant to increase rigidity.
Not only does it look and feel bigger inside compared to its predecessor, but the cabin is clean and modern like the Tundra’s. That’s particularly true of the Limited trim, which uses the same 14-inch touchscreen as that truck in addition to front seats that are both heated and ventilated. That luxurious trim also features adaptive dampers and power-deployable running boards, as well as a power tailgate.
Off-Road, or Off-Grid
While the legendary TRD Pro version carries on with improvements to both form and function, the all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter might well represent the pinnacle of the midsize adventure market. While most of its goodies carry over from the TRD Pro version – a disconnecting front sway bar for improved suspension articulation, a trio of skid plates underneath to protect vital components, an electronic locking rear differential, and chunky off-road tires, to name a few – it adds the kind of stuff that will come in handy on a solo expedition.
Beyond different shocks (Old Man Emu instead of the TRD Pro’s Fox units), the Tacoma Trailhunter has a built-in air compressor, a snorkel-style air intake, and rock sliders bolted right to the frame for maximum protection. It also features an integrated 2,400-watt inverter, just like the TRD Pro, plus a bank of auxiliary switches in the cabin to run accessories. There’s also a bunch of extra exterior lighting for spotting obstacles on the trail.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is scheduled to go on sale in Canada later this year, with hybrid-powered trucks arriving early next year.