The Toyota Tacoma is one of America's most popular and reliable trucks, but it's not exactly known for being a hardcore off-roader. Sure, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model offers some nice upgrades like Fox shocks, skid plates, and a locking rear differential, but it's still a relatively mild-mannered machine compared to some of its rivals. That's why I was intrigued when I heard that Toyota was launching a new variant of the Tacoma for 2024 called the Trailhunter. This is not just another trim level with cosmetic tweaks and a fancy badge. This is a serious attempt by Toyota to make the Tacoma pickup a contender in the growing segment of midsize trucks that can tackle any terrain.
I got the chance to drive the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter on some of the most challenging trails in Colorado, and I have to say, I was impressed. This truck is not messing around when it comes to off-road capability. Its features make it stand out from the rest of the Toyota Tacoma lineup and even from some of its competitors. Here are some of the highlights:
- A 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
- A part-time four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential.
- A specially tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, progressive-rate springs, and increased wheel travel.
- A 1-inch lift kit that raises the ground clearance to 10 inches, along with larger fender flares that accommodate 33-inch all-terrain tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
- A unique front bumper with an integrated skid plate and tow hooks, a steel rear bumper with a hitch receiver and a full-size spare tire mounted underneath.
- A TRD-branded snorkel that helps the engine breathe better in dusty or watery conditions.
- A roof rack with crossbars and tie-downs, an optional bed rack with a tonneau cover and a tent.
- An exclusive exterior color called Army Green, along with black accents on the grille, mirrors, door handles, and badges.
- A rugged interior with cloth seats, rubber floor mats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls.
- A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, SiriusXM, and Wi-Fi hotspot.
- A suite of safety features that include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.
As you can see, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter is not your average Tacoma. It's a truck that's designed to take you places where most other trucks can't go. And it does so with confidence and ease. I was amazed by how well it handled the rocky, muddy, steep, and narrow trails that we encountered during our drive. The truck never felt out of its element or overwhelmed by the obstacles. It just plowed through them with grace and power.
The engine was smooth and responsive, delivering enough grunt to climb hills and accelerate out of corners. Whether I chose the manual or the automatic option, the transmission was quick and smooth. The four-wheel-drive system was easy to operate, with a simple dial on the dashboard let me switch between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high range, four-wheel drive low range, and locked rear differential modes. The suspension was firm but comfortable, absorbing bumps and dips without compromising stability or control. The tires were grippy and durable, providing traction on various surfaces without losing air or puncturing.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter pickup truck also had plenty of ground clearance to avoid scraping or getting stuck on rocks or ruts. The skid plates protected the vital components underneath from damage. The snorkel allowed the engine to breathe even when we crossed shallow streams or encountered dust clouds. The roof rack and bed rack offered plenty of storage space for our gear and camping equipment. The tent was easy to set up and take down, providing a cozy night shelter.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter was also comfortable and convenient inside. The supportive and spacious seats offered enough headroom and legroom for me and my passengers. The steering wheel was ergonomic and multifunctional, allowing me to adjust the audio and cruise settings without taking my hands off it. The infotainment system was intuitive and user-friendly, offering seamless connectivity with my smartphone and access to various apps and services. The safety features were helpful and reassuring, alerting me of potential hazards and assisting me in avoiding collisions.
The only minor complaints I had about the truck were its fuel economy and its price. The EPA estimates that the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter will get 18 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway (17/21 mpg for the manual transmission), which is not terrible for a truck of this size and capability, but not great either. The pickup truck will also cost around $45k (about $48k for the manual transmission), which is quite steep for a midsize truck, even one that's as well-equipped as this one.
But these are minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things. The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter is a truck that delivers on its promise of being a midsize truck with big off-road ambitions. It's a truck that can handle any adventure you throw, whether exploring new trails or camping under the stars. It's a truck that's fun to drive, easy to live with, and reliable.
If you're looking for a truck that can do everything without compromising on anything, look no further than the 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter.