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2023 Toyota Tacoma Will Add to Toyota's Reinvigorated Truck Lineup

Toyota isn’t exactly known for its lineup of trucks, but when it comes to Tacoma, it is undoubtedly one of the more popular vehicles from the manufacturer.

Dheeraj Bherwani

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Toyota isn’t exactly known for its lineup of trucks, but when it comes to Tacoma, it is undoubtedly one of the more popular vehicles from the manufacturer. The Toyota Tacoma is a highly successful truck in its segment. Against rivals like the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevy Colorado, the Tacoma often outpaces all in generating massive sales figures. However, when it comes to full-size pickups, Toyota falls short. American trucks like the F-150 and Silverado dominate the sales chart whereas the Toyota Tundra is hardly able to catch up as it was barely updated over the last two decades of its production. It only recently entered its third generation introduced this year as a 2022 model year.

As for Tacoma, it was last updated back in 2015, and luckily, Toyota is likely going to introduce a new generation of the Tacoma next year, or possibly the year after that. Since Tacoma is already the best seller in its segment, one would think that Toyota need not rush it. However, they seem pretty keen on doing it anyway and we are certainly not complaining. The new truck will certainly help boost the sales even more with the expected enhancements and improvements. 

What to expect from the upcoming Tacoma?

Very little detail is available about the next generation Toyota Tacoma. We do know that it will be heavily influenced by the Tundra. It might even appear like a smaller Tundra, with similar design cues and also similar features. Even though we don’t know an awful lot, we are aware that this new truck will be based on Toyota's TNGA-F body-on-frame platform. This new platform has also been used to build the new 2022 Tundra. But Toyota also has plans to expand it further than just trucks. According to rumors, the new Sequoia and 4Runner will also be using this platform. What's surprising is that they might even use this platform for some of their Lexus vehicles. This only goes to show how capable and versatile the platform is as it's going to underpin multiple vehicles ranging from pickups to luxury SUVs.

Recently, in mid-October, a new generation Tacoma was spied. Even though it was heavily camouflaged, it was pretty clear that the Tacoma will be taking design cues from the new Tundra. Rumors also suggest that Toyota might be willing to ditch the rear leaf-spring suspension setup; and replace it with coil springs, just like the Tundra did. A new suspension setup would make the ride more enjoyable and certainly more comfortable.

Talking about the engine, the current Toyota Tacoma is powered by a 2.7L inline-4 capable of producing 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. The other engine is a 3.5L V6 that pumps out 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The inline-4 is nothing to write home about, as it is pretty sluggish and feels pretty underpowered for the truck. The V6 is the more impressive engine, but it still feels underpowered compared to what the rivals have on offer. This is why we believe that Toyota will be introducing a new powertrain for the Tacoma.

Rumors have it that they might source the engine from the Lexus NX350, a 2.4L turbocharged inline-4 capable of pumping out 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. While more torque will certainly help the truck with more grunt, the fuel economy figures might also see some improvements. We also hope that Toyota will continue the manual transmission, although an automatic will come as standard. 

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Furthermore, the new Tundra also comes with an optional hybrid powertrain setup. Who knows, they might do the same for the Tacoma too.A V6 hybrid powertrain seems highly likely for the Tacoma as it will be better for the environment and also for fuel expenses. 

As expected, the interior will also be inspired by the Tundra. It will have tougher and more quality materials throughout the cabin. Not only that, but we also expect that it will be offered both as an extended cab and a crew cab. As usual, short-bed and long-bed options will be made available. 

Another big change to be expected in the Tacoma is the addition of a new infotainment setup. It currently features an 8” touchscreen, but they might go all guns blazing and introduce a large 14” touchscreen. You will get all the bells and whistles as well, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, HD radio, SiriusXM radio, wireless charging, etc. 

Being the best-seller in the mid-size pickup segment is no easy feat with all the upcoming updates, it will surely attract a lot of people. However, all this will not go unrivaled as other manufacturers will also be putting their best foot forward. All we can assure you for now is that things will get quite competitive and interesting in the near future.