10 Hidden Toyota Tacoma Features You May Have Never Used

It's easy to see why the Toyota Tacoma has become such a popular truck. With a powerful engine, excellent off-roading capabilities, and great safety measures, it's ideal for day-to-day driving and rugged jobs where you need exceptional horsepower at your disposal. In our recent review, we gave the 2024 Toyota Tacoma high marks while noting many of the beneficial features that make driving all the more enjoyable.

There are numerous aspects of this truck that any automotive enthusiast will want to use all the time. Even for someone who may have made the Tacoma their first truck purchase, it's intuitive enough to know how to get the most out of it. However, both of those parties may be missing out by not fully utilizing the assortment of Toyota Tacoma hidden features. 

Once you realize these buttons and tricks are around, you'll wonder how you ever ignored them in the first place. These aren't extra mods to get your Toyota Tacoma 4x4 fully ready you have to pay extra for — they're already in place. Many of these features won't necessarily change the overall performance of your vehicle, but they may make driving just a tad bit easier. After all, the fewer headaches you get while taking it for a spin around the town, the better off you'll be. 

The best part about all these hidden features? You can go out to your Tacoma after reading this and try them for yourself.

Delayed timer for bed lights

It's good to be aware of what all the little buttons around the steering wheel do for any vehicle, regardless of make and model. On the Toyota Tacoma, you should see a button with an image of a truck with a light illuminating the bed. There are three possible options for it: On, Off, and Door. In general, it's a good idea to always leave it turned to On, and it's largely due to your own safety. 

Having it set to Door means the light overseeing your Tacoma's bed will turn on when you unlock your vehicle or when you go to open the door. Setting it to Off means the light stays off no matter what. However, positioning it to On means the bed light will remain illuminated, even if you shut off the rest of the truck. This means you'll have a light source if it's dark out but you need to grab something out of the back of your Tacoma.

The light should turn off by itself after about 20 minutes, so it's not going to drain your battery. Many trucks require a DIY mod job to add extra lighting to the bed. With the Tacoma, it's all there, ready to go — you just need to know what button to push. 

Unlock all four doors at once

By default, the key fob only unlocks the driver's side door with a single press, which means that any passengers will have to wait for a second press or for the driver to unlock the other doors from the inside to get inside. This can be annoying, especially if you are consistently loading your friends, family, or coworkers into your truck. Thankfully, one of the great Toyota Tacoma hidden features involves unlocking all four doors at once. 

Using the Tacoma's infotainment system, you can customize a variety of settings so that you're not stuck with the factory specifications. In the Setup section, just press Vehicle and go to Vehicle Customization. From there, you enter Door Lock Settings, and you can do whatever you like so that the locks do precisely what you want them to do. This includes giving yourself more time before the doors relock if you unlock them but don't open a door right away. However, what you're looking for is Select Doors to Unlock — this provides you with two options, and one of them is to unlock all the doors at once. 

That way, everyone can enter the truck right away without having to go through all the hullabaloo of unsuccessfully trying to open a door and waiting a couple extra seconds for the passengers' doors to unlock. While you're in the settings, make sure to check out all of the other amazing things you can alter to better suit your needs. 

Folding headrests

Minimizing your vehicle's blind spots is an important part of staying safe on the road. Unfortunately, like many trucks, the Toyota Tacoma inherently has one big drawback in that department — there's not much visibility out of the rearview mirror. This is partly due to the back window being small to begin with, and having the backseat headrests in the way doesn't help matters either. Fortunately, there's a simple way to gain more visibility many Tacoma owners overlook. 

Those headrests actually fold down, so you can see out of the back window more easily. You simply pull them out a little bit and fold them down. It's a lot more manageable than having to take out the headrests entirely and just have them rolling around on the seats themselves. Granted, this task can only be done if no one's sitting in the backseat, but if you're someone who mostly uses the Tacoma for solo trips anyway, then it's a handy hack for being able to see any other cars driving behind you. 

To be fair, the headrests will still likely be in your line of sight a little bit when trying to look out the back. If you really don't plan on having people back there often, there's another Tacoma hidden feature to utilize. 

Alternate headrest holder

There are all kinds of tips and tricks you can use to have a cleaner and more organized vehicle. Luckily, the Toyota Tacoma comes with one feature that not only gives you more visibility out of the back but makes it easier to haul any gear you may need in the cab. 

If you try to fold down the backseat just on their own, they won't go down all the way, which can make it tough to put any luggage back there. What you want to do is pull the seat up entirely, and it's under here that you'll find two holes that correspond to their respective headrests. From there, you can remove the headrest entirely and stick it into those holes. Without the headrest in the seat itself, you can actually fold it down more neatly so that it's perfectly flat. 

This gives you greater visibility and a flat surface for any suitcases or toolboxes you want to travel with. It's also a great hack if you need to put your dog in the backseat. Since the seats themselves are covered in cloth, a dirty pet could make them a hassle to clean once you get back home. The back of the seats instead of a harder casing on the back for a dog to sit on instead, which is much easier to clean if Fido tracks any mud or dirt into your Tacoma. 

Anti-rattle seat belt clip

You may think you're sitting pretty in your Toyota Tacoma with the backseat folded down entirely so that you can see better and store more items. One thing you may not realize until you're on the road is that this means the seat belt can now rattle around more easily. The clip can bang against the plastic of the truck's interior, and even if you're blaring your favorite music, it can get annoying extremely fast. 

Fortunately, Toyota didn't leave its drivers hanging. When the backseat is folded down, it reveals a clip on either side. These are meant to hold the seat belt in one place so that it's not constantly moving around. You simply slide the seat belt into place, and you no longer have to worry about it going anywhere. When the seats are actually down, you can usually make do by buckling the seat belts into their holders even when no one's back there. 

In other vehicles, drivers have to get a bit more creative. One could always purchase an aftermarket clip and install it themselves, or plenty of people simply use velcro to hold the seat belt in one spot while driving. It may seem like a minor addition, but if you're on a long road trip, the last thing you want is an annoying, repetitive noise driving you nuts. 

Gas cap holder

A lot of the Toyota Tacoma hidden features won't really impact the truck's performance too much, but they will make your life just a little bit easier. That's especially true with the gas cap holder. When a lot of people head to the station to fill up, they usually undo the gas cap and just let it dangle. This could potentially scratch the paint or get gasoline on the exterior of your vehicle. Many people don't even realize there's a spot to hold your cap right in plain sight. 

Simply look at the inside of the gas cap door panel. You'll find a tiny clip toward the very edge. All you need to do is put the squiggly part of the gas cap line in there, and it stays off your Tacoma. Everything stays where it should, provided you spend the extra second to secure it in place when you're at the gas station.

While the Tacoma already comes with a gas cap holder, plenty of people want to go the extra mile. There are aftermarket holders you can purchase if you want something that reflects your personality a bit more. Etsy actually has some awesome gas cap holders with colorful designs or funny sayings. These aftermarket holders actually secure the gas cap itself into place rather than merely holding the line, so it's a bit steadier. These custom holders don't usually cost all that much, but you don't need to spend the extra money if you don't want to because there's already a solution built into the truck. 

Change brightness of dash lights

The dashboard of your Toyota Tacoma has all sorts of valuable information, but you may find it hard to read at times. It might appear too dim or too bright, especially at particular times of day. The way to alter this has actually been in front of you the entire time. 

The odometer switch, which you can use to mark trips or reset the displayed number, also dims or brightens your Tacoma dashboard. Simply click the odometer to the left to dim the dashboard. However, if you want it to appear brighter, all you have to do is click it toward the right. It's incredibly intuitive, and it makes it easy to see all of that crucial information, especially at night when you may not need it as bright so that it doesn't serve as a distraction.

It may seem simple, but this is something many Tacoma drivers didn't realize they could do, and it can truly be a game changer for anyone not in the know.

Touch-to-lock feature

Locking and unlocking your vehicle can turn into an ordeal every time if you're not quite prepared. In addition to having settings in the console you can adjust to unlock more doors at once or delay when the Toyota Tacoma relocks, you should also be aware of the touch-to-lock feature. 

For this to work, you need to have the key on your person close by the truck. However, instead of fumbling around to pull the key fob out of your pocket or purse, you can slide your finger on the inside of the driver's door handle. You should hear two beeps, and this will unlock the door. When you're ready to lock things up, you need to run your finger against the two grooves found on the upper side of the door handle. Some people on online forums have mentioned the occasional issue with this technique, so it may take a little practice to figure out how light of a touch you need to get it working. 

One thing people have noted is that if your keys and smartphone are in the same pocket, it doesn't seem to work as well. This is anecdotal, so take it with a grain of salt, but if you experience any issues, you may need to fiddle with where you store everything to get it working correctly. 

Tire pressure monitoring button

Any vehicle has all sorts of lights and symbols on the dashboard that go off when something isn't optimal. One of the most common to see light up is the tire pressure monitor. Sometimes, a car tire pressure light will illuminate even when the tires aren't low, but it's always a good idea to check regardless just to see where your levels are. The light occasionally goes on after rotating the tires or altering the sizes. A Toyota Tacoma should generally have 30 psi for both the front and back tires. Once they're at the level they should be, there's one more step to take. 

You need to reset the system so that your Tacoma knows what your tire pressure should be and doesn't accidentally go off. To do this, turn on the engine and then hold down the tire pressure reset button. You should find it on the left-hand side of the steering wheel, where it'll have the same image as the tire pressure light on the dashboard, along with the word Set. As you hold it down for a few seconds, you'll see the dashboard indicator light blink for a little bit and then go solid again. Once it's solid, take your Tacoma for a brief drive so that the vehicle can learn what tire pressure you should always be at. 

You may need to take your Tacoma to a Toyota dealership if you continue having issues with the tire pressure light. Underlying issues could cause it to go off more frequently, which requires different troubleshooting.

Siri activation

All new Toyota Tacomas come with Apple CarPlay, which is a huge benefit for all iPhone users out there. You can hook your smartphone up to your vehicle, which charges it while you drive and gives you access to a ton of cool features, such as playing your favorite music through Spotify. However, many drivers miss out by not fully activating Siri, which allows them to utilize an array of features vocally without having to hold their phone. 

You never want to drive distracted. Your phone should remain in a secure place, and you don't want to look at updates or try to text someone while behind the wheel. By activating Siri, you can avoid such temptation. To activate Siri, you can either press and hold the Apple Home Screen button in the bottom left of the Apple CarPlay main menu, or by pressing and h9olding the push to talk button on your Tacoma's steering wheel. From there, you can ask Siri to call someone or play a certain kind of music without having to take your eyes off the road to look at your phone directly. 

There are numerous other Siri tips you can utilize to keep you off your phone while driving. For example, you can customize your settings so that you only receive calls or texts from certain individuals while you're in a car. Even though using Siri is safer than fiddling with your phone manually, it can still serve as a distraction, so be wary of how often you use it.