The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is a large deal. It is the primary fully new Tacoma in additional than a decade and a half (the 2016 redesign was actually only a heavy refresh). It’s additionally the best-selling mannequin within the section by an enormous margin, however that section is extra aggressive than ever, with new, refreshed and soon-to-be-new fashions from each truck maker in America. And we rank all of them larger than the present Tacoma. Fortuitously for Toyota and for its clients, the brand new Tacoma is again within the sport, possibly even a section chief.
We are saying possibly as a result of we have solely been capable of check out Tacomas with the brand new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. These would be the first to hit sellers, someday earlier than the tip of the yr. The also-new, higher-performance hybrids gained’t arrive till early subsequent yr, so we can’t have an opportunity to strive them out till then (that sadly consists of the hybrid-only TRD Professional and Trailhunter). The hybrid may very nicely be the powertrain that makes the Tacoma the clear choose on your each midsize truck want, however we don’t know but.
With that out of the way in which, let’s dig into what makes the Tacoma new, past simply saying “every thing.” It begins with the underpinnings. The truck is constructed on a model of the TNGA-F platform shared with the Tundra, Sequoia and Land Cruiser. And moreover merely being new, this platform brings upgrades resembling a totally boxed body from stem to stern – the outgoing one was solely boxed from across the A-pillars ahead. Plus, there are useful high-lift jack factors on the rear ends of the body and an array of reinforcement plates for added stiffness. Toyota additionally considerably modernized the suspension for choose variations of the Tacoma, going to coil springs on crew cab fashions. The prolonged cab variations retain leaf springs. The brakes get love, too, going to discs throughout on all trim ranges.
Then there are the powertrains. Initially, there are two variations of primarily the identical 2.4-liter turbo-four. It is derived from the identical engine used elsewhere within the Toyota empire, notably Lexus, however with some upgrades for truck use such because the oil pan and cooling system. It’s additionally been re-tuned to run on 87-octane versus the premium-drinking Lexus variations.
The bottom 2.4-liter makes 228 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, whereas an upgraded oil cooler and revised engine tuning up the ante to both 270 hp and 310 lb-ft, or 278 hp and 317 lb-ft. The distinction there? Transmission. An eight-speed automated is tied with that larger output together with the bottom engine, whereas a six-speed handbook transmission will get the decrease, 270-hp model.
Naturally, gasoline economic system differs, too. The bottom engine with rear-wheel drive is essentially the most environment friendly, returning 21 mpg metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 23 mpg mixed. On the opposite finish of the spectrum is the handbook, four-wheel-drive, high-output combo at 18/23/20. This equates to roughly a 2-mpg enchancment in comparison with the much less highly effective four- and six-cylinder naturally aspirated engines they change. They’re additionally as environment friendly as the opposite four-cylinder midsize vans, or typically higher relying on trim.
These are the core mechanical enhancements of the Tacoma, and so they all translate to a much better Tacoma to drive in each manner. The elevated torque, accessible at low rpm, permits it to speed up a lot more durable and with a lot much less effort than any earlier Tacoma. Like many turbo engines, it loses somewhat grunt towards the highest finish, however at the very least there’s grunt, in contrast to earlier than. Surprisingly, the low-output engine would not really feel as down on energy because the numbers would recommend, seemingly as a result of robust torque. As such, its slower acceleration nonetheless feels adequate in most sorts of driving. The automated transmission contributes to this, too, because it’s one other big enchancment, shifting much more easily and promptly than earlier than, and is kind of near GM’s glorious unit. And with eight speeds somewhat than six, it is higher capable of maintain the truck within the meat of accessible torque with out revving like loopy.
Which is sweet, as a result of revving it like loopy reveals fairly a little bit of mechanical thrashing and gnashing from beneath the hood. And though the section’s different four-cylinders (Ford and GM) aren’t precisely V12s of their sonic presentation, they do handle the coarseness higher. This, regardless of the brand new Tacoma’s inclusion of lively noise canceling in addition to synthetic engine noise in some trim ranges, with essentially the most aggressive being within the Restricted. The added decrease frequencies assist considerably however can’t cover the general roughness. Guide Tacomas don’t get the unreal noise and sound the more severe in consequence.
With regards to the handbook, don’t get too excited. It pains me to say this, nevertheless it ought to be averted by all however the absolute, most diehard stick traditionalists. It has a ropey, balky shifter that’s worse than these of even some older vans (I am considering again to the ’94 T100 I owned for a yr). Worse is the mile-long clutch pedal journey and awkward engagement someplace midway in that journey. Coupled with dangerous rev grasp on shifts, it is onerous to be easy, and nothing in regards to the operation feels enjoyable. It does at the very least boast auto rev-matching that may be switched on or off, whereas boasting useful options like brake maintain and clutch begin cancel (for bump-starting on the path to keep away from rolling backward). Nonetheless, the automated is way extra nice and well-suited to the truck than the stick. This isn’t the way you #SavetheManuals.
One of the best a part of the 2025 Tacoma is the improved experience and dealing with. The chassis and physique really feel extraordinarily stiff, which interprets into a formidable lack of the wiggling and shuddering you typically discover in body-on-frame automobiles. The suspension can also be tuned on the comfortable facet, making it smoother than most others within the section over delicate bumps. It is essentially the most car-like experience you will discover on this measurement of truck, aside from the crossover Honda Ridgeline. Bigger bumps will kick a bit, however general, it is fairly refined. And for those who’re questioning in regards to the distinction between crew cab Tacomas with the brand new coil springs versus the prolonged cabs with leaf springs, there didn’t appear to be a lot of 1 throughout our drive regardless of the expectation and promise of improved experience and dealing with. What actually appeared to make a distinction in how the Tacoma drives is somewhat the assorted trims’ tuning and shock absorbers.
The TRD Sport and TRD Off-Highway, that are crew-cab-only and subsequently get the coil springs, have distinctive shocks. The Sport’s are sourced from the TRD elements bin, whereas the Off-Highway will get particular Bilsteins that add a second stage valve for additional damping resistance towards the tip of suspension journey. Each lead to a stiffer experience however a bit much less physique roll. Then there’s the Restricted, which has electronically adjustable shocks. Whereas the variations aren’t large between settings, it does supply the perfect stability of consolation and dealing with, primarily based in your preferences at any given second.
We additionally obtained to pattern the TRD Off-Highway trim on some tight grime trails with just a few articulation obstacles arrange. It was the one model we have been capable of strive off-road as a showcase of the options accessible. So we will’t examine it instantly with the opposite trims, nevertheless it supplied an excellent demonstration of a number of the enhancements and options added to the TRD Off-Highway. Most spectacular was the revised CRAWL Management off-road cruise management system that operates smoother and extra quietly than earlier than, primarily decreasing the terrible creaking and moaning from the brakes that earlier variations of the system have been recognized for. We have been additionally capable of check out the optionally available digital disconnecting entrance anti-roll bar, which improves articulation when disconnected. It was simple to activate with no noticeable hang-ups.
The Off-Highway comes with loads of different upgrades such because the aforementioned Bilstein shocks, 33-inch tires on 17-inch wheels, a number of terrain modes, skid plates, an digital locking rear differential and encompass view cameras. The latter of which is especially helpful climbing steep hills with the brand new Tacoma’s outstanding nostril. And in case your off-road wants are much less excessive and extra budget-oriented, the PreRunner stays because the rear-drive possibility, with a 1-inch suspension raise up entrance, the locking rear differential, 33-inch tires and skid plates.
If, then again, your off-road wants are extra excessive, a number of the elements featured on the much more off-road-ready TRD Professional and Trailhunter can be found as choices, together with ARB off-road bumpers, air compressors and tow hooks. Sure options such because the air-shock-equipped seats within the TRD Professional stay unique to these trims, although. And once more, we didn’t get to drive these since they’re hybrid-only.
Inside, the massive information is that the seating place is lastly snug. For twenty years, the Tacoma has had a weird, butt-on-the-floor seating place that was solely barely alleviated by power-adjustable seats. No extra. The brand new seating place is larger, extra truck-like and a lot better for it. Additionally, whereas the exterior dimensions have not modified by far more than an inch or two in any route, the cabin feels fairly giant, notably in shoulder and headroom. The excessive nostril and sprint contribute to the big feeling, too, making the Tacoma nearly really feel a measurement class bigger than it’s.
For all that’s new, the outdated inside’s chiseled and chunky design was clearly a kind of components that appealed to the Tacoma devoted, as designers selected to evolve the look somewhat than go for one thing radical. That stated, splashes of colours accessible on sure variations ought to be a welcome addition to a truck that always goes house painted vibrant colours, particularly the TRD Professional. The Restricted is clearly the best-equipped and most premium in look, however don’t anticipate GMC Canyon Denali ranges of luxurious.
Longevity has been one other Tacoma trademark, and the brand new inside’s plastics high quality and general match and end ought to maintain that popularity intact. The varied management knobs and buttons for the local weather, sound and drive mode options not solely exist (by no means a assure in 2023), however are giant and strong items acceptable for a truck. All Tacomas profit from the newest infotainment system that is vibrant and easy, no matter whether or not you get the bottom 8-inch display screen or 14-inch display screen improve on larger trims (each are pictured under). Each get wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however escaping from them again to the native Toyota menus stays a tap-tap-tapping supply of frustration.
Options are yet one more robust level for the Tacoma. All Tacomas get proximity entry and push-button begin, LED lighting and the Toyota Security Sense suite of driver help programs that features adaptive cruise management and Toyota’s new Proactive Drive Help, which may modify pace and steering barely to assist mechanically keep a secure distance from objects even when ACC isn’t activated. As for accessible options, the checklist is kind of in depth, however highlights embrace a JBL audio system with a detachable Bluetooth speaker, every kind of off-road armor, encompass lighting that may be added to the bedsides, a head-up show, a 400-watt energy outlet within the mattress, a bed-mounted air compressor, encompass view cameras, wi-fi charging, energy tailgate, and far, far more, all relying on trims and packages.
All these enhancements include the next value. The bottom value for the two-wheel-drive SR with the prolonged cab is $32,995 together with the $1,495 vacation spot cost. That is $2,900 greater than the present base SR. Including a crew cab provides $2,200, and four-wheel drive provides $3,200. It’s additionally price mentioning that the Tacoma remains to be a uncommon beast by permitting you to possibility the crew cab with the prolonged cab’s longer mattress. Base costs for the opposite trims are under. And whereas the pricing has elevated, it is round $2,000 greater than the most cost effective Chevy Colorado, $1,500 greater than a Nissan Frontier, and about $500 greater than a brand new Ford Ranger.
- SR (2WD): $32,995
- SR5 (2WD): $37,695
- TRD PreRunner (2WD): $39,595
- TRD Sport (2WD): $40,895
- TRD Off-Highway (4WD): $43,295
- Restricted (4WD): $53,595
So in case you have not figured it out, we’re fairly impressed with the Tacoma, even with out making an attempt out the flagship powertrain. It is a severe competitor within the section once more with robust efficiency and effectivity, refined experience high quality, and a formidable quantity of options and customizations. Issues simply obtained so much more durable on the competitors and Tacoma followers ought to rejoice that they lastly have a truck adequate to match their enthusiasm.