Toyota's new Tacoma truck gets hybrid tech and shock absorbers in the seats
Fourth gen popular pick-up is greener, cleaner and taking off-roading comfort to new levels
Toyota has revealed the latest iteration of its Tacoma, which has now joined the carmaking giant's ever growing electrified line-up. We're onto the fourth-generation of Toyota's best-selling mid-sized pick-up, but it's not available in Europe so if you came here for that news, look away now.
Still here? Here's what we know. The i-Force Max hybrid has a new smaller 2.4-litre four-pot turbo engine coupled with an eight-speed auto box. The 1.87kWh battery and electric motor bring all the benefits of a mild hybrid, including ramping that torque up to 465lb ft — almost double that of the current V6.
There's a non-hybrid version of the same engine, though there’s no change to the V6 which still kicks out 274bhp. More torque, mind - an increase from 265lb ft to 317lb ft. There’s a choice of an eight-speed automatic gearbox, or a six-speed manual, the latter dropping output to 266bhp and 310lb ft torque.
Toyota’s built the new Tacoma on the TNGA-F global truck platform – the same one used for the Tundra and Sequoia. There's a broad range of suspension options - a multi-link rear suspension setup replaces the third-gen’s leaf springs, at least in some of the grades, though springs remain as standard for the SR, SR5 Xtracab and TRD Prerunner.
The discs offer better performance over the previous generation Tacoma, apparently, while some trims - including the i-Force Max - get bigger brakes all round.
Finally catching up with the 21st century, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma now has electric power steering, a raft of towing management tech, including a top-down view for manoeuvering and a blind spot monitor. The key takeaway is Toyota has your back, claiming “for the sketchiest of situations, Tacoma offers standard front and optional rear recovery hooks and underbody protection". Good to know.
Designers reckon the Tacoma gets its ruggedness from the original Hilux. Beefy high-mount headlamps, side air intakes, a redesigned snouty grille and electric tailgate spoilers as well as a power tailgate make the thing look as off-roady and durable as a truck can look.
Toyota claims seven per cent more bed volume, which can be kitted out with all sorts. That appeals as much to campers – turn the pick-up bed into a paddling pool, anyone? – as it does to tradies needing to haul equipment about.
The brand’s introduced a new grade called Trailhunter – a purpose-built overlanding rig. It comes with a ‘heritage grille’ and all kinds of stay-alive-in-the-middle-of-nowhere clobber, like rooftop tents, camp showers and canopies.
There’s also some serious off-roading kit on the Trailhunter truck. In addition to fancy OME shocks which boost the Tacoma up a notch for higher clearance, there’s a steel rear bumper and rock rails.
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The i-Force Max hybrid variants come with a standard 2400W AC inverter, with 12V DC power available in the bed and the cabin (think: giant power bank). Trailhunter has an integrated high-output air compressor in the bed for re-inflating after ‘weeks on the trail’ – meet in the Mojave, yeah?
Toyota has also debuted its fully tuneable seats with their own shock absorbers on the TRD Pro edition of Tacoma. The ‘IsoDynamic Performance seat’ is an air-over-oil shock absorber system, designed to give the front passengers maximum comfort, maintain spine alignment and reduce fatigue.
Inside, there's also an 8-inch standard screen or optional 14-incher. The system supports wireless CarPlay and Auto, and there's also support for a digital key, provided, of course, there's 4G signal.
Toyota tells us fuel economy estimates for all powertrains will be announced closer to their on-sale dates, which will follow later in the year.