2024 Toyota Tacoma First Look: A Redesigned Taco For Everyone

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma has finally been redesigned with a modern look, familiar features–Hello Tundra!–and unique details that will make Taco fans happy.

Me With The 2024 Toyota Tacoma
Me with the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

Bigger, smarter and now, more off-road-y.

It’s been a while… and Tacoma fans have been waiting for this moment: The redesign of the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck.

We love its rugged good looks and how capable yet easy to drive this pickup truck is. But it needed an update to its interiors, technology and engine. That day is finally here.

We got to crawl through the 2024 Toyota Tacoma— but not drive it— and see what Toyota has planned when this truck starts to hit dealers at the end of this year and early next.

Related: 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Pickup Truck: What The Fuss Is All About

The New Front Face Of The 2024 Toyota Tacoma

The new front face of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Whole New Look … That Looks Familiar

If you followed the introduction of the redesigned Toyota Tundra in 2022, the Tacoma will look familiar. That’s because Toyota uses the design elements from the Tundra in the Tacoma: the wider front grille, the heritage TOYOTA badge, the Tacoma name stamped into the rear lift gate, the tail lights. Like the Tundra, the Tacoma has the same lift gate function: Push a button embedded in either of the tail lights under the lift gate handle to open or close the gate, which is electronic. And the bumper has a textured rubberized cover to give you traction for climbing up into the bed.

Inside, the familiar feeling is even stronger: the chunky look and feel of the dash components, a similar gear selector, wireless phone chargers, textured metal dials and switches, the leather wrapped steering wheel with squarish center pad flanked by control panels, the 14” touch screen. It all works well and looks good, so why reinvent it?

But Tacoma also has its own distinct look and feel. It’s still a lot smaller than the Tundra inside and out. It has a smaller less encompassing front grille, its own distinct headlights, and details like fender flares and two-tone color options. 

Related: The Redesigned 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Midsize Pickup Truck: What You Need, Not What You Don’t 

The Front Seat In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Limited

The front seat in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Limited. The purse hook is tucked just under the center console grab bar. Photo: Scotty Reiss

There’s a Purse Hook!

The guys will no doubt think this small hook tucked just under the passenger side grab bar next to the center console is the perfect place to hang a trash bag, a fanny pack or backpack. But I promise you: It’s for a handbag. Or a tote bag, or a diaper bag or a purse. And it’s just lovely.

There are other storage improvements, too: there is more under-seat storage in the rear, there’s a cubby on the passenger’s side dash, and for things you need a pickup truck for, there’s more space: 7% more bed space.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra is the Pickup Truck Everyone is Talking About

Rear Seat Space Is Good But Not Overly Large In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma

Rear seat space is good but not overly large in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Roomier, But Will the Kids’ Car Seats Fit?

Overall, the cabin feels airy, if cozy. The front seat is comfortably sized for an average-sized driver and passenger, and the rear seat is roomy enough for small or average height passengers. I’m 5’8″ and found it fine behind the driver’s seat set for my driving position. It feels about the same as the outgoing model; Toyota has not yet shared measurements, but the cabin does feel a bit larger.

Parents with kids in car seats will find an installation puzzle in the Tacoma’s rear seat. While there are two full LATCH sets, installing them may be tight. Kids booster seats or forward facing car seats should fit fine, but rear facing car seats will likely only fit in the center or behind the passenger’s seat, and in that position the seat will need to be moved forward quite a bit. And while you can probably get three car seats across the rear bench, it would be very tight for both installation and installing the kids in their seats, too, though models equipped with a running board will help this process.

My Whirlwind Romance With the 2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

The Front Of The Trailhunter Edition

The front of the Trailhunter edition. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Big News: Not One, but Two Off-Road Editions

The size and shape of the Toyota Tacoma is perfect for off-roading and for towing sports equipment. In fact, the brand’s TRD line has proven so popular in recent years that the company has rolled it out to many of its other models, from RAV4 to 4Runner, Sequoia and even the Camry sedan have TRD options. So, to offer even more off-road options, Toyota added a second off-road model called Trailhunter. Shop For A Toyota Tacoma

This is the top of the line with all the luxurious and off-road features, from an enhanced bed with MOLLE panels — an acronym for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment— tubular rock rails (that double as running boards) and a roof rack. There are steel skid plates, a snorkel style air intake and an enhanced 2400 W electric outlet for powering large equipment. 

The Trailhunter has two more inches of ground clearance —11.5” vs. the 9.5” of other Tacoma models, larger all-terrain wheels and a distinct rugged look inside and out. 

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trd Pro Is Sharp In Black And White

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro iForce Max is sharp in black and white. Photo: Scotty Reiss

New Engines To Power the Adventure 

For 2024, Toyota added two new engines: the upgraded gas engine is a 4 cylinder turbo model that generates 278 HP and 317 torque (the SR entry level generates 228 HP). And there is a hybrid iForce Max engine that delivers even more power: 326 HP and 465 torque. Toyota hasn’t released fuel economy numbers yet, but the anticipation is that, as with the Tundra, that MPG will be slightly better but performance will be a lot better—faster, stronger and more powerful. They did share that the Tacoma will be able to tow up to 6,500 lbs. which is similar to the current model’s 3,500 to 6,800 lbs. tow capacity.

2024 Tacoma gas models will go on sale in late 2023 and the iForce Max hybrid models will be available in early 2024.

The Trd Sport Model Has A Manual Transmission Option!

The TRD Sport model has a manual transmission option! I didn’t get to drive it, but I found the shifter in a comfortable place for shifting. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Toyota — Saving the Manuals!

This is one of the most delightful details: There’s a manual transmission option! The TRD Sport, which is a 4-door model, offers a stick shift option and it’s ideal for drivers who like a manual. It’s also really great for new manual drivers: There are two functions that will prevent you from stalling out and rolling backwards when learning to drive this manual: 

  • Auto Hold: At a traffic light or when stopped, tap the auto hold button, put the shifter in neutral and the truck’s brakes will hold until you put it in gear and press the accelerator;
  • Clutch start cancel: With the truck off and in first gear, tap this button before pressing the starter and then press the accelerator. This allows you to start in gear without first pressing the clutch so you avoid rollback as you shift your right foot from the brake to the accelerator. 

Clutch start cancel is not a new feature, but it’s popular among off-roaders and new drivers, so Toyota kept it.

The Interior Of The Trd Pro Has A Lot Of Similarities To The Tundra'S Interior

The interior of the TRD Pro has a lot of similarities to the Tundra’s interior. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Pick Your Trim

There are a lot to pick from: The entry level SR, SR5, TRD Prerunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, TRD Pro and Trailhunter. All come with the new 14” multimedia system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless phone charge pad and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver assist and safety features. Then, each has its own uniquely tuned suspension — more for off-roading or for on-pavement comfort— and details, such as leather or leatherette seats, distinct badging, metal interior trim and more. Limited probably has the most creature comforts, TRD Pro has the sportiest look and Trailhunter has a customized look. So, as they say, there’s a Taco for everyone.

The Rear Of The 2024 Toyota Tacoma

The rear of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Scotty Reiss

How Much is the 2024 Toyota Tacoma?

Well… we’ll have to wait to find out. The 2023 models are priced from $28,000 for the SR to just under $50,000 for the TRD Pro. Expectations are that the Trailhunter edition will take the Tacoma past the $50K mark, but traditionally, Toyota likes to keep price increases small year to year, at the same time offering more features and advantages. 

The Large, Clear Rear Camera View In The 2024 Toyota Tacoma

The large, clear rear camera view in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Disclosure: I was a guest of Toyota for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss