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2014 Tacoma To Offer New Direct Injection Engine

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A reliable Toyota source has told that Toyota will begin offering a direct injection engine in the Tacoma in 2013, as a 2014 model.

This is an expected move, as rumors of a new Tacoma engine have been circulated by and for months now (in addition to and

Specs on the engine are still unknown to our sources – one expects that this will be a V6, another that it will be a 4 cylinder –  but we expect that specifics will start to trickle out soon. Based on the reliability of these sources in the past, it’s entirely possible that both the 4cylinder and the 6cylinder will be new in 2014.

If the new engine is indeed a 4cylinder, it is expected that the standard automatic transmission for this engine will be a new 5speed.

As far as a full redesign of the Tacoma, that is still many years away. When the new engine(s) arrive in 2013, they will not be accompanied by a redesign.

In other rumors, the Prius Pickup we’ve written about on seems to be more unlikely than ever at this point — at least as a Prius. Toyota has indicated that the Prius brand will not be expanded in the near term, and our sources echo that sentiment.

Still, the good news is that Scion is getting a truck. Based on the Rav4 platform, the Scion pickup will be an entry-level alternative to the Tacoma with a unibody frame and FWD (with AWD an option) coming out in 2014. As for the hybrid version, it will be a regular old Toyota.

2013 and 2014 promise to be big years for Toyota trucks, with a Scion pickup, a redesigned Tundra, and updated Tacoma engines all debuting at about the same time.

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  1. Woah nice! I’m loving all the recent articles guys. But this one is by far the best of the bunch. I knew the new engine(s) was coming soon.

    Unfortunately, 2013 as a 2014 model year means… July-ish 2013 announcement and maybe shipping by Sept 2013. That is an entire year more than I had hoped for. So, nearly 2 years from now. I wonder what they’re are going to do for the manual transmission option. Really hope they’ve learned from this current model.

    Keep up the good work guys. Always look forward to new updates. -Danny

    • Danny – Thanks! If you want to share a link to this post on your favorite Tacoma forum(s), that would be great…we’re trying to build this site up to be just as popular as (hopefully MORE popular).

      Our post frequency and quality is way up lately, all thanks to Tim!

    • Thanks Danny and Jason! I’m always looking to find interesting stories to cover that our readers want. And I am working to make sure they are written in an easy to read way. Glad you liked them.


    • Countdown is on. only a year now?

  2. An A-BAT with a 4-cylinder direct injection engine sounds great. But with front-wheel drive – forgetaboutit. Front-wheel drive would be OK when driving with an empty load (most of the time), but when you have to make a decent hauling run front-wheel drive is the worst possible choice. This is because as you increase the load in the rear bed, you decrease front wheel traction. An AWD would be a better choice but why not have a switchable rear-wheel drive like the Amakok? If VW has done it then why not Toyota? Why not have a switchable FWD/ RWD/ or AWD selection opition?

    • DrLou – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this, and I’ve asked a lot of questions, and my best informed guess is that: Scion will offer a pickup with both FWD and AWD. It will have 800-1000 lbs payload capacity, 2500-3000 lbs towing capacity, and Toyota will probably offer a hybrid version of the truck (but it may or may not be a Prius). The Scion truck will get 26-28mpg combined (at least 30mpg highway if not more), the hybrid 35-40mpg combined.

      Will they sell? Who knows. If I could buy a cool little extended cab truck for $22-24k that got 28mpg and had AWD, I might think about it. If it costs $28k? No chance. If it even costs $24k it will be a stretch (at least that’s my thinking), but I’m really not sure. No one can be really.

      What I am sure about, however, is that we’ll be seeing a little Scion pickup based on the ABAT platform sometime in 2014. As far as the AWD system, it will be identical to what you see in the next Rav4 (the Scion pickup will be built at the same plant as the Rav)

  3. I agree with DrLou. FWD would suck. At this point, Toyota should be able to provide AWD for these trucks. But if they stick with RWD, it’s still better than FWD.

    Jason and Tim, I’m sure you’re always looking what to write about next. I know I do for my sites. Here’s a suggestion:

    I’d love to keep reminding Toyota about the fact they need to rethink the manual 6-speed on their V6 models. You should do some research on the forums and write an article about that. Toyota needs to listen to their customers. This is a great place for that too. -Danny

    • Danny – Thanks for the suggestion – we’ll add it to the list.

      As far as FWD, I’m thinking that Toyota/Scion might not offer it…they tend to like to limit options, especially on the Scions. However, there’s a pretty big cost difference between the two ($1500) and the fact is they’re shooting to come in around $22k with a nicely equipped little pickup. Something has to give.

      Still, if you’re asking me, AWD is the only way to fly. Why not for $1500? You’ll get every penny of that back on trade/re-sale.

  4. I hope Toyota keeps the RWD with 4 x 4. The AWD vehicles do not perform in snow, mud, etc. One friend had an AWD SUV and it would not get out of her driveway in snow. I hope they achieve 2-3 better MPG ratings on the V-6 engine by lowering weight and/or more efficient engine system. And, about 50-75 more HP. Also, while I am laying out my Christmas wish list — a locking front differential would also be nice.

    • Noel – That Scion truck is definitely going to be built on the RAV4 platform, which means that it will be AWD at best…and I suspect that their will be a FWD option, but I could be wrong.

    • Our Rav4 is AWD and it’s never spun itself in snow. Not all AWD systems are created equal. Also, Toyota has manual low speed engage and TRAC/VSC disabel options for when the automatic control is goofing up.

  5. A Scion Compact truck with AWD with a Direct Inject, hybrid, or a diesel engine would be good enough. My thought on a selectable drive system that had a FWD selection is it should deliver better MPGs when you’re driving around without a load. I agree with all you manual transmission fans. Personally I like manual transmissions over an automatic because you have more control of the vehicle and generally got better MPGs. However, many newer automatic transmissions have one or two locking torque converters that provide better MPGs than a manual transmission. The better MPGs you get with these newer designs makes a good case to go automatic.

  6. I am worried about the new Tacoma. It would be a catastrophe if Toyota went with an AWD system in the Tacoma.

    • I hope Toyota and other OEMs are knowledgable enough to distinquish between a life-style pickup and a work/ off-road use pickup. If they can, then I hope they make the best design choices. That is, AWD for light duty life-style trucks and RWD/4WD for work and off-road trucks.

    • NoelB – Agree absolutely. No chance that the 2016/2018 Tacoma will offer AWD unless it’s in addition to a real 4WD option.

    • Not sure I would entirely agree with that. The Full-time 4WD system they use in the manual FJ and the Limited 4Runner is really nice.

  7. Let’s hope the new Tacoma has RWD/4WD and an optional locking front differential (along with a standard or optional rear locking differential). If not, I will not be buying one.

  8. If Diesel Tacoma’s are available for purchase from US dealers in 2014 I will eat my shoe.

    All manufacturers have been saying “small Diesel next year” for the last fifteen years.

    The American Big Three pay U.S.Congressmen to ensure the EPA will never allow it.

  9. I hear you Charlie. The lastest diesel rumors are the Mazda CX-5 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee will sold in the Americas in 2013 with diesel engines. Again this may just another carrot on a stick – time will tell. But,I do wish we had a compact diesel pickup in the USA.

  10. Toyota truck buyers are suffering right now. I’ve had 2 loaded up new generation Tundra’s that I spent years towing our Airstream with. 200K glitch free tow miles is not miraculous, it’s merely Toyota!
    Anyway, I no longer need a Tundra, but I do need a truck. Just release the new Tacoma. I’ll be first in line!

  11. well, it’s darned near July… any more news on the 2013 or 2014 Tacomas?

  12. Pingback: Direct Injected Engine for 2014??? - Toyota 4Runner Forum

  13. is the toyota tacoma being redone for 2013 or 2014,
    i have heard it will be all new, but which year

    • van – It won’t be all-new until 2017 or so. However, it’s getting a new engine (and perhaps a new automatic transmission) in the next few months.

  14. I hope for the v6 they will drop in the 270 4.0 from the new 4 runner and make it direct injected. I would love that.

  15. Any word on the what and when for the engine update?

    • Matg – We keep getting conflicting info. Toyota recently told Automotive News that an existing model would be getting a turbo-charged 2.0L 4 cylinder with direct injection, and that seems like a great fit for the Tacoma. However, I can’t confirm.

      Meanwhile, my sources continue to say that a direct injection V6 is ready for delivery, as I know this engine is going in the Tundra in 2014. Since this is the same 4.0L V6 that’s in the Tacoma, it’s likely both trucks will get it at the same time.

      SO, we’ve got TWO possible direct injection engines going into the Tacoma – a 2.0L 4cyl with a Turbo, or a regular 4.0L V6 with direct injection. My money is on the V6, but Toyota is hurrying to produce both.

  16. Thanks, thats good news. Any chance we’ll see one/both of the new engines debut in the current model or are they not likely to be implimented till next fall.

  17. It would be nice if Toyota made a bifuel, I.e gas and CNG, option for their Tundra and the Tacoma

  18. Currently own 2006 Tacoma double cab. Hope new Tacoma will have option for 6 pass. seating accomodation. Othervise will need to step up to Tundra truck which is also nice.

  19. Tim

    Do you still think this new engine will happen for the 2014 model year given the lack of any power-train updates to the Tundra?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I’m not so certain anything new will come in the 2014 Tacoma now that the Tundra didn’t have anything. That isn’t saying it won’t, but diesel is out, hybrid is out because they don’t have anything ready and electric – not a chance.

      The truth with the compact market is that the Tacoma has NO competition. The Nissan Frontier really isn’t that much of a competitor and the GM compact twins – yawn. The reality is that EVERY automaker is waiting anxiously to see how the new Dodge Ram 1500 diesel and the next-gen Colorado Diesel sells. If those two sell well at all, then you will see changes throughout Toyota’s lineup.

      Sadly, I see Toyota being the last to respond to new engine and drive-train technologies. The reason – they are happy with their market share, the plant in San Antonio is at full capacity and they simply don’t feel that making a large scale investment will impact market share enough to get a good return on investment. The truth is Ford HAS to sell trucks, Dodge MUST sell trucks to survive, GM WANTS to sell trucks to pay back Uncle Sam. Toyota? Well, it is nice when they sell a truck in North America, but they are the world’s #1 automaker with the least amount of North American truck sales. Where is the impetus on innovating a product that sells so well you are at full capacity. I just don’t see it.


  20. Well, I’ve got my spec sheets in at a few local dealerships… with the 236hp single VVT-i V6, I’m seriously considering throwing down another $4k for the supercharger.
    Any new info on the 3.5L (2GRE?)??
    IF (and, a BIG if), it’s DUAL VVT-i AND Direct Injection (possibly “Twinjection”??)… I’d probably come out with a cheaper tab and a HECK of a lot better mpg!!!

  21. hello all i am in the market for a new taco.i have a fullsize 3/4 ton and dont need a big truck and its gas drinking problem.i am looking for a little better gas milage,do you think i should wait until the ’14 come out or see if i can get a deal on a ’13?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      You should try to get a deal on a ’13 while they last. Unlike other makers, Toyota doesn’t over supply their dealers, so the 2013 models don’t typically get discounted that much. If you can find one, I’d buy it.


    • Clint –
      SUPPOSEDLY, per some of the trade publications, Toyota is trying to meet its impending CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) requirements — which begs for a fix for the TERRIBLE mpg that the current out-dated Tacoma 4.0L V6 single VVT-i MPI engine gets.
      2014 looks like it will bring the 3.5L direct-injection V6, possibly with DUAL-injection (direct and port)… which will bring a MAJOR boost in mpg… highway from 20 mpg to 26 mpg.
      Horsepower looks like it will also increase… from the current 236hp to 260hp or better, although not much improvement in the all-important torque.
      In short, if all you’re looking for is better mpg… the 2013 Tacoma “ain’t it” … lousy mpg with reduced capacity.
      You may as well look into something like a Ford F150 with the Eco-Boost V6. …or wait for the 2014′s.

  22. Hi,
    I have a Toyota T100 V6 5 speed manual since 1995, I been wanted to upgrade to another pick up, but Toyota is been hard headed all they have is automatic transmission, I want a 4 door manual V4 or V6(no 4X4) is that to much to ask!!!!!



    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      When I have spoken to Toyota, they are moving away from manual transmissions. Unfortunately, they are not alone with many manufactures moving away from them. There are still a few hold-outs, but I’m not sure how long that will last.


  23. Andy C. You can still buy a Nissan Frontier pickup with a manual transmission in any configuration you like.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Dr Lou,

      Not exactly true. I just played around on and found a few pickups that are automatic only like the SL CrewCab 4×4 and 4×2. Granted Nissan does offer a lot more manual configurations than most any other truck maker.


      • I think you’re misunderstanding Andy C’s point. Andy expressed a desire to buy a 4-door pickup with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine with a manual transmission. Nissan does sell 6 cylinder engines with a 6-speed manual transmission crew-cab pickups, and 4 cylinder king-cab pickups with a 5-speed manual transmission. Without a doubt, Nissan (like all OEMs) does sell more trucks with automatic than manual transmission, but the point is you can still buy trucks with manual transmissions.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          Agreed that you can still buy trucks with manual. It is just becoming fewer and fewer (my point).

          It was interesting at the Denver Auto Show’s media day. A reporter asked the Toyota rep if the Tundra will be offered in a manual. The rep didn’t miss a beat by saying “no.” It felt like a “no, never.”

          BTW, there is a long running manual vs. transmission thread over at (our sister site).

          Check it out:

          There is also a post written last year titled “The Manual Transmission is Dead.”


      • Andy C. – I don’t know where you live or if you’re looking for a new or used pickup, but I checked and found 99 Nissan Froniter Crewcabs with a six cylinder engine and a manual transmission.

  24. I did check Nissan, but they only have xtra-cab and 4 Cylinder, 6 cylinders are hard to find!!!!
    Maybe the Scion pick up is going to be stick shift they make alot of their line on manual transmision.

    I hope!!!!

  25. Toyota needs to build trucks that will give better mileages, my old T-100 still gives me 20 miler per gallon in the city and 24 miles highway it has a 3.4 V-6 engine; after 17 years still holding.

  26. All my cars are manuel I have Corolla S and Nissan 350z
    manual never break down on me and I do all the maintenance on the cars that I have!!!

    Is just what I prefer!!!

  27. Andy C. – I have to agree with you because I too prefer manual transmissions to automatic transmissions. My reasons are, 1) they’re cheaper, 2) they’re bulletproof, 3) they get or used to get better gas mileage, and 4) most of all, you have more control and feel of your vehicle (e.g. you easily do jump starts). Having stated my preference, I should also mention that the newer duel clutch automatic transmissions might get better MPGs than one can from a manual transmission. This website explains the advantage quite well.

  28. Sajeed Ali says:

    Toyota Tacoma Diesel thats easy for them just got to swap the 3.0 direct injection Diesel engine from the Toyota hilux/vigo in the Tacoma…..

    In the Caribbean we have been enjoying this engine for many years.

  29. Barry Haithwaite says:

    A reliable Toyota source has told that Toyota will begin offering a direct injection engine in the Tacoma in 2013, as a 2014 model. Jason what happened to your reliable source?

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