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A Tundra in the snow

2024 Toyota Tundra TRD

2024 Toyota Tacoma

exterior image of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma

Is it just me or is a Tacoma grown?

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma Limited comes with a myriad of bells and whistles… Safety and convenience features abound and there’s plenty of off-road capability. Most will use the former and brag about the latter.

By J-F Wright

Thu, Mar 21, 2024 07:47 PM PST

Images by the author, edited by Erica Wright.

People who know me know that I drive a lot of different cars, so they will often ask me what I’m currently driving. This week it’s the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, but I haven’t always gotten a chance to answer that question before they say “oh, it’s a Tundra!”.

I don’t blame them. Approaching the Tacoma, my first thought is that it’s a miniature Tundra. Not really miniature either, maybe just like a midsize - or downsized - Toyota Tundra.

The size of the Tacoma is often the topic of discussion. It’s a lot larger than what most think Toyota Tacoma is.

Looking like a small Tundra is not necessarily a bad thing, it may actually be a good thing - people like the Tundra. And people like big trucks, so the growth spurt that the Tacoma must have had might also be a good thing.


2024 Toyota Tacoma interior also shares a lot with the Tundra. Big brother Tundra has “Toyota” printed in fat letters across the passenger side dashboard. In the Tacoma that’s been substituted with, fittingly, “Tacoma”. Maybe someone from the Tundra team needs to go back and update so that it says “Tundra” in their design, just so nobody gets confused.

interior of the Toyota Tacoma
It's a good thing it says "TACOMA" in front of the passenger seat - this looks a lot like a Tundra.

Our test vehicle is a Limited, so our Tacoma has a lot of niceties that might not be something you’d expect in a rugged truck… Like white leather seats, for example. I really like it, but I’m sure lots of people will opt away from anything white when selecting interior colors for a pickup truck.

The JBL stereo system is good. Will it knock your eardrums out? No, not really - but it definitely does get the job done. I may or may not have become a snob when it comes to in-vehicle audio systems - I do get to spend time in the very high-end audio systems with concert-like or studio-like quality. Because of that I have to keep in mind that a Tacoma’s sound system should not be compared to that of a $167,000 BMW… Let’s keep to apples or pears - no mixing. So, for everyday drives the JBL audio system in the Toyota Tacoma is great!

The interior knobs in the Tacoma all seem to have this very rugged and dynamic look to them. It’s all looks. There are 12 what looks to be miniature screws holding down the ginormous knobs used for adjusting the volume, or setting your temperature. Unfortunately these screws are not actual screws, they’re there to give the interior a fun, rugged look. Which they do.

front seats in the Toyota Tacoma
Front seats in the Toyota Tacoma

Speaking of rugged looks, the knob that switches from two-wheel drive to four-wheel-drive also shares this rugged feeling. Actually, there’s a whole process to make the switch. You need a hold down a lock and then rotate this ginormous lever to whatever setting you want. Had this not been a truck, and instead maybe a Lexus, this operation would’ve just been done with a little button. But we’re in the hefty Tacoma so of course you need these cool buttons!

Front seats come heated and cooled, the steering wheel is heated, too. The overall feel in the front is actually pretty luxurious - this is, after all, the Limited trim.

Front seats are definitely comfortable and the driver has pretty much everything they need within easy reach. Steering wheel is classic Toyota-esque and offers easy reach to both music/communication as well as the safety systems.

rear seats in the Toyota Tacoma
The back seat isn't large. Sure, you can fit kids back there, but your adult friends will probably not enjoy it.

The backseat is, as one would expect in the Tacoma, pretty small. Yes, I can fit my three kids back there - 7, 9, and 11 years old -  but trying to sit back there myself is not all that comfortable. As a matter of fact, the middle seat in the back doesn’t really work for me because I hit my head in the ceiling (I’m six feet tall). However, how often do you have a Toyota Tacoma with five adults in it?

The backseats does, however, have two USB-C ports as well as a household outlet. I doubt this is really for the backseat passengers’s comfort - it’s more for whatever tools you may have back there and their batteries that need charging.

Off to the left of the steering wheel the interior engineers seem to have just stacked whatever buttons they didn’t have space for anywhere else. I actually don’t mind this too much, mainly because I really like it when features are within reach and just one button click away.

interior of the Toyota Tacoma
That giant screen is the same on found in other - larger - Toyota SUVs. It definitely makes it easy to navigate with an almost life-sized map.

I really dislike it when all of the features are hidden away behind a bunch of selections on the screen - this makes it quite cumbersome to actually use the conveniences that you’re paying extra for.

Of special note, albeit it may seem trivial, is the hook on the right side of the center console, just next to the gear selector. Perfect for hangin a bag - both the purse-type and the trash-type of bag.

How many of us have a trash bag in the car? I definitely do. In the old days you could often hang it on the gear selector, but in modern cars that’s not always possible - the selector may just be a knob, or might not exist at all.

I don’t know if a trash bag is what the Toyota Tacoma engineers’s had in mind but that’s definitely what I’m hanging there.

Driving Characteristics

With nothing on the bed of the truck the Tacoma is noticeable light and will definitely bounce around. Going over rough terrain - or just the random pothole - will definitely bounce you around.

a Toyota Tacoma in the snow
The Tacoma will make it's own path - if it's in four wheel drive mode.

The lack of weight over the rear axle also significantly reduces your rear tires’s grip. You’ll quickly notice this when conquering anything remotely slippery in two-wheel drive - as you won’t be going anywhere. Slap it into four-wheel-drive, however, and the Toyota Tacoma will make it through most everything.

Driving around town you’re obviously not going to be feeling any sportiness in the response or handling of the Tacoma. The Tacoma is a very capable truck, but you won’t be super thrilled by its  on-road driving characteristics.

Now, as far as trucks go it definitely is not bad. It’s small enough that you can put it into parking spaces without any problems, yet it’s large enough that you can actually haul stuff around.

the Toyota Tacoma traversing snow
Slush and snow is not a problem.

The Toyota Tacoma does not sway and roll as much as the Toyota 4Runner - at least it’s not at all as noticeable. I am not impressed by the current 4Runner as it sways rolls in pretty much any direction. The Toyota Tacoma does not seem to have this problem and it feels much more stable on the road because of it.

Technology & Features

Especially when you have a lot of stuff in your truck bed, you might have a hard time seeing in your rearview mirror - like what’s going on behind you. The Toyota Tacoma comes with a mirror that can project a live video of what’s going on behind the car - so instead of just looking through a mirror, the mirror itself is a screen. Lots of cars have this, of course, and nowadays most (all?) Toyotas definitely do. Even so it’s definitely worth a mention - as soon as you get used to it, it’s a really nice feature.


We’ve already touched on the fact that the Toyota Tacoma seems to grow and grow… and the fact that it looks a whole lot like a smaller version of the Toyota Tundra. Neither of those two things are necessarily bad - except if you want a very small truck, like the Tacomas you could find 20 years ago. For that you are kind of out of luck looking at the Toyota lineup. Instead, you should probably be looking at the Hyundai Santa Cruz or something similar.

front exterior of the Toyota Tacoma
Bold exterior of the Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma front grille and facia adds to it’s already muscular stance. Running the vehicle with the fog lights on further enhances the look.

The bed of the truck is definitely not ginormous, but will probably get your job done - unless you have a tendency to haul really large, or lots of, stuff. The rear tailgate opens electronically, so it actually feels more like a trunk than anything else.

On the left side of the truck bed you have something like a charging compartment. There’s USB-C ports and a 12V outlet - all hidden behind a little latch. On the other side of the bed is a household outlet and some nooks and crannies where you can store stuff our of sight. There are also plenty of tie-downs throughout the bed of the Tacoma. Also, there’s plenty of lights to help you work in the dark.

rear exterior of the Toyota Tacoma
Even the rear of the Tacoma looks a lot like a smaller version of the Tundra.

I was going to comment on how hard it is to find the button/handle to close the tailgate - it’s obviously facing downwards whenever it’s open. However, the engineers seem to have thought of this as well… So, instead of having to reach for an invisible button, you can just start closing the Tacoma tailgate and it will beep to let you know that it’s taking over - and then it’ll close on its own. Nice.


Compared to the Tacomas of twenty years ago, the current Toyota Tacoma is huge. Compared to full-size trucks the Tacoma is relatively small and manageable. A good go-between. Furthermore, the Tacoma is known for it’s good off-road capabilities, so if you’re thinking of using the same truck for work as you do for your weekend wilderness adventures, the Tacoma might just do the trick.

About The Author

J-F Wright's profile picture

J-F Wright

John-Fredrik Wright was born in Sweden, but raised on both sides of the Atlantic. His experience in the automotive industry starts with a summer-job as a host at Volkswagen’s premier showroom in Stockholm. Later, he worked as an instructor at Swedish Active Driving, teaching safe driving (among other things the renowned "elk-avoidance maneuver") and advanced driving techniques.

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