It’s time for Toyota to update its midsize truck. The 2024 Toyota Tacoma ushers in a new generation and possibly new qualities.
For years, the Tacoma has been the best-selling truck in its class. This midsize pickup can be had in more than 30 different configurations, making it an excellent choice for those looking for something to meet their needs. The Tacoma stands above the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado in terms of sales, but the Chevy entered a new generation for 2023, and the Ford is doing the same for 2024. Will the Tacoma continue to be a dominant force in its class?
The new Tacoma needs a new powertrain
In 2023, its hard to pick the Tacoma. Most midsize pickup trucks offer more power and better performance, which makes it difficult to swallow what Toyota is feeding us. Thankfully, the next generation already shows some signs of promise. This popular pickup should receive a new hybrid powertrain and drop the V6 engine altogether. This allows for a more powerful engine from a smaller unit that’s also lighter.
We expect to see a new base powertrain that is the same one offered in the Highlander. This new engine will make its way under the hood of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. This powertrain provides a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 265 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque for the Highlander. If tuned like the Lexus NX, this system could put out 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque.
A new hybrid system could also be offered and called the Hybrid Max, which is currently found in the new Toyota Crown. This system uses the same 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine but adds a hybrid electric motor to the mix. For the Crown, this powertrain delivers 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This would be enough power to make the Tacoma competitive with the new GM midsize trucks, which could put the Taco truck back on top.
Could Toyota deliver more hardcore off-road equipment
The Tacoma TRD Pro is often considered one of the most incredible off-road midsize trucks in the market, but there isn’t a specialized variant of this truck. GM recently gave us the new 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 model, and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 is likely to receive another Bison treatment. Even the Ford Ranger is getting into the mix with the new Raptor version. What is Toyota doing to keep up with these specialized off-road trims?
Rumors of a new trim above the TRD Pro have surfaced. This new 2024 Toyota Tacoma could be called the Trailhunter, which is fitting if it’s going after the Raptor and Bison models. It should slot above the TRD Pro and offer a strong focus on camping and rock crawling to give wilderness adventurers something to admire and enjoy. The new Trailhunter Concept of the Tundra was shown at SEMA in January. This new model could easily make its way down the market to give us something new in the Tacoma.
Which platform will underpin the new Tacoma?
The same TNGA-F platform used for some of the larger Toyota vehicles will also be used in the new Tacoma. This platform is currently found under the new J300 Land Cruiser, Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia, and Lexus LX 600. Both the 4Runner and Tacoma are expected to receive smaller versions of this platform to fit the midsize part of the market. This is important since one of the most positive selling points of the Tacoma is the fact that it’s already as big as it will get.
The new Tacoma should offer better handling and ride quality
It might sound a bit strange, but most automakers are looking for ways to make trucks feel less like trucks while offering the capability desired by truck owners. The latest version of the Tundra uses a coil-spring rear suspension instead of a leaf spring setup. This allows for improved ride and handling. The new Tacoma has been seen with a camouflaged rear end that hints at the potential of some serious changes when we see the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma hit the road.
Should we expect an electric Tacoma?
Upon release of the new generation of this midsize Toyota truck, we won’t see an EV model. Plans are in place to create an electrified version of this truck, but those plans won’t come to fruition with the onset of the new generation. Instead, the earliest we should expect a new electric Tacoma is in the third quarter of 2024 as a 2025 model-year pickup. Of course, this new EV pickup could be delayed, depending on the development of the Toyota EV platform and its application to trucks.
Bad news for some Tacoma owners
For those looking to trade their current trucks in for a new generation 2024 Toyota Tacoma might find something has been lost in this new model. Similar to the rest of the midsize truck lineup (except for the Jeep Gladiator), the new Tacoma won’t have a manual transmission. Deleting this feature saves costs in building this truck, but it certainly will be missed by those that enjoy shifting gears and the classic driving manners of a truck that offers a stick shift. Of course, as the Tacoma transitions to electric and hybrid powertrains, it’s easy to see why this truck won’t have a manual transmission.
What does Toyota need to do to ensure the new Tacoma’s success?
In addition to new powertrains, an upmarket hardcore off-roader, and a new rear suspension, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma needs to find a way to take back its reliability crown. The current generation of this truck isn’t considered one of the most reliable in the market. In addition to earning this reputation, the cabin area of the Tacoma needs to be upgraded. Considering the improvements made to the GM models, the Tacoma needs to bring something special in the cabin if its to be at the top of the list once again.
Will the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma continue to be one of the best midsize trucks in the market? We’ll see once it arrives later in the fall to take on the new models from GM and Ford.
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