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Please, Toyota, make it happen! 2024 Tacoma wish list


With a new model on the way, I’ve put together a 2024 Toyota Tacoma wish list of changes I hope the new truck addresses that the prior generation Tacoma missed for myself and many others.

The best-selling midsize truck is set to be fully redone for 2024, and we have been seeing teaser images with sparse details like the i-Force Max name and presumably similar hybrid engine from the Tundra into the truck.

I also expect the 2024 Toyota Tacoma to have coil springs, a new interior, similar design to the Tundra and a 8- or 10-speed automatic transmission.

Hopefully, it addresses some other issues as well.

2024 Toyota Tacoma wish list

The Tacoma is a great truck, but it can always be better. So, I put together a list of the top five things I hope the new Tacoma addresses.

First, better entry/exit. Managing editor Jill Ciminillo and I heard this complaint so much, Ciminillo made it a point to talk about in one of the last video reviews of the prior generation. The slim shape of the prior generation as well as a the slope of the A-pillar, the one next to the windshield, just makes it difficult for people to get in and out.

You can also toss in the criticism of the seating position in this point since the overall shape of the cabin makes the seating position awkward for some drivers.

Second, fuel economy. The current generation of the 4WD version of the Tacoma with the 3.5-liter V-6, returns 18/22/20 MPG city/highway/combined. This was a good number back in 2016. Times have changed. 

A hybrid powertrain leads people to think fuel economy is part of the goal and not just better low-end torque. However, as we saw with the 2022 Toyota Tundra hybrid, fuel economy wasn’t that much different than the non-hybrid. For the new Tundra, the non-hybrid gets: 17/23/19 MPG (SR, SR5); 17/22/19 (Lim., Plat., 1794). Hybrid models see slightly better city, worse highway in some cases and just ! MPG better combined except for TRD Pro models: 19/22/20 MPG (Lim., Plat., 1794, Capstone); TRD Pro: 18/20/19 MPG.

The fact is most other Toyota hybrid vehicles get much better fuel economy than non-hybrid models, yet the trucks don’t seem to have that goal. For example, the Toyota Sienna hybrid sees 36/36/36 MPG (FWD) and 35/36/35 MPG (AWD) city/highway/combined. The prior generation with the 3.5-liter V-6 had MPG at 19/27/22 (FWD) and 18/24/20 (AWD) city/highway/combined. That’s an amazing jump in fuel economy. If the minivan can do it, why can’t the Tacoma?

Third, keep the cab and bed choices with an access cab and double cab. Don’t follow what the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon have done by limiting choices. It seems like the midsize truck market is being pushed into a crew-cab-, short-bed-only world with a focus on off-road driving. While the Tacoma has a strong legacy of being great for off-road driving, don’t forget about the people who just need a smaller pickup or fleet buyers.

Oh, and toss in a long-bed, crew-cab option like the Nissan Frontier. Midsize truck buyers don’t want to forced to buy a full-size truck to get the right cab and bed configuration for their needs.

Fourth, how about some more power in the bed? It seems ridiculous to me to offer a hybrid powertrain and then not use its many benefits — like providing increased power to the bed plug.

For a while now, trucks have had an electrical plug in the bed with 120 volts/400 watts of power. This all changed with the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost, which added real power in the bed — including being able to run a welder off the truck or powering your house after a storm.

With the Tacoma’s appeal to the off-road and overlanding crowd, don’t you think they could use more power when camping or off grid living? Frankly, it is embarrassing the Sienna minivan has 1500 watts of power while the Tacoma’s power outlet can’t cut through a 2×4 (as seen in this video).

Fifth and final wish list is usable rear-seat leg room. One of the weirder things happening in the automotive world right now is for trucks to get physically larger in scale, yet rear-seat leg room has not gotten any better.

The new Colorado and Canyon, in fact, have less leg room than the prior generation — even with having a 3-inch longer wheelbase, 1 inch of extra length and 1 inch of extra width. Chevy engineers told me this was simply a byproduct of a new way to measure interior leg room to explain the less leg room, but the point still stands. How do you make a truck larger and yet, not give a damn about rear leg room? Why even offer a crew cab truck then?

The bottom line

As someone who avidly covers trucks and someone who has bought two different Toyota trucks in the past (as well as a Chevy and Ford), I hope the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma is much improved in all areas. Toyota loyalists deserve that much — and so do truck buyers.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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  1. John Engel April 9, 2023

    Boy, U & I Must Have Done a Star-Trek Mr. Spock Mind-Melt at One Time, b/c I COMPLETELY Agree 1000% with U on Your Suggestions, Every-One!! —

  2. Jared April 10, 2023

    I agree as well, in fact I will not buy one unless I feel more comfortable in it vs the Maverick.

  3. bob April 12, 2023

    Agreed, make it in a access cab config. Not everyone needs 4 big doors on a truck. The Colorado is off my radar completely because they only come in the station wagon trim.

  4. Jim April 12, 2023

    If Toyota brought back their small pickup from the early 90s, they’d make a killing selling them. They could sell them for cheaper and they would sell every one they made.


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