There’s a lot to love about the all-new Toyota Tacoma. Fully redesigned for the 2024 model year, Toyota has taken everything there is to love about this midsize pickup and kicked it up a notch. From a robust body-on-frame design to a fresh off-road trim, expanded powertrain offerings that include a new hybrid option, and a full complement of cutting-edge interior tech, Toyota has pulled out all the stops in modernizing the beloved ‘Taco.’
With a design inspired by Toyota’s Baja Desert trophy racing trucks, the Tacoma looks every bit the rugged off-roader, but how does it stack up from an equipment and performance perspective? Luxury features are another increasingly important factor in the pickup market, with more and more drivers gravitating towards models that pack the latest and greatest in comfort, entertainment, and convenience—and the newest Toyota Tacoma for sale is certainly no slouch in that department either.
Join us as we take a look under the hood—and inside the cabin—to learn more about the specialty parts and components that make the 2024 Toyota Tacoma one of the most intriguing midsize offerings to hit dealerships this year.
The TNGA-F Platform
The Tacoma‘s platform might not garner the same attention lavished on some of the pickup’s fancier components, but there’s no understating its importance. From moving and turning to stopping and steadiness, your frame can have more of an effect on your overall driving experience than any other component save the engine itself. The 2024 Tacoma marks the introduction of the Toyota New Global Architecture-F (TNGA-F) platform, which had previously been reserved for some of Toyota’s largest models like the Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Tundra.
So, what’s so special about the TNGA-F platform? Aside from costing 20% less to produce, this design allows for increased chassis stiffness while lowering the Tacoma’s center of gravity as a means of improving handling and efficiency. The TNGA-F platform is also designed with lower hood cowls, which go a long way in improving a driver’s visibility. “[It’s] the first platform developed for our trucks… and it’s going to offer dramatic improvements,” says Cooper Ericksen, group vice president of product planning and strategy for Toyota Motor North America. “TNGA is more than just the platform of the vehicle; it’s an engineering philosophy where you take the time to engineer certain components to be optimal and class-leading.”
The TNGA-F platform is part of Toyota’s effort to simplify the vehicle construction process, downsizing from over 100 unique platforms to five TNGA designs that now provide the building blocks for 80% of Toyota’s models. For those worried that the shared platforms will create a lineup of lookalike models, have no fear: Toyota says this standardization actually creates the opportunity for more unique interiors since key elements like the steering system, pedals, shifters, seat frames, and airbags will actually be less visible than they are in many non-TNGA vehicles.
The i-FORCE MAX Engine
With the 2024 Tacoma, Toyota is employing a one-size-fits-all engine approach that’s become increasingly popular in the industry as of late. This is made possible thanks to a new generation of ultra-efficient, turbocharged engines, which can squeeze ample power out of a relatively modest engine block while still delivering the same stellar performance drivers have come to expect from the Tacoma.
That doesn’t mean drivers won’t still have some choices to make. The Tacoma’s 2.4L four-cylinder turbocharged engine actually varies widely depending on which trim you choose, with three distinct versions to choose from. Limited to the entry-level SR trim, the base 2.4L engine produces an ample 228 hp while the i-FORCE variant—which comes standard on the SR5, TRD PreRunner/Sport/Off-Road, and Limited—ups the power to 278 hp along with 317 lb-ft of torque. Paired with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, the i-FORCE is brawny enough for whatever feats of pickup strength you can throw at it, with an impressive 6,500-lb towing capacity.
For those who will only settle for the best, there’s the i-FORCE MAX. This new hybrid option pairs the 2.4L engine with a 48-hp electric motor and 1.87-kWh NiMH battery pack to give the ‘Taco’ some 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, enough for a 6,000-lb towing capacity and more than 1,700 lbs of payload capacity to boot. While the i-FORCE MAX is tied to the eight-speed automatic transmission and only comes standard on the high-end Trailhunter and TRD Pro trims, it can be added as an optional upgrade on all but the three lowest trims. This new breed of hybrid powertrain has been a real game-changer in the pickup segment over the last few years, and it’s nice to see Toyota embracing the technology to make the Tacoma an even more well-rounded vehicle.
IsoDynamic Performance Seats
With three legitimate off-roaders in the 2024 lineup, the newest Tacoma makes navigating your local trails easier than ever. The TRD Off-Road and Trailhunter trims see this midsize pickup packed with a full suite of heavy-duty off-road equipment like an electronically locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, Kevlar-infused tires, and a Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) system with five modes to choose from—but the range-topping TRD Pro is the undisputed leader when it comes to pure off-road performance. Packed with some of the most rugged off-road hardware available, the TRD Pro also includes one unique feature that’s entirely new to the segment: IsoDynamic performance seats.
As any seasoned off-roader knows, this sport is all about finding a balance between comfort, traction, and raw power. Having an arsenal of brawny off-road components, a massive engine, and various traction control components is nice and all, but they don’t amount to much if you’re too sore to spend more than a couple of hours out on the trail. That’s where the IsoDynamic seats come in. Designed with an air-over-oil system that dramatically reduces a driver’s body movement when navigating rough surfaces, the IsoDynamic essentially does for the driver what the truck’s shock absorbers do for the chassis itself.
The IsoDynamic seats’ four-way shock absorption means that they can stabilize both vertical and lateral movement, which makes a big difference in keeping the driver firmly planted in their seat. By keeping the head and neck aligned with the spine, the patent-pending IsoDynamic seats address off-road ergonomics in a way that no other off-the-shelf pickup can match. The fact that these seats subtly move might take a little getting used to, but there’s no denying the significant upgrade in comfort that this system can provide.
The IsoDynamic seats can be tuned to meet a driver’s preferences, with easily adjustable dials located on the back of each seat. “The goal of this patent-pending feature is to stabilize the driver’s field of vision to improve focus, comfort, and reduce fatigue while on rugged trails,” according to a press release from Toyota.
ARB Parts & Old Man Emu Suspension
For those who know the world of off-roading, the name ARB carries some weight. This Australian off-road equipment manufacturer knows a thing or two about building 4x4s that can stand up to even the harshest off-road conditions, with battle-tested products that have been forged in the off-road crucible that is the Outback. The brand’s Old Man Emu line of shocks, struts, and springs are the go-to choice for the serious off-roader, so when Toyota set out to design its new off-road-ready Trailhunter model, ARB was the automaker’s first call.
This Australian brand worked hand-in-hand with Toyota to develop a comprehensive suspension setup for the Trailhunter that includes position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback reservoirs and forged aluminum upper control arms. Toyota easily could have thrown some lesser shocks and control arms on the Trailhunter and called it a day, but in partnering with ARB, it’s clear that the Tacoma’s newest trim is more than just an attempt to capitalize on the off-road truck craze. This load-out makes the Trailhunter the ideal platform for building the off-roader of your dreams—and it doesn’t stop with the suspension.
A high-clearance ARB steel rear bumper with prominent red recovery hooks gives the pickup a generous approach angle, while a 20-inch LED light bar and Rigid white/amber LED fog lamps allow you to keep tearing up the trail well after the sun has gone down. An ARB bed utility bar with removable MOLLE panels allows drivers to configure the bed to carry all the gear they’ll need for an extended overland excursion, while an integrated air compressor makes it easy to pump up the tires after letting a little air out as a means of improving traction.
These suspension, storage, and performance features certainly up the Tacoma Trailhunter’s off-road credentials, but its most unique feature would have to be the included air intake snorkel mounted along the passenger-side A-pillar. This slim, matte-black snorkel is a lot less obtrusive than many aftermarket versions, allowing the Trailhunter to disguise its off-road nature right up until it’s time to ford some water.
Designed to Lead the Pack
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma sets itself apart from the crowd with a bevy of unique, forward-thinking components that make it one of the most innovative pickups in its class. From the growing list of off-road models to the new TNGA-F platform that makes the Tacoma more comfortable, dynamic—and affordable—than ever, Toyota is clearly not content to let the Tacoma coast on its reputation.
The Tacoma’s i-FORCE MAX engine is a case study in the potential of a hybrid powertrain, while the ARB and Old Man Emu components allow the Trailhunter to back up its name with some of the robust off-road parts on the market. The TRD Pro’s IsoDynamic seats solve a key issue that could previously only be addressed by investing in pricey aftermarket parts, offering drivers some real value and making those all-day off-road excursions just a little more practical.
It’s always exciting to see what Toyota engineers have been dreaming up, and while it might still be a little too early to tell, it seems like the all-new fourth-generation Toyota Tacoma has been worth the wait.