WAIMEA, Hawaii — With the possible exception of the RAV4 compact crossover, no nameplate in Toyota's U.S. lineup is more important to the brand than the Tacoma midsize pickup — not just because of its sales, but also the way it continues to dominate the competition, albeit with less of a stranglehold than before.
With the redesigned 2024 Toyota Tacoma arriving at U.S. dealerships this year, the Japanese brand looks to brush back newly improved offerings from Detroit 3 rivals and reinforce its formerly vicelike hold on the important segment. It offers a new hybrid powertrain and more off-road trims, storage and technology.
The Tacoma's segment share in the U.S. peaked in 2013 at a massive 65.1 percent as other automakers exited midsize pickups in favor of more profitable full-size pickups. However, their return a few years later began to bite into Toyota's dominance: By 2018, the Tacoma's share of the segment had fallen to 46.9 percent, and in 2022, it dropped to 39 percent, according to the Automotive News Research & Data Center.
When Steve Gates, president of the Toyota National Dealer Advisory Council, first saw the retooled Tacoma, he summed it up real quick: "This is even better than the Tundra," he told Automotive News.