Toyota just unveiled its completely redesign of its best-selling Tacoma, and for the first time the mid-sized pickup offers a hybrid version – which also happens to be the most powerful powertrain available.
Canadians will get two options for engines: the standard is the i-FORCE turbocharged 2.L-four-cylinder with 278 horsepower, 317 lb.-ft. of torque with the eight-speed automatic transmission (those numbers drop to 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque if paired with the six-speed manual, for some reason). But optional is the i-FORCE MAX, which adds a 48 hp electric motor inside the eight-speed automatic that’s powered by a 1.87 kWh battery, for a total output of 326 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel economy figures will be released closer to the truck’s on-sale date later this year.
Interestingly, that battery is nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) instead of the more modern lithium-ion pack.
The Tacoma will be available here only in four-wheel-drive guise, with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case and Active Traction Control (A-TRAC). An electronic locking rear differential is standard on TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades. The Limited version gets a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a centre-locking differential on the hybrid i-FORCE MAX models.
Two cab styles will be offered: the four-door Double Cab and a two-door XtraCab, along with a choice of either a five- or six-foot bed. Trim levels include the SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter.
Toyota has focused on the Tacoma’s off-road ruggedness with the 2024 version, with a new front stabilizer bar disconnect, Multi-Terrain Monitor birds eye view camera system, a new, quieter CRAWL Control (low-speed cruise control) and other features. The overlander-esque Trailhunter version goes over the top with features such as 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with external reservoirs, 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires, high-clearance trail exhaust tip and an A-pillar-mounted, high-clearance air intake, among others.
The truck’s cabins feature an 8-inch infotainment screen as standard, but there is an optional 14-inch version; both feature Toyota’s latest Audio Multimedia system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also an optional 10-speaker JBL stereo system that includes a removable Bluetooth speaker. Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 suite of electronic driver aids is standard on all models.