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The all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma is making a big splash. People are excited to see this classic model finally get a way overdue update. Interestingly, the new tech-heavy Tacoma will also bring back an old-school trim that comes with only two doors, 2WD, and a smaller price tag. While some might call the Tacoma PreRunner a wanna-be, we call it a good-looking, cheaper trim option for folks who want a lifted truck without paying 4×4 money. 

Updated: 7/15/23

Toyota Tacoma PreRunner render in a dark grey color against a dark background.
2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD PreRunner | Toyota

What is the Toyota Tacoma PreRunner? 

According to MotorTrend, Toyota is finally bringing back the PreRunner trim for the 2024 Toyota Tacoma lineup. The PreRunner is an interesting trim that adds lifted suspension to a 2WD pickup truck

The 2024 Tacoma PreRunner basically gives you all the aesthetic qualities of an off-road equipped Tacoma without the main feature that makes a truck good off-road; the 4×4 driveline. The PreRunner gets a locking rear differential extended cab, but only rear-wheel drive. Many people question the purpose of the PreRunner trim. Still, if you look around any parking lot in America, it’ll show that plenty of Americans love cars, trucks, and SUVs that look like performance vehicles but aren’t actually. 

Is the PreRunner Tacoma worth it? 

Toyota Tacoma PreRunner preview images released by Toyota
2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD PreRunner | Toyota

It all depends on what you need. The PreRunner trim seems silly at first, except the American market continuously proves that there are plenty of consumers who care at least as much about appearance as they do the actual performance. 

If you look at the specs of most “off-road” trims for many SUVs, you’ll see a collection of cars that have cool outdoorsy badging, AT tires, and a small suspension lift. These models are all about giving consumers the appearance and feeling of having an off-roader without having to live with the harshness (or money) of a real off-roader. 

The PreRunner, unlike the TrailHunter and TRD models, uses Toyota-branded Tokico twin-tube dampers on the front of the truck, and the cheaper leaf springs out back. The proper off-roaders use a variety of off-road-specific shocks from FOX, Old Man Emu, or Bilstein, depending on the model. 

Again, the PreRunner, uses its lifted suspension, slightly offset wheels, and beefier tires to appear like a tough off-roader while still being priced on the cheaper end. For many people, this trim is the perfect scenario. However, unlike previous PreRunners, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner gets disc brakes all around and can tow 6,500 lbs. 

Does the 2024 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner come in manual?

The upcoming 2024 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner from the front.
2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD PreRunner | Toyota

While Toyota has kept the manual transmission alive for another year, the PreRunner doesn’t come with a third pedal. The PreRunner is limited to one engine option, the turbocharged 2.4-liter i-FORCE engine, which only pairs with the eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The Toyota Tacoma PreRunner trim is coming

Toyota hasn’t spilled the beans on pricing just yet. However, MotorTrend mentions that it should hit dealer lots by the end of the year. The PreRunner won’t be the cheapest trim, but an educated guess puts it right above the base but is still cheaper than any of the proper off-road trims.