2024 Toyota Tacoma Could Be Our Best Look at the New Toyota HiLux
Toyota has pulled the covers off its new-gen Tacoma mid-size truck. Revealed with a raft of upgrades, the truck showcases how the brand is integrating features from its larger trucks, particularly on the design and engineering fronts. Most importantly for Australians, the fourth-generation Tacoma uses the global TNGA-F truck platform shared with Tundra and Sequoia. According to a report in the US publication Motor Trend, this will be shared with the next-gen HiLux ute and the Fortuner, watch out Ford Ranger.
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Under the skin is the top-of-the-line i-FORCE MAX hybrid produces 326 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. There’s a new eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) while a six-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT2) with automatic rev-matching and anti-stall technology will no doubt please enthusiasts. Speaking of which, manual transmission models produce 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
In total, the Tacoma trim levels include the SR, SR5, a new TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, a new Trailhunter, and the TRD Pro.
Design-wise, there’s a clear leap forward in terms of incorporating a more aggressive stance with the narrow body and wide upper grille being a nod to the original HiLux, along with high-mount headlamps, side functional air intakes, a hexagonal grille motif, and integrated roof and tailgate spoilers.
The TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, new Trailhunter, and the TRD Pro make use of a multi-link rear suspension which replaces the previous model’s leaf springs in favour of a set of coils. Laf springs remain standard on the SR, SR5 XtraCab, and TRD PreRunner trims for towing. The mid-size truck also receives four-wheel disc brakes while TRD models and above come with a larger front/rear brake package. Suspension tunes vary on trim levels, including the TRD Sport which utilises red TRD sport-tuned shocks.
At the top end, the TRD Off-Road grade comes with monotube Bilstein remote reservoir shocks for more wheel travel. An interesting Australian connection comes from the Trailhunter trim which has Old Man Emu (OME) 4×4 Suspension by ARB.
If we talk about practicality then the new Tacoma gets a 7 per cent increase in bed volume plus the aluminium tailgate features an available power open and close function with jam protection, and a quick release and close button is integrated within either taillight. Petrol grades offer a 400W AC inverter outlet in the bed and on the rear of the centre console, while i-FORCE MAX grades come standard with a 2400W AC inverter.
The off-road ability has been enhanced with the new Tacoma having a front stabiliser bar that disconnects and increases articulation. Meanwhile, the TRD Pro has a 33.8-degree approach, 23.5-degree break over, and 25.7-degree departure angle. Running ground clearance maxes out at 11 inches on TRD Pro. Needless to say, both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low are offered, while a quieter crawl control function acts as a low-speed off-road cruise control of sorts.
Behind the driver sits a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster alongside a massive 14-inch central touchscreen. A plethora of USB-C charging ports, a digital key plus a 10-speaker JBL audio system are some of the other highlights. You can spec a four-door Double Cab and a new two-door XtraCab specification with a longer bed.
All of this bodes well for the upcoming 2025 Hilux which would be expected to share most of these changes including a tougher look plus a more feature-packed interior.
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