The new fourth-generation Toyota Tacoma may be the most eagerly anticipated new truck arriving in the next few years. A lot of people love the Tacoma — sales have always been strong, and the midsize truck is more popular now than ever. Tacoma build quality is formidable, and resale values have remained absurd.
But nearly everyone who loves the Tacoma wants something more from it, whether that's better performance to challenge rivals like the Colorado ZR2 and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, a more spacious and family-friendly cabin or better fuel economy with a hybrid or even electric powertrain. Toyota, then, is under an awful lot of pressure to make sure the next-gen Tacoma has more of what buyers want — without compromising on the things that made the Taco so great today.
Here's what we know right now about what the fourth-generation Tacoma will look like.
The photos look like what we expected the Tacoma to look like: a smaller version of the new Tundra. They also resemble the Pickup EV concept, which may have previewed the 2024 Tacoma's design.
GM Authority and several other automotive outlets received what appear to be spy shots of the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma interior. It's under a lot of camouflage. But it looks like what we anticipated with modernization and substantial influences from the new Tundra.
The screen is running Toyota's new infotainment system but is smaller than the massive 14-inch screen available on the Tundra.
Toyota has said it wants every model to have at least a hybrid option by 2025. And according to a report from The Fast Lane Truck citing an "insider source," the Tacoma will offer a hybrid as one of two engine options and abandon the 3.5-liter V6 powertrain.
The report says the base engine will be Toyota's new turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four used in the Highlander. It puts out 265 hp and 309 lb-ft in the Highlander. The Tacoma should get more horsepower and torque than that. The eventual tuning may be closer to the Lexus NX, where that engine puts out 275 hp and 317 lb-ft.
TFL says the upgrade engine will be the Hybrid Max engine used in the new Toyota Crown. It's a hybrid version of the turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four that, in Crown spec, puts out 340 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That engine would be competitive with the 2.7-liter inline-four GM is putting in the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
TFL's source also says that the Tacoma will get a new Trailhunter off-road trim that will probably slot above the TRD Pro on price and focus more on camping and rock crawling. Toyota unveiled the Trailhunter Concept version of the Tundra at SEMA and noted multiple vehicles would get the treatment. More details are expected about the production version next year.
Toyota has not confirmed anything yet. The best bet right now is a reveal sometime in 2023 for the 2024 model year. Most reporting has the Tacoma arriving after the new 4Runner, which has not been unveiled yet. And Toyota already announced updates to the current-gen Tacoma for the 2023 model year.
The folks at TFL caught what appears to be the next-generation Tacoma testing in Colorado. The Texas plate — where Toyota is headquartered — and the heavy camouflage support that presumption.
Toyota seems particularly concerned with masking the rear of the truck, which suggests that the Tacoma will follow the Tundra's lead with a coil-sprung rear suspension — dramatically improving handling and ride quality.
Toyota announced some ambitious EV plans in December. Those plans included an electric pickup concept, which should be hitting the road in the next few years. Toyota hasn't confirmed that this concept is an electric Tacoma. But it looks a lot like an electric Tacoma. Motortrend expects the electric Tacoma to arrive in Q3 2024.
Unclear...but we suspect the next Tacoma will lose the manual. Toyota has been phasing out manual transmissions from its product lineup, and the Tacoma is one of only two pickup trucks (along with the Jeep Gladiator) that still offers a stick shift on the TRD trims and the take rate for it is low. Getting rid of the manual to save costs would be tempting, especially if the Tacoma adds an electric or hybrid option.
Yes. A major criticism of the current model is its dated six-speed automatic. Tacoma competitors all feature eight-, nine-, or 10-speed units. The transmission will receive an upgrade along with the engines.
Toyota pairs an eight-speed transmission with the turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four, which should be a good bet for the base model. Toyota uses a six-speed for the Hybrid Max in both the Crown and the new Lexus RX, which may make it to the Tacoma in that engine.
Fancy new electric cars? Naturally-aspirated sports cars? We're here (and excited) to judge.