Toyota announces that the upcoming 2024 Toyota Tacoma will offer a 6-speed manual transmission. #savethemanuals Manual transmissions are making somewhat of a comeback in small hatchbacks and sports cars. Toyota wants to keep it alive in their best-selling midsize pickup truck.
Yes, I did not see this coming, but this is a very pleasant surprise. Most new pickup trucks are simplifying their powertrain lineup in favor of a single engine and a single transmission offering. The 2019 Ford Ranger switched to one turbocharged engine and a 10-speed automatic. The new 2022 Nissan Frontier chose a V6 engine with a 9-speed automatic.
Currently, there are just two new pickup trucks that can be purchased with a manual transmission: the 2023 Jeep Gladiator and the 2023 Toyota Tacoma.
Manu rumors suggest that the next 2024 Tacoma will have a 2.4-liter turbocharged I4 engine and this turbo-four combined with an electric hybrid system. This may still happen, but these are premium powerplants that will not be very affordable. What if Toyota keeps the current 3.5-liter V6 around in the next Tacoma and offers it with a manual transmission in order to reach an affordable starting price for a work truck Tacoma SR model? The current 2023 Tacoma SR is NOT available with a manual transmission (at least in some regions).
The current Tacoma 3.5L V6 engine is produced in Alabama. Here are the codes for the current Tacoma engines.
- 2.7L I-4: 2TR-FE (built in Alabama)
- 3.5L V6: 2GR-FKS (built in Alabama)
What if Toyota offers the new turbocharged powerplant or the hybrid with a manual transmission? We will have to wait and see. Some of the options are still open because Toyota sells nearly a quarter of million Tacoma trucks in the United States annually. This means they need a lot of engines and transmissions produced to supply the two factories in Mexico that currently produce the Tacoma for the North American market.
Here are our more detailed thoughts in this video.