The 2024 Toyota Tacoma has been revealed, and it will start arriving at dealers this year to take on the also-new Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon and Ford Ranger, among other established midsize pickup trucks. And to stand out, Toyota has brought lots of fascinating features, many of which are exclusive to the Tacoma. You can get an overview on the truck here, but we’ve also listed some of the features we’re most excited about below.
A hybrid engine
The Tacoma is the first and only truck in the segment (at least for now) to offer a hybrid powertrain. It combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a 48-horsepower electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. In total it makes 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the top-end engine option for the Tacoma range, but it also gives it the most torque of any engine in the segment, even topping the new Ford Ranger Raptor’s 430 pound-feet of twist.
Toyota hasn’t given fuel economy estimates for the hybrid engine yet. We’re expecting it to perform better than many comparable engines in the class, though don’t expect Prius levels of efficiency. And while we’re talking about it, another bonus of the Tacoma’s hybrid engine is having 2.4-kW of onboard power for tools, entertainment or other devices.
A manual transmission
While it won’t be the only one (the Gladiator still has it), the new Tacoma will be one of just two trucks still letting you shift on your own. The non-hybrid 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can be had with a six-speed manual transmission. It’s not as potent as the hybrid, but it still puts up decent numbers at 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Toyota will even let you have the manual with either two- or four-wheel drive and in multiple cab configurations.
Multiple cabs and beds
That brings us neatly to our next favorite feature, and that’s more choice in Tacoma shape and size. The Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon and Ford Ranger have all reduced their cab and bed options to single offerings with four doors and a single bed length. Toyota will still offer either an extended cab with two full doors or a quad cab with four full doors. The extended cab only gets the longer 6-foot bed, but it and a shorter 5-foot bed are available for the quad cab.
There are a couple of unique features available inside the new Tacoma. On each truck, there is a hidden QR code on the driver side. Scan it, and you’ll be taken to a site with plans for all kinds of 3D-printable accessories such as a toolkit or a lantern.
On models with the upgraded JBL Audio sound system, there’s a center speaker in the dashboard. It normally works as part of the sound system, but it can also be removed and used as a portable Bluetooth speaker either on its own or paired with other speakers.
On the high-performance off-road trim, the TRD Pro, the Tacoma gets something called IsoDynamic seats. These are front bucket seats with shock absorbers for vertical and lateral movement. The idea is that this helps keep the driver and passenger more steady and level and isolated from harsh bumps while driving quickly off-road. This should help improve visibility and reduce fatigue. The shocks also don’t eliminate any comfort or convenience features except power recline.
Not one but two off-road trims
Toyota has two top-level off-road trims for this generation. We’ve already touched on the TRD Pro with it’s trick seats, but there’s also the new Trailhunter. The TRD Pro aims more at people looking to do fast off-roading, like out in the desert, whereas the Trailhunter is meant for slower-speed trails and more laid-back overlanding. They both get upgraded off-road bumpers with an ARB steel unit at the back. They also have big fender flares, skid plates, 33-inch off-road tires and 2-inch front and 1.5-inch rear suspension lifts.
The TRD Pro specifically gets manually adjustable Fox Racing shocks and lightweight front upper control arms, a high-flow intake and cat-back exhaust, as well as those cool seats. The Trailhunter gets an intake snorkel, utility rack and an air compressor in the bed.
Push-button power tailgate
There’s a button hidden right there in the taillight. Push it, and voila!, the tailgate lowers itself. Start to life the tailgate, and it takes over the job and closes itself. This is a feature you see on some full-size trucks, but it’s unique to the midsize segment.