2024 Toyota Tacoma First Drive: All the Choices Are the Luxury

We love this rugged mid-size pickup, and even more now that the Toyota Tacoma has been redesigned for 2024. It features a luxurious array of trim choices, new tech and of course, more power.

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Photo Connie Peters
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Photo Connie PetersCredit: Connie Peters

The Only Real Problem: Which One Do I Choose?

From the base trim all the way up to the extremely capable luxe-filled top of the line Limited trim, the redesign (finally!) of the Toyota Tacoma makes this super popular mid-size pickup truck better in every way. For now, buyers can opt for the now more efficient iForce 6-cylinder gas-powered models, but a hybrid model is one the way soon and it promises top-drawer features and power (and we’re more than just a little excited for that).

“There really is a Taco for everyone,” as Scotty Reiss (our Editor-in-Chief) put it in her first look at the Tacoma: six trims ranging from a base manual SR model starting at $31,500 that seats two, to the new top Limited trim, priced from $52,100. It shouts capable luxury from every angle of its new interior and exterior.

Well, getting behind the wheel, it’s even more impressive. I got a taste-test of the various options and grades, and the TRD Off-Road trim was my favorite. It comes in a manual version (starting price, $41,800), though I drove the automatic version (starting price, $52,900). I spent a day the day climbing the hilly trails of Malibu, California and it easily handled the extreme off-road course, allowing me to enjoy all aspects of the trail behind the wheel and then take in the surrounding beauty while I rode along as a passenger.

Related: Toyota Tundra Limited TRD Off-Road: Work All Day, Tailgate All Night

There Is Substantial Towing Capacity In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

There is good towing capacity in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

It’s Your Ultimate Adventure Machine

With up to 326 HP and up to 465 torque, Toyota made the ever-popular Tacoma mid-size pickup truck better in every way for 2024, both inside out. And it’s engineered to drive better, too. All six trims have an individually tuned suspension, new disc brakes and electric power steering.

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 lbs with the SR5 i-FORCE, TRD PreRunner, and XtraCab trims. Also available is a 360-degree view backup camera and a wireless trailer camera which helps you see behind your trailer on the digital rearview mirror.

New safety tech includes standard Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 across the lineup (detailed below), new screens and new interiors that create a better experience for drivers and passengers.

Related: 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: A Big, Bold Trail and Traffic Boss

Side View Of The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

Side view of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

Back to the TRD Off-Road (My Tacoma!)

Off-roading trail in Malibu, California, is more beautiful than you can imagine, and we drove and one of the most challenging trails I have driven. But the Tacoma did it with ease. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road’s  articulation, acceleration, rock-climbing, and hill descent were all done with ease.

Using the front camera on the giant new 14” screen, I could see the rock pile directly in front of me that the Tacoma was about to drive over BY ITSELF. Without me touching the gas pedal using Crawl Control. This system acts like cruise control for off-roading, keeping your speed slow and steady for maximum traction; you still have to steer, though, but on some trails, that’s more than enough to pay attention to.

 

Crawl Control literally drives the course for you so you can focus on the trail. If you need to, you can adjust the system’s speed or turn it off if you no longer need it. It’s a good companion to have.

The Multimedia Screen In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

Look: There is no pavement, or even an obvious trail ahead, and yet we drove on. Photo: Connie Peters

Interior Technology is Majorly Improved

The Tacoma, poor girl, needed a makeover. And the new one is a good one. It starts with a new 8” touchscreen that is standard, but buyers have the option of upgrading to the 14” touchscreen seen in other Toyotas including the Tundra and the Grand Highlander. Also standard are wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and two front seat USB-C ports. A wireless charging pad and rear USB-C charging ports can be optioned.

The driver display is also updated with a standard 7” digital display on the lower trims and a 12.3” display on the upper trims.

New, and standard, is a smart key with push-button start. Phone-as-key, or digital key, is available with an active Remote Connect trial or subscription. You can even get a card-as-key for the Tacoma if you really just can’t carry a key fob.

And then, there’s a new optional 10-speaker JBL sound system. Sound is really important to me; when you’re off the trail and on the highway (or, uh, in traffic) you can enjoy a full, robust sound system. There’s even a portable JBL speaker that docks on the dash and can pump music to your campsite or the river; it’s  waterproof in up to three feet of water.

Related: 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition: 80’s Nostalgia, Modern Convenience

The Front End Of The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

The front end of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Connie Peters

More Power is a Must, and the New Tacoma Delivers

Tacoma’s I-Force Max Hybrid will make its way to dealers in April 2024, and when it does it’ll be the most powerful Tacoma ever. The hybrid will be offered on TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited model and will be standard on Trailhunter and TRD models. Again, we can’t wait to drive this one, but we’re fans of Toyota’s hybrid engines for the power and efficiency so we anticipate this will be a good combination of the two.

All Tacoma gas models are now equipped with a 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder; some with 278 horsepower and some (manual transmission) with 228 horsepower.

There Are Great Driver'S Assistance And Safety Features In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Connie Peters

There are great driver’s assistance and safety features in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Connie Peters

New Safety Systems Do More of the Driving For You 

To make on-road driving easier, especially with more power and more towing capacity, Toyota added a key new system to the TSS Safety suite: Proactive Driving Assist. This uses the vehicle’s camera and radar to provide gentle braking around curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help support distance control between you and the car ahead, as well as pedestrians or bicyclists. This works in addition to the pre-collision system and both depend on the circumstances on the road, including traffic, terrain and weather.

Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard on all trims of the new Tacoma and includes:

  • Pre-collision system
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane trace assist
  • Road sign reader
  • Automatic high beam headlights
  • Proactive driving assist
I Love The Solar Octane Orange Paint On The 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo Connie Peters

I love the Solar Octane Orange paint on the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Connie Peters

Which One Will You Choose?

With 6 trims, all unique and full of their own ‘Tacoma-ness,’ there really is a Taco for everyone. All have been improved and uniquely specified inside and out to suit the right person. From two seats to five, from a rugged manual transmission yet capable base model to the luxe-filled Limited, and of course, superior off-road capability in the TRD, there’s a plethora of choices for everyone who wants to live the Taco life.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Toyota for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided, but all opinions are my own. Additionally, A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from affiliate links in this story.

Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters

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