Toyota Pulls Out the Stops With Tacoma Redesign

Toyota looks to maintain its leadership in the midsize pickup category with a redesign of the Tacoma.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

May 18, 2023

6 Min Read
2024_Toyota_Tacoma_Limited_001 (1)
All-new ’24 Tacoma built on same platform as Tundra pickup, Sequoia SUV.

A new battle within the midsize pickup category is underway with new, redesigned entries, and category leader Toyota revealing an all-new Tacoma with designs on retaining its lead.

The ‘24 Tacoma, all-new from the ground up, is built on the versatile TNGA-F global truck platform shared with the Tundra fullsize pickup and Sequoia SUV, though the Tacoma has been designed specifically for the U.S. market to maintain its sales edge over Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon. Ford has also just unveiled an all-new ‘24 Ranger.

“With even more off-road capability and the quality, durability and reliability that our customers expect along with a host of options for every owner, we’re confident that Tacoma will remain the top choice for midsize pickup buyers when it arrives later this year,” says Toyota group vice president and general manager Dave Christ.

Toyota is the global leader in hybrid powertrains, so it is no surprise that the Tacoma comes with an option of an i-FORCE MAX turbocharged 2.4L 4-cyl. hybrid powertrain producing 326 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. (630 Nm) of torque.

The Tacoma will go on sale later this year with i-FORCE MAX models arriving in early 2024. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale dates.

The midsize pickup category has developed into one for two fairly distinct customers: the small-job tradesperson and weekend DIYer who doesn’t necessarily need a more expensive fullsize truck, and the weekend adventurer who uses the truck to carry or tow bikes, dirtbikes, kayaks and the like and who also demands all-wheel drive.

The weekend sports-minded customer is a growing market and one that Toyota developed during Detroit automakers’ absence from the category. “Our primary design goal for the all-new Tacoma was to be authentic to the way our customers use their trucks for rugged outdoor fun,” says Kevin Hunter, President, CALTY Design Research.

“We looked at our truck DNA and the Toyota Baja race trucks for inspiration to capture the extreme spirit of offroad adventure. High lift, big tires, slim body and a powerful athletic stance define the iconic Tacoma look, referred to as ‘Tacoma-ness’.”

Tacoma’s off-road capability has been enhanced for severe rock crawling, high-speed desert racing and more. As a result, Tacomas will perform in widely varied environments, on-road and off. This includes everything from a luxurious night out in the Limited grade or traversing Colorado’s Black Bear Pass in the Tacoma TRD Off-Road that is more capable than ever.

Tacoma has been the category leader for two decades, and ascended when Ford, General Motors and Dodge discontinued their midsize trucks in the U.S. at a time when overproduction of fullsize trucks led to such heavy discounting that the pricing of midsized pickups made little sense to buyers and sales tanked. After the economic meltdown of 2009-2011 forced automakers to rationalize production, demand for midsize trucks reignited, driving Ford and GM to re-enter the market. Stellantis’s Ram brand plans to follow suit later this year.

’24 Tacoma Treats

  • Tacoma has a newly available multi-link rear suspension. This system replaces the previous model’s leaf springs in favor of a set of coils. However, leaf springs remain standard on SR, SR5 XtraCab and TRD PreRunner grades.

  • Four-wheel disc brakes for increased braking performance compared to the previous model, while TRD models and above are equipped with a larger front-brake package. TRD models and above equipped with i-FORCE MAX add a larger rear-brake package.

  • Tacoma now features suspensions tuned specifically to each grade. For instance, TRD Sport has red TRD sport-tuned shocks for a more responsive feel. The TRD Off-Road grade is equipped with monotube Bilstein remote reservoir shocks for extended wheel travel and greater heat dissipation.

  • Maximum towing capacity is rated at 6,500 lbs. (2,950 kg) on SR5 i-FORCE and TRD PreRunner XtraCab grades, and maximum payload increases to 1,709 lbs. (775 kg). To help make towing a breeze, Tacoma is available with supporting features including a trailer brake controller, trailer backup guide and digital display mirror. Trailer Back Up Guidance aids in overall maneuvering, while the available Straight Path Assist feature is designed to help truck and trailer back up in a straight line.

  • Tacoma will offer two powertrains using a 2.4L turbocharged 4-cyl. For entry-level SR grades, this engine produces 228 hp and 243 lb.-ft. (329 Nm) of torque. For all other grades, output increases to 278 hp and 317 lb.-ft. (430 Nm) when paired with the new 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Enthusiasts rejoice: a 6-speed intelligent manual transmission with automatic rev matching and anti-stall technology is available. Manual transmission models produce 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. (420 Nm) of torque.

  • Available on TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and standard on the TRD Pro and Trailhunter halo models, i-FORCE MAX pairs the 2.4L engine with a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the 8-speed transmission feeding off a 1.87-kWh NiMH battery pack that creates a total system output of 326 hp and a whopping 465 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly doubling the torque output of the current-gen truck with the V-6 engine.

  • Tacomas with rear-wheel drive feature an automatic limited-slip differential and 4-wheel-drive models have an electronically controlled 2-speed transfer case with high/low range along with active traction control and an automatic limited-slip differential. An electronic locking rear differential is standard on TRD PreRunner, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro and Trailhunter grades.

  • The new and luxurious Limited grade now features a full-time 4-wheel-drive system with a center locking differential on i-FORCE MAX models.

  • Multi-Terrain Select, which is now functional in both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low, offers adjustable settings to help control wheel spin on a variety of terrain such as mud, dirt and sand. Tacoma also adopts the new, significantly quieter CRAWL Control function that acts as a low-speed, off-road cruise control that allows the driver to focus on steering while the system maintains one of five selectable speeds.

Interior Goodies



  • New 8-in. (20-cm) or available 14-in. (36-cm) multimedia touchscreen displays.

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and available Qi wireless charging pad with enhanced power output.

  • A 12.3-in. (31-cm) digital gauge cluster with four different styles is standard on higher grades while a 7-in. (18-cm) gauge cluster is standard on lower grades.

  • Remote Connect trial or subscription, an available Digital Key connects with compatible smartphones to allow vehicle entry, tailgate access and vehicle starting (4G network dependent). The Digital Key can be remotely shared with others to give more control over vehicle access rather than giving someone the physical key.

  • A premium 10-speaker JBL audio upgrade, including a new externally coupled subwoofer for improved output and a JBL Flex portable speaker. When docked on the dash, the JBL Flex charges and operates as the center channel speaker. When undocked, the JBL FLEX portable Bluetooth speaker can run for up to six hours, pair with other Toyota JBL FLEX Portable Speakers, and can be submerged in up to three feet of water.

  • All models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, Toyota’s suite of active safety and convenience systems: pre-collision system with pedestrian detection; lane departure alert with steering assist; full-range radar cruise control; lane-tracing assist and more.

Two cab styles are available with either a 5- or 6-foot bed: a four-door Double Cab and a new two-door XtraCab.

The new Tacoma offers an almost dizzying array of features and enhancements compared with the current model. The company seems intent on maintaining its leadership in the midsize truck category.

‘24 Toyota Tacoma


About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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