Hawaii was the setting for the first look at the newest generation of the Toyota Tacoma. Perhaps it was because Tacoma has been the best-selling truck in Hawaii forever!
Either way – they did not disappoint. It’s been eight years since we had a new Tacoma, and this time, there was a tremendous amount of speculation on what the engineering team would give us. We knew beforehand that this Tacoma would have an all-new frame, which opened the possibilities, such as fixing the driver’s seating position (spoiler – they did). Also, it was rumoured that the V6 engine would be discontinued (it is) and that the six-speed manual transmission option would also go away (it didn’t).
So, at first look, we did not get to drive; we got to crawl around the new truck.
Here are the highlights of what we saw.
- The new standard i-FORCE turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine produces up to 278 hp and 317 lb.-ft. Of torque.
- An Available i-FORCE MAX turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain produces 326 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. It is paired with a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the eight-speed transmission feeding off a 1.87-kWh NiMH battery pack.
- Still available – a six-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT2) with automatic rev-matching and anti-stall technology. Manual transmission models produce 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. Of torque.
- All-new Trailhunter is a factory-developed overlanding rig built from the ground up with the latest integrated off-road equipment from ARB, Old Man Emu, and RIGID.
- Baja-inspired TRD Pro debuts segment-first lsoDynamic Performance Seat for enhanced off-road driving control and comfort.
- Available 14-inch touchscreen displays the latest Toyota Audio Multimedia system.
- Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 standard on all models.
- They are designed, engineered, and assembled for North America.
For its fourth generation, Tacoma is built on a new TNGA-F global truck platform (it also underpins Tundra and Sequoia). This new Tacoma utilizes a new high-strength boxed, steel-ladder frame, adding numerous features like a fully redesigned multi-link coil rear suspension that improves ride and handling. However, leaf springs remain standard on SRS XtraCab grade.
A new front cross member was constructed for the steering gearbox, which adds rigidity while enhancing steering input.
A new high lift jack point has also been integrated into the rear frame end; this feature is on every version of Tacoma. The updated Tacoma also gets four-wheel disc brakes and electric power steering. The TRD Pro has FOX’s new OS3 three-way adjustable internal bypass shocks.
The look of the new truck takes its inspiration from a spirit of offroad adventure, says Toyota. It includes a high lift, big tires, a slim body, and a powerful athletic stance that define the iconic Tacoma look, referred to as ‘Tacoma-ness.’ Other signature design elements include:
- The high-mount headlamps.
- Side functional air intakes.
- Hexagonal grille motif.
- Integrated roof and tailgate spoilers.
For the towing crowd – like us – there is also good news. Here are the new numbers and features:
- The maximum towing capacity for Tacoma is rated at 6,500 lb.
- Maximum payload increases to 1,709 lb.
- Supporting features include a trailer brake controller, trailer backup guide, and digital display mirror.
- Trailer Back-Up Guidance aids in the overall maneuvering of trailers, while the available Straight Path Assist feature is designed to back up in a straight line.
- The available 360-degree cameras create a top-down view.
- Blind Spot Monitor is designed to recognize blind spots for the truck and certain trailers.
- The aluminum tailgate features an available power open and close function with jam protection, and a quick release and close button are integrated within either taillight.
- Gas grades will offer a 400W AC inverter outlet in the bed and on the rear of the center console.
- I-FORCE MAX grades come standard with a 2400W AC inverter. 12V DC power access is also available in the bed and cabin.
Also new – and exciting is a two-door Tacoma with a 6-foot bed.
The XtraCab is all about maximum utility and comes exclusively with seating for two, a functional rear cabin storage area, and a 6-foot bed. This configuration has no back doors or back seats but makes the most of its cabin with additional storage options. It is coming to Canada – late next year – after it launches in the States.
The last of the surprises in Hawaii was a new model called Trailhunter.
It’s an “overlanding” version of the TRD Pro. Very off-road capable but differently focused. For instance, Trailhunter drivers can view potential obstacles looming on the trail via the Multi Terrain Monitor that can be displayed on the available 14-inch touchscreen. Tacoma offers standard front and optional rear recovery hooks and underbody protection for the sketchiest situations.
- Toyota worked with renowned Australian-based ARB to co-develop Old Man Emu (OME) position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback style remote reservoirs, a steel rear bumper, robust rear recovery points, and a bed utility bar with removable MOLLE panels. ARB engineering even worked on-site at Toyota alongside the project development team to co-develop Trailhunter.
- With 6-foot bed Double Cab configurations available.
- The OME shocks and the 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires boost Trailhunter an additional two inches in the front and one and a half inches in the rear.
In Canada, Tacoma comes exclusively in four-wheel-drive models, which have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case with high/low range and Active Traction Control (A TRAC). An electronic locking rear differential is standard on TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades. The new and luxurious Limited Rise features a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a centre-locking differential on i-FORCE MAX models.
Tacoma will be offered in numerous grades and configurations for its new generation and two cab styles with a 5- or 6-foot bed: a four-door Double Cab and the new two-door XtraCab. The all-new 2024 Tacoma will go on sale later this year, with i-FORCE MAX models arriving in early 2024.