Video: The New Toyota Tacoma’s MPG Surprised Us Both Towing & Empty on a 1000-Mile Road Trip

We picked up our TRD Off-Road in Houston and drove it home.

After months of anticipation, we finally got our all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road. We spec’d it as cheaply as we wanted while getting a rear locker and Toyota’s 4×4 off-road terrain management system. Still, the total came to $45,000. And it was located at Fred Haas Toyota World in Spring, Texas, outside Houston. So, road trip!

Roman and André flew down to Houston in the early morning, handed over the check, and started driving back to Boulder, Colorado, a trip of more than 1,000 miles. The plan was to do an MPG test between Houston and Dallas, pick up an off-road camping trailer, then tow the camper to Boulder, conducting a towing MPG test along the way.

Road Tripping the new Toyota Tacoma

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road blue
TFL’s 2024 Tacoma gets its first fill up. (Images: TFL Studios)

Both Roman and Andre agree that the totally redesigned and re-engineered Toyota Tacoma is a comfortable joy to drive finally. Gone are the uncomfortable and tight seating position for front seat passengers, the lack of gears, and the rough ride. For an off-road truck, the Toyota drives well with Bilstein shocks smoothing out the pavement. However, the duo did note that the cabin is loud but didn’t think it a deal-breaker.

After 223 miles of high-speed interstate driving to Dallas and miles of driving through rush-hour traffic in Dallas, the Tacoma delivered 24.2 mpg. Pretty solid for a midsize pickup running 87-octane through its 2.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine mated to a new 8-speed transmission.

How well does the new Taco tow?

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Sasquatch Expedition Campers
First 1,000 miles in the Taco done, 740 of them pulling a Sasquatch Expeditions Camper.

Outside Dallas, TFL picked up a new Sasquatch Expedition Campers camper from the guys at ROMR Reviews to haul back to Colorado as a favor. The all-aluminum camper, made in Silverton, Colorado, is ultra-light and built to last. Fully loaded with water, the camper somehow comes in just under 3,000 pounds, which means a Jeep Wrangler can tow it. Without water, this Sasquatch weighs just 2,500 pounds, well within the new Taco’s 6,400-pound towing capacity.

On the 750-mile drive to Boulder from Dallas, the Tacoma climbed over two 7,800 mountain passes, plowed through driving rain, howling headwinds, and heavy snow. Through it all, the Tacoma pulled like a stable champ, staying planted and confident. The one minor glitch was the transmission struggled to find a suitable cruising gear while towing. The takeaway? The new Tacoma may not be perfectly geared for towing.

And fuel economy took a big nose-dive, falling to 11.5 to 12.4 mpg depending upon conditions. Combine that poor showing with a small 18-gallon fuel tank, and you need to refuel every 150 to 180 miles. The guys also were disappointed that when towing, the turbo lacked sufficient power to make passing at interstate speeds a no-brainer decision. So yes, the new Taco can tow. It’s just not too happy about it.

Check out Roman and Andre’s trip below. Bonus: You get to learn what Beaver Nuggets are.