I was fortunate enough to be on the Big Island of Hawaii last spring to see Toyota unveil this 4th generation Tacoma, and have driven a few of them since then, but this is my first chance to get behind the wheel of a Tacoma with the new i-FORCE MAX powertrain.

This is Southern California not Hawaii, but the weather’s just as nice and this 2.4-liter turbo-4 with hybrid assistance puts down the kind of power that has you forgetting about where you are anyway and just enjoying the drive. Technically that’s 326-horsepower and 465 lb-ft. of torque.

The i-FORCE MAX is paired exclusively with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which has a 48-horsepower electric motor integrated into it. It’s also packing 4-wheel-drive as standard, and a 1.9-kWh battery pack located under the rear seat just as in the Tundra hybrid.

The i-FORCE MAX is available in TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited Tacomas, standard in the Trailhunter and TRD Pro.

After much seat time both on and off-road, it’s clear the i-FORCE MAX delivers the goods.

“Say what you will about turbos, and you can complain about the hybrid assistance as well, bottom line, there’s 200 more lb-ft. of torque here than in the V6 and you can feel it. This thing is a monster, and it’s smoother and quieter than the V6 ever was.”

If you need a refresher on all the changes to happen to Tacoma for ’24, check out one of the many other videos on the site. For now, just know that while Tacoma pricing starts at around $32,000, getting i-FORCE MAX power will cost you at least $46,000.

Stay tuned to MotorWeek, as we’ll continue to bring you all the news you need to know about the 2024 Toyota Tacoma.