Home » The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Is The Truck You Hoped It Would Be

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Is The Truck You Hoped It Would Be

Newtaco Review
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Even when the current-gen Toyota Tacoma launched in 2015, it felt dated. The chassis was arguably an adaptation of its predecessor’s, the engine was just another 3.5-liter V6 like we’d seen in Toyotas since the beginning of time, the suspension was the same one we’d seen for years, the rear brakes were still drums (!) — if we’re being honest, it was a lateral move. It was bigger, sure, but better? That’s hard to say. The new 2024 Toyota Tacoma, though, is legitimately better than its predecessor in almost every way except maybe off-road capability. I’ll explain.

The Toyota Tacoma is the GOAT of the mid-size pickup truck market. It sold like crazy when many other brands — Jeep, Dodge, Ford, and plenty more — completely left the mid-size truck segment altogether, citing lack of demand. In large part, Toyota’s Tacoma formula has remained the same: Mix simplicity with off-road capability, durability, and conservative but nice enough styling — that’s about it .

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Tacomas aren’t known to be state-of-the art, they’re not known for being fancy, they’re just known for working, and while that critical attribute of reliability is not something I can possibly assess during a short single-day test drive near Malibu, California, I can tell you this: Pretty much every element of the truck appears to be improved from the old Taco.

Let’s Look At The Tech

At Toyota’s press event in Malibu, Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown showed me what the new Tacoma’s TNGA-F architecture offers compared to the old truck’s chassis, and the answer is: A lot. Like, a whole lot. Here’s a look at the new frame:

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And here’s the old one:

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Things at the front of the truck look mostly the same, chassis-wise. You’ve got a double wishbone coilover suspension and a frame that’s fully boxed. But right around where the transmission/transfer case crossmember spans the frame rails, things change dramatically.

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Notice how on the outgoing truck, the frame goes from fully boxed to a C-channel. The new truck, on the other hand, remains fully boxed all the way back:

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Does the truck need a fully boxed frame? Well, clearly not, as the old truck managed to get the job done without it, but the new truck is employing the TNGA-F platform used on the global Land Cruiser, as well as the Tundra and Sequoia. “When we built that, we wanted to make sure the platform was adjustable,” Chief engineer Sheldon Brown told me. “The frame pitch as well as the frame silhouette stays for all intents and purposes the same,” he continued, referring to the width and side profile of the frame. But this didn’t mean the frame had to be overbuilt for smaller trucks that don’t need the same load-carrying capacity as bigger trucks.

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“We can use an optimal gauge and material for areas where we don’t have quite as much requirement for strength,” he told me in reference to Toyota’s “Dejima” practice, named after an island off the coast of Nagasaki. The “islands,” in the context of the new Tacoma’s frame, are localized sections of high-strength or high-gauge (i.e. thickness) steel meant to bolster high-stress regions like where transmission/transfer case crossmember mounts or the rear of the frame near where a tow-hitch fastens.

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In essence, the Tacoma’s frame is a patchwork quilt of various steels meant to optimize the frame for both strength and weight reduction. In reference to different gauges and materials such as 480 and 780 (that’s the tensile strength of the steel in Megapascals), Brown told me: “We laser-weld those together, and then we form it, and then we bring those C-channels together to make this full box.” The result is weight savings and also anti-corrosion. Wait, anti-corrosion?

Brown showed me how the current frame adds stiffness to certain areas — there’s a gusset/overlapping panel that is arc-welded into place:

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As you might imagine, the overlapping metals in the method above could compromise corrosion resistance, not just by allowing moisture to be trapped between the layers, but by reducing the effectiveness of the E-Coat anti-corrosion application process.

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Anyway, I’m obviously not an expert on this, but you can read all about Toyota’s new TNGA-F frame in the presentation titled “Non-Linear Taylor Welded Blanks Application in Chassis Frame.” Here you can see how it compares to the old method of localized frame stiffening:

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Here’s a look at parts of the frame that Toyota focuses on:

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And this plot, if I have it right, actually shows typical stresses found on different parts of the frame. (Note, this presentation doesn’t apply specifically to the Toyota, and rather presents the general process):

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But beyond the new frame, where the new truck stands out from the old one is at the rear. The suspension is totally different — well, if you get the coil-spring model, that is. But even the leaf-sprung truck is surprisingly unique from the current leaf-sprung design.

Before I explain that, let’s first look at the coil-sprung truck. It’s a five-link design just like the one you’d find on a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Equipped with two lower control arms to locate the axle fore-aft, two upper control arms to keep the axle from twisting during acceleration or braking, and a track bar to locate the axle side-to-side, the setup has become the norm for solid axle-equipped vehicles that might previously have utilized leaf springs. The Jeep Wrangler, for example, was once a leaf-sprung vehicle, but now uses a five-link coil design. The Ram 1500 once had leaf springs; now it has a five-link. The old Ford Bronco? Formerly leaf-sprung, now uses a five-link coil design.

Everyone’s doing it — it’s about damn time Toyota hops aboard the five-link train:

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The beauty of a coil-sprung suspension is that it takes the many jobs normally handled by a leaf spring, and splits them up into individual components that can do the jobs more effectively. Specifically, it gives the actual “spring” duty to a set of coil springs, the lateral axle location duty to a track bar, the fore-aft axle location to the control arms, and the axle-wrap mitigation to the upper control arms (working in conjunction with the lowers). Practically, this means that you can dial the suspension in to have fewer compromises, as The Autopian’s suspension engineer Huibert Mays described in his thorough article on the topic, writing:

Since leaf springs do the job of locating the axle, their stiffness is a factor in the lateral stiffness of the whole axle, and lateral stiffness is very important to good handling and steering response. A softer spring will be able to bend more in all directions which means less lateral stiffness, although there are things we can do in the design of the spring to partially offset this. In a coil spring suspension, the lateral stiffness is a function of the links, especially if there is a Panhard rod [or track bar]… and is completely independent of the spring stiffness.

But leaf springs aren’t a huge compromise between ride and handling because of the stiffness of the actual metal springs, it also has to do with the bushings, as Huibert pointed out:

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So those bushings have to allow for motion for the axle to articulate, meaning they have to offer compliance, which hurts overall lateral stability/handling:

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This twisting resists the body roll and puts additional stress on the rubber bushings in the leaf “eyes” that the two bolts go through. Bushings can be designed to accommodate twisting but these same bushings have to provide the lateral stiffness of the axle as well and these multiple functions mean compromises have to be made in their design.

A coil spring design doesn’t have to deal with this, as Huibert points out.

When the body of a vehicle with coil spring suspension rolls in a turn, there is a similar angle difference between the axle and the body but coil springs can more easily bend and flex to accommodate the angle. Think of the spring from a ball point pen and how easy it is to bend it. A car spring is of course much harder to bend, but you get the idea. The bushings in the links can also be a simpler design since they only have to resist twisting and compression. There is never any force on them trying to push the bushings sideways.

Huibert is a huge fan of coil spring-suspension setups over leaf springs because it doesn’t put too heavy of a burden on two basic leaf springs, as Huibert says here:

In my life as a suspension designer, I have always been a proponent of separating functions and giving each part as little to do as possible. When you ask suspension components to do many different things, compromise becomes inevitable. If you can separate functions into specific components, you can design each component to more optimally perform those functions. For that reason alone, I prefer a coil spring suspension because I am not asking those springs to be more than just springs. Let the links do the job of locating and controlling the axle. That’s what they are good at and it gives the designer much more flexibility in how the axle performs.

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But Toyota didn’t ditch its leaf-sprung suspension entirely — they’re still an option on the Tacoma. “When we developed the TNG-F, it was ideally designed to be a multilink rear suspension,” Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown told me at the first-drive event in Malibu. “When we started looking at the midsize truck, we wanted to focus on value… so we wanted to take out some of the cost.”  Hence the leaf-spring option; the entire job of the two lower control arms, two upper control arms, track bar, and two coil springs is all done by two leaf springs — it’s incredibly simple, and above all, cheap. Here’s the 2024 Toyota Tacoma’s leaf spring setup:

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Despite it being a leaf-spring design, the new suspension is still markedly different than the old leaf spring orientation, which you can see here:

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Notice how the old truck’s front leaf spring eye bolt was located much higher off the ground, while the new truck’s dangles down low — a clear off-road compromise. You’ll also notice that the new truck’s leaf spring pack is under the rear axle instead of above it. What’s more, the rear shackle is now an upside-down version of the old shackle; this brings the back of the leaf spring lower, closer to the ground.

The reason for this is that, as Brown told me, the platform was designed primarily with coil springs in mind, with leaf springs coming later as a value option. “The key to [keeping cost down]… we had to keep the same silhouette… to do that we decided to…[sling] the leaf underneath the axle.” What Brown means by silhouette is the shape of the frame as viewed from the side — specifically, the amount that the frame “kicks” over that rear axle. It may not be easy to see, but the new frame kicks up quite a bit higher in order to provide space for the track bar and coil springs to fit between the axle and frame.

Here’s the new truck:

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Here’s the flatter old one, with the smaller “kick up.”

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Because of the new frame’s larger “kick up,” Toyota had to bring the axle up relative to the frame in order to maintain ride height (the distance between the top of the frame and the axle set the ride height). Doing this meant slinging the leaf spring under the axle, instead of over as on the old truck shown in the image above, and also keeping that front eye bolt mounting location rather low on the frame (roughly where the lower control arm mounts on the coil spring truck).

So if you hoped to add a lift to your 2024 Toyota Tacoma by shoving a block between the leaf springs and the axle: Bad news; you’ll have to buy an entire leaf pack, or some huge rear shackles.

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Beyond the frame, there are the brakes, which have gone from drums:

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To discs:

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Plus there’s a new engine. The outgoing 3.5-liter V6 made 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, while the base 2.7-liter inline four offered 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft. Both have been replaced by multiple variants of a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four that Toyota calls “i-FORCE.” The engine makes the same 278 horsepower as the outgoing V6, but cranks up the torque to 317 lb-ft. A detuned version of that motor offers 228 ponies and 243 lb-ft of torque. Toyota claims the i-FORCE offers more torque low in the RPM range than the outgoing V6, and that only about half of the parts in the engine are common with those in the passenger cars using the same 2.4-liter turbo, with Brown stressing just how different a truck’s duty cycle is. This necessitated a unique turbo for the truck, a larger water inlet hose for cooling/trailer tow, and a different oil sump that would allow for good lubrication when off-roading at steep angles.

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Arguably more important than the power and torque figures, though, is the new transmission that replaces a six-speed auto that tended to hunt around far too much: It’s an eight-speed automatic, and it’s standard on all trucks unless you opt for a six-speed manual transmission (which drops the power and torque down to 270 HP and 310 lb-ft).

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So there’s a new, fully-boxed frame, a new rear suspension, a new engine, a new transmission, and of course a new body. It all sounds promising, but how does it all come together as a system? Well, based on my short drive: beautifully.

What’s It Like On-Road?

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At the hotel where Toyota held the event near Malibu was the biggest group of car journalists at any press drive-event I’d ever seen, reminding me of just how big a deal this truck is. Toyota had enough trucks for all of us, but they were preproduction units, many with ungrained interior trim.

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Ours was a white TRD Sport, and aside from a giant front air dam meant to lower the truck’s drag coefficient, it looked great. That goes for the inside, too, as its two-tone gray seats, blue accenting, and big controls (including a chunky shifter) gave off the Tonka Truck vibe that you’d expect from a truck. Do I think the big screen could have been better integrated into the dash? Sure, but overall, the cabin felt comfortable:

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But don’t take my word for it; I’m only five-foot-eight inches on a warm day, which is why I was thrilled to be partnered up with Henry Payne from the Detroit News. The man is six-foot-five inches, and, well:

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He told me he felt totally comfortable in that driver’s seat, where he was absolutely hammering down on that Tacoma, revving that engine to its 6,300 RPM redline, and throwing it into tight turns, where he noted: The truck handles quite nicely! And you know what, the ride ain’t bad, either! The engine isn’t overly powerful, but it’s good enough, and remains largely quiet on the freeway, with the revs remaining low and the transmission refraining from hunting around the whole time.

When you push the pedal down, you do start to hear some noise, but how much of that is real versus piped in through the speakers is not obvious, as Toyota’s chief engineer admitted that the Taco makes use of active noise cancellation. “They tend to have a little bit more vibration,” he admitted in reference to the four-cylinder engine in the truck versus the outgoing V6. On the outside, the truck sounded totally quiet. Like, remarkably so — we couldn’t even hear the engine over the wind noise when we opened our windows in a tunnel:

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From the TRD Sport, we hopped into what has to be one of the most badass looking mid-size trucks on the market. It demonstrates that all you have to do is kill the chin spoiler and throw on some all-terrain tires, and the Taco just looks mean. Just look at this PreRunner, which isn’t even four-wheel drive:

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The first thing I noticed was the “XtraCab” setup — what’s going on, here? There are no rear doors, so what we have here is essentially a regular cab, but with extended storage. Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown refers to this as a “B-Max” cab; it’s a way for Toyota to offer a cheaper truck without having to do the side-impact development that would be needed if the rear doors opened. Brown admits that the lack of rear doors that open is a hit to functionality, but says that the lack of rear seats shouldn’t be a huge deal given that half of the current Access Cab customers delete their rear seats.

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And also, on the plus side: This thing is an absolute beast when it comes to cubbies/storage. Check it out:

Upon slinging it through the canyon roads, I noted that…the truck isn’t really that powerful, but it’s good enough. It’ll get the job done. I mean, again, the thing weighs over two tons and only makes 278 horsepower, so it was never going to be a barn burner. The eight-speed makes good use of the power that’s there, and even though there is a bit of lag — likely a combination of turbo-spooling lag and transmission downshift lag — between when you hammer the pedal and when the car accelerates, the engine feels appropriate for the truck. It works.

I’d driven in my friend’s last-gen Taco to Yellowstone National Park a few years ago, and I just remember it feeling gutless. That V6 engine isn’t necessarily underpowered, but the way it makes power and sends it through that old six-speed automatic was just sad. The same cannot be said about the new Taco, which — again — is adequate.

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But as much as I enjoyed the PreRunner, it wasn’t until I hopped into a coil-sprung manual transmission truck that I really got excited.

The Manual Transmission Is Perfect, Except For One Thing

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Before I extol the virtues of the Toyota Tacoma’s manual transmission, it’s worth applauding just how much effort Toyota put into offering a stick in the first place given that the expected take-rate is only 11 percent. Obviously, offering a stick requires durability simulations and testing; failure mode analyses; tooling of a shift knob and trim and a new transmission mount; new engine control software, and all the other bits you’d expect would be required when offering a new transmission.

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But the Taco actually has a unique frame for the manual truck. The transmission crossmember is different, but that’s to be expected. What isn’t to be expected is a new rear crossmember (see above) near the rear axle. “We want to make sure that we have adequate clearance for your axle hop and axle twist… we don’t have a computer to control your right foot, especially when we go to the manual on the leaf configuration, and so as a result of that, we wanted to make sure that crossmember has a little more clearance.”

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An additional frame variant (one of 17 for the truck), all for 11 percent of customers! I love that, especially since the stick in the Tacoma is an A+ unit.

Look at the video above, and you’ll sense excitement in my voice as I blast through incredible canyon roads in a red Tacoma TRD Sport with the six-speed transmission. It’s not really about the engine, which I found to be adequate — no, it’s about the transmission and that chassis.

 

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The stick is perfection. Seriously, step into a new Jeep Gladiator with a stickshift, and then step into this Tacoma, and you’ll probably just decide to set the Jeep on fire. The Tacoma’s manual is a direct-shift manual, meaning unlike the Jeep, there are no cables connecting the shifter to the transmission — no, the transmission lever goes directly into the gearbox. This means you get the wiggling and the vibrations that the transmission itself deals with as it handles loads. In a truck, this is a good thing.

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Snicking the transmission into gear yields the perfect kind of notchy feel, and pressing that clutch pedal is perfectly hefty but not too hefty. The shifter throws are nice and long, as they should be in a truck, and everything just feels agricultural and raw, but not overly crude. It is the perfect pickup truck transmission.

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Well, except for one thing. The manual transmission’s lower power figure is due to the truck’s deflated redline, and that lower redline becomes very apparent as you drive the truck around and watch that engine quickly spin up and run out of revs, forcing you to shift.

At 5,400 RPM, the engine runs out of steam a whopping 900 revs lower than the automatic truck. Why? Well, according to Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown, it comes down to harmonics.

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You see, an engine mated with an automatic transmission has bolted to its crankshaft a flex plate and torque converter, whereas an engine mated with a manual transmission has a flywheel and a clutch assembly attached. The manual transmission truck’s rotating engine parts don’t weigh the same as the automatic transmission truck’s, and as Toyota found, this meant that the automatic transmission’s engine can spin up much higher than the manual’s can before significant noise and vibration concerns begin to be heard and felt.

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Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown told me that his team noticed “crankshaft hammering” on the manual transmission truck — essentially, vibrations through the powertrain. And while one could add mass to the system, or use some kind of dynamic damper decoupler, the truth is that that’ll add more cost and weight to the overall system, and it could have implications on acceleration/other performance.

So the solution was to just limit the manual Tacoma’s engine to 5,400 RPM, with Sheldon noting that most people rarely need peak horsepower, anyhow, when daily driving.

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So yeah, the low redline is a bummer, but otherwise the Tacoma’s manual transmission is a perfect truck transmission and a genuine joy to drive. As you can see in the video above, I enjoy myself not solely because of the stick. The truck’s chassis, too, has a lot to do with my grin. “It’s a good engine; it doesn’t feel too anemic,” I say before admitting that “it does not feel very fast.”

“But mated to the six-speed manual, this is just such a great truck,” I said, noting its good handling and solid ride free from suspension jitteriness.
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I later drove the leaf-sprung truck you see above, and though I thought it rode well enough and handled decently, I think I felt some rear-end jitters from that leaf sprung rear axle.

Off-Road Capability

You may recall about 3,000 words ago me saying the new Taco “is legitimately better than its predecessor in almost every way except maybe off-road capability.” I didn’t mean to imply that the new truck is less capable than the outgoing one, just that I’m not convinced it’s better, especially not significantly.

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You see, when it comes to off-road capability, geometry is king. This is something I refrain every time I write a review for an off-road vehicle, because this basic truth can often be lost behind flashy terms like “locking differentials” and “sway bar disconnects” and various types of fancy dampers. The reality is that the most important traits an off-road vehicle can have are high ground clearance (in the right places) and short overhangs that yield favorable approach, departure, and breakover angles. And in those areas, the old truck was excellent, with rocker panels high up off the ground, short overhangs, and good clearance.

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The new truck is decent, too. It apparently is about the same length and has about the same ground clearance as the old truck; its approach angle is stated as being as high as 33.8, which is 2.8 degrees shy of the old TRD Pro’s. The new truck’s maximum breakover angle of 23.5 is down 3.1 degrees. On the plus side, the new Taco’s departure angle is up a degree. Comparing TRD Off-Road trims, it appears that per Toyota’s data the new truck improves all three angles, especially breakover and departure.

Also on the plus side, Toyota is finally offering a sway bar disconnect on some models, with Toyota saying this cranks up wheel travel by four inches and gets the truck three inches higher up an RTI ramp. This is great, and coupled with the truck’s five-link coil spring suspension, it’s no surprise that the new truck offers 10 percent more articulation, per Toyota. But is that additional flex enough to make the new truck more capable given its geometric deficiencies?

I don’t know. What I do know is that the old truck was no slouch in the articulation department, either:

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If the video above doesn’t convince you, check out the 2022 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year results on Motor Trend. Part of the testing involved sending the trucks up an RTI ramp, and here’s what Motor Trend writes about the Tacoma’s score:

While the Tacoma TRD Pro might not be winning any drag races, it does shine where it matters to the off-road crowd. On the RTI ramp the Tacoma was able to climb 65 inches up the 22-degree ramp for a score of 558.81. This landed the flexible Tacoma in the second spot with just the F-150 Raptor grabbing a higher RTI score.

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So yes, thanks in part to the electronic sway bar disconnect shown above (which Toyota says will be compatible with some lift kits), the new Taco can flex a bit better than the last truck. Here’s a look at that display of suspension motion:

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That’s great. But can it make up for the added overall size of the new truck and — depending upon the trim — the difference in approach and breakover angle? Here’s a comparison of the two generations (though not of the exact same trims):

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The big difference, visually, is the lack of low-hanging control arms between the axles, but let’s have a look at overall dimensions just for fun. Here’s the new truck:

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And here’s the old. You can see that the truck has become significantly wider and taller, though length is roughly the same:

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A few other things I noticed while off-road: One was that the vehicle wasn’t remotely nimble, requiring me multiple times to shift into reverse and do a two-point turn. I’m unsure what the new Tacoma’s steering radius is, but it clearly isn’t great:

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I also noticed that the little engine doesn’t offer a ton in the way of compression-braking. In low range, letting off the brake like I’m used to doing in my old Jeep, I was accompanied by tons of engine revs and the truck trying to accelerate down the grade. Luckily, Toyota has a good brake-based CRAWL Control function, which, per Toyota, is now quieter (I recall the ABS pumps being absurdly loud on the old truck).

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Another thing that I thought was a little silly is that front-facing cameras aren’t standard on all off-road-focused Tacomas. While driving on the street, seeing over that hood isn’t too hard to do, but off-road — and especially when your nose is pointing up a grade — a front-facing camera becomes critical.

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Yes, folks have been going without cameras for many decades, but it’s 2023 and cameras are cheap. If you’re going to call your vehicle off-road focused, a front-facing camera has to be there.

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I can’t conclude this off-road section without mentioning that I did not have a chance to test Toyota’s famous “IsoDynamic Performance Seat” that promises to isolate the driver from much of the bouncing around that happens while off-roading, but I did conclude that I don’t think I’d want that seat. For one, I think your seat tells you a lot of useful information about what your truck is doing below you, and what’s more, the amount of space taken up by that seat wouldn’t be worth the loss of rear legroom, which I should note is definitely adequate for a five-foot-eight person sitting behind himself:

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What’s The Takeaway?

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Image Credit: Jonathan Harper

The new Tacoma didn’t mess with a good thing. The off-road capability is still there, the functionality is still there, it’s just that now there’s a beefier frame, a small and more efficient turbocharged engine, a better transmission, a torquier engine, a fresh new interior, and a new rear suspension. It fixes people’s concerns about seating position, it addresses concerns about that old anemic powertrain, it will hopefully address the fuel economy concerns, and I bet it will continue being capable and reliable.

In the context of Toyota Tacoma steps, this is a huge one forward. As for pricing, here’s the breakdown (you’ll need to add $1,495 to each of these to include the destination fee):

Screen Shot 2023 11 28 At 5.46.24 Am

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As for fuel economy, all 4×4 manual trucks are expected to score 18 MPG city, 23 MPG highway, 20 MPG combined. Four-wheel drive automakers will get either 19 MPG or 20 MPG city, either 23 or 24 MPG highway, and a combined 20 or 21 MPG.

The outgoing truck in manual 4×4 guise scored 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined — a figure that, we can all agree, is terrible. Also terrible: outgoing four-wheel drive V6 automatics scored 18 MPG city, 22 MPG highway, and 20 MPG combined. So it’s a couple of MPG improvement for the stick, and about one MPG improvement for the auto. Not huge, but hey, the truck got a bit larger, so at least it went the right direction. Hopefully the upcoming i-FORCE MAX Hybrid offers signficantly better numbers.

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86-GL
86-GL
2 months ago

It’s awesome they kept the manual, but WTF with the nonsense compromises?

They literally gave the manual its own frame variation for “extra driveshaft clearance’, yet a harmonic balancer- a $100 chunk of rubber bolted to the front of every car engine for the last 60 years- was just too much?

How is that extra clearance not designed into every frame from the outset? This seems like manufacturing 101.

I wonder if the reduced output is really about protecting the driveline, with NVH being a more positive talking point.

I’m glad they fixed the driving position, as a 6’3” person this is now a vehicle I could theoretically be comfortable in. But those fuel economy numbers… Oofff.

I understand the TRD having extra clearance, tire and off road features that are a trade off vs. truck designed for max efficiency. So how is the anemic base model with eco tires and massive chin spoiler not getting MPG into at least the high twenties?

Last edited 2 months ago by 86-GL
VaHooz
VaHooz
2 months ago

The term “take rate” is often used to describe the interest (or lack thereof) in a manual transmission vehicle; however, I do not recall that term ever being explained. In this case, does it mean that out of every 100 manual transmission Tacomas made, only 11 sold and the other 89 are languishing on a lot somewhere? Or does it mean that out of every 100 customer-ordered Tacomas, 11 chose manual? Or is it inclusive of all dealer orders, including the (presumably) few that are special-ordered by customers? If it includes all dealer orders, it strikes me as a crude way of determining customer interest in a particular option because dealers are going to order what’s going to appeal to the broadest audience. Put differently, perhaps the “take rate” of a manual transmission Tacoma would be 50% if the dealer ordered more of them and we had an on-lot choice of transmissions vs. waiting months for a manual to arrive.

Travis Tiffany
Travis Tiffany
2 months ago

@David
I have read a few different reviews from this event, nothing comes close to the quality of this review.
One question that I have not seen anyone ask.
As a current Tacoma owner (19 Off Road) I’m curious about if they improved the ability to fit larger tires. To get even 33’s to fit, you need to do considerable trimming, and even a body mount chop. Have they rectified this? Many competitors have no problem fitting 33’s or even 35’s with little to no mods.

Duke Woolworth
Duke Woolworth
2 months ago

Can’t wait to see how long the undrained frame lasts in the lake effect snow/salt belt lasts. Toyota has replaced enough here to have known about this…but that’s another budget.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
2 months ago

I love these long reviews!

Here’s a request, though: “my friend” wants to know what a fully boxed frame is, because “he” can’t tell the difference from the pictures. “He” would also love some noob-friendly arrows and boxes and circles in the pictures so “he” knows what is being described. “He” thanks you for your consideration.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

I can’t help with the circles & arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one….wait: uh, never mind
fully boxed just means that the cross section of the frame is a full, closed rectangle(ish). As opposed to a C channel which is just 3 sides of a rectangle
ie, make a square with 4 toothpicks: that’s boxed. Take 1 side toothpick away and you have a C channel which weighs less, but can flex more

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Ooh ok thanks, “my friend” gets it now.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
2 months ago

First: a positive thing. I’m really happy they are continuing to offer a manual. Anyone who says that trucks suck with manuals is missing the point. I saw this sentiment in your instagram comments. The added control and engagement is still a positive, especially in a truck and in low traction conditions.

I do think that a lower crawl ratio is ideal for a manual off-road. Much harder to modulate speed with a manual if it isn’t geared super low. Bronco’s granny gear or wrangler rubicon transfer case address this well.

I can’t believe they went through the trouble of doing a different frame for the manuals but couldn’t be bothered to figure out the engine. Lowering the revs seems like a band-aid. Perhaps it needs a DMF or something?

I would be interested to see the take rate on the half-assed extended cab. I feel like I would still want at least one door.

Isn’t that about a 20% increase in price?

Man do I dislike Toyota’s styling…

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

On the topic of the extended cab, it feels like they wanted to kill it off, but they needed to justify it. So they made it shitty enough to decrease the take rate even more so that they could axe the whole thing.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

You might be right. I’m not even asking for seats, just give me a door so I can actually put stuff larger than a grocery bag back there.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

The interior door picture suggested over priced subwoofer styling from 15 years ago. I’m not a fan—but also not their target. Minimalist & functional simplicity doesn’t seem to sell these days

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Toyota overstyles stuff to a hilarious extent. As does pretty much everyone these days. But I think Toyota is perhaps most guilty of it.

With you on not being the target market. Don’t see the point of buying a car for 40k when I can buy 3 pretty nice used ones for a total of $20k and spend the other 20k on maintenance, upgrades, autox entry fees, tires, other hobbies…

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