|Toyota T100 (XK10/XK20)|
|Production||August 1992–July 1998|
|Class||Full-size pickup truck|
|Body style||2-door pickup truck|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Wheelbase||121.8 in (3,094 mm)|
|Length||209.1 in (5,311 mm)|
|Width||75.2 in (1,910 mm)|
The Toyota T100 is a full-size pickup truck produced by Toyota between 1992 and 1998. It was developed strictly for the US (and Canadian) markets, where larger pickups have a sizable market share.
As Toyota firmly established itself in the North American compact pickup truck market in the 1980s through 1990s, the company decided to offer a truck that was larger than the compact so as to offer an alternative to the traditional North American full-size pickup truck market. North American Toyota dealers had long been clamoring for a full-sized Toyota truck, especially in light of the high percentage of Toyota Pickup owners who moved on to domestic full-sized trucks. The T100 reflected a philosophy of designing products specifically for localized international markets, where traditional products sold and made in Japan wouldn't sell well. This approach is also demonstrated with the introduction of the mid-size Toyota Camry (XV10) which was larger than the compact Toyota Camry (V30) in 1991, and again in 1997 when the Toyota Sienna replaced the slow selling Toyota Previa.
Rumored for many years before, the 1993 Toyota T100 boasted a full-size (8 ft) pickup bed but retained the engine and suspension setup of its smaller and older sibling, the compact Toyota Truck. Although the T100 was a bit larger than the competitive mid-sizeDodge Dakota, it was still markedly smaller than full-size American pickup trucks of the time. This meant that the T100 occupied its own niche in the truck market. Before introducing the T100, the company reflected on its history of commercial truck manufacture and products they offered in the past. Past products started with the Toyota G1, the Toyota FA, the Toyota BX, the Toyota Stout, the Toyota ToyoAce, and the Toyota Dyna, and its market successess with their Hino Division. Though economical, reliable and practical, the T100 was slow to be accepted by traditional buyers of full-size competitors, while it was larger than both the Toyota Truck followed by the Toyota Tacoma compact trucks. Wary of the market pushback of competing directly with the Big Three, Toyota chose this somewhat smaller size (and limited lineup) so as not to risk blowback and import quotas. The T100 was designed and engineered for the North American market and was not sold in Japan. Its exterior dimensions would place it in the Japanese Government normal size classification regulations and would incur higher registration costs, while competing with commercial trucks already sold in Japan.
Although sales were slow at the start, the T100 sales did reach into the mid 40,000 vehicles sold range (1996) in the United States. Sales of the Chevrolet C/K were roughly 700,000 per year, while sales of the Ford F-Series surged from 550,000 to nearly 850,000 and Dodge went from 100,000 to 400,000 with the introduction of the new Dodge Ram in 1993. Sales of the T100 fell approximately 30 percent when the new Ram went on the market in October 1993, 11 months after the T100's launch in November 1992.
Upon introduction, the T100 was criticized for several things. The first was being too small to appeal to buyers of full-size work trucks, the second was the lack of an extended cab, and the third and perhaps most important criticism was the lack of a V8 engine, with the only available engine being a 3.0 liter V6, which was already found in Toyota's compact trucks and in the 4Runner. Although considered criticisms by many, Toyota stated these were all factors that were taken into consideration when designing and producing the T100. They claimed the smaller size was planned to offer a larger truck with a compact "feel", an Xtracab was on the horizon and the 3.0 liter V6 would provide far better fuel economy than the vehicles it aspired to rival. Both the V6 engine and the somewhat smaller dimensions were influenced by environmental concerns, issues that were irrelevant to American pickup buyers.
Beyond the issues of size and horsepower the T100 did receive some praises from the media, acquiring J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey "Best Full-Size Pickup" award and the "Best of What's New" award by Popular Science magazine in its first year on the market. The T100 was the first vehicle – car or truck – ever to receive an "Initial Quality Survey Award" in its first year of production. For 1994 (the truck's second model year) and 1995 (the third), the T100 was again awarded "Best Full-Size Pickup in Initial Quality" by J.D. Power and Associates. In 1997 the T100 was awarded "Top Three Vehicles in Initial Quality – Full-Size Segment" once again by J.D. Power and Associates.
When it was introduced, the T100 had one cab configuration, a regular cab, and one available engine, a 3.0 L V6 with 150 hp (112 kW) and 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m) of torque. In 1993, a 2.7 L inline-four engine with 150 hp (112 kW) - same as for the 3.0 V6 - and 177 lb⋅ft (240 N⋅m) of torque was added in the hopes new buyers would be drawn in with promises of greater fuel economy and a lower price (than previous models). The T100 was the first imported pickup truck that could carry a 4 by 8 feet plywood sheet between the wheelwells. The regular cab could seat three abreast in the front bench seat; this was split on the SR5 model. Automatics received a column shift while manuals were floor mounted, where the transfer case shifter was also located on 4WD models.
Toyota ultimately realized there was no alternative but to add more power to the truck and for the 1995 model year Toyota added the 190 hp (142 kW) and 220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m) of torque 3.4 L V6. An Xtracab model came along several months into the 1995 model year as well, sitting on the same 121.8 in (3,094 mm) wheelbase with a 6.25 ft (1.9 m) bed. This provided a boost in sales of 150 percent for 1995. The T100 received only minor changes throughout its run, aside from the engine changes and the Xtracab addition. A driver-side airbag was installed for MY 1994 (a passenger-side airbag never became available), and larger 16-inch wheels became the norm for most of the 4X4 models starting in 1996. It was evident by late 1996/ early 1997 that Toyota was already investing in its next truck (what ultimately became the Toyota Tundra). At the time (late 1990s) some believed a revamped T100 with a V8 engine was on the way, and there were some reports that altered V8 powered T100s were used as test-mules, but ultimately it never came to pass, and the T100 was superseded by the Toyota Tundra.
Toyota Racing Development (TRD) introduced a supercharger for the 3.4-liter engine in 1996 and it became available for the T100, the Tacoma and the 4Runner with the 3.4-liter V6 (and later the Tundra). Horsepower jumped to the 260 hp (194 kW) range (depending on the generation of the supercharger) and 250 lb⋅ft (339 N⋅m) to 265 lb⋅ft (359 N⋅m) of torque. This power add on was available for 1997–1998 T100s only. Earlier 3.4 V6 powered T100s have different computer and electrical layouts which do not support the TRD device.
The T100 was manufactured and partially engineered by Toyota-subsidiary Hino. Three trim lines were offered: the base model, the DX, and the top-of-the-line SR5. The maximum towing capacity was 5,200 lb (2,360 kg) and the truck had a payload limit of 2,450 pounds. Although most trucks fell within the 1/2 ton category, a 1-ton model was offered (in two-wheel drive form) for several of its earlier years until finally being dropped because of a lack of interest.
All T100s were assembled in Tokyo, Japan and as a result were subject to a 25% import tariff on all imported light trucks. The T100 was the last Japanese-built Toyota pickup made for North America when production ceased in July 1998, sales being phased out in August and ending with the 1998 model year. The T100 was replaced by the larger V8-powered Tundra which debuted in 1999. Toyota had originally planned to continue the T100 naming system by calling the new truck the "Toyota T-150"; Ford made a successful claim that this was a trademark infringement of their F-150 and the name had to be changed.
- Standard cab, long bed only
- 3.0 liter V6 engine only (150 horsepower – 180 lb⋅ft (240 N⋅m) of torque)
- Driver's side airbag added
- 2.7 liter I4 engine added to lineup (150 horsepower – 177 lb⋅ft (240 N⋅m) of torque)
- 3.4 liter V6 engine added to lineup (190 horsepower – 220 lb⋅ft (300 N⋅m) of torque)
- 3.0 liter V6 discontinued
- Xtracab model added to lineup
- Last year for the regular cab 4X4 model
- Larger 16 inch wheel added to lineup
- Color changes
- TRD introduces 3.4 liter V6 supercharger (approx. 245 horsepower – 285 lb⋅ft (386 N⋅m) of torque)
- Last year for the T100
- Color changes
T100 3.0-liter V6 engine – available from 1992 to 1994
T100 2.7-liter I4-cylinder engine – available from 1993–1998
T100 3.4-liter V6 engine – available from 1994–1998
T100 supercharged 3.4-liter V6 engine – available in 1996–1998
1997 Toyota T100
The Toyota T100 created a big buzz in 1993 when it was introduced as the first full-size import pickup to be sold in the United States. The biggest knock on this otherwise fine first try was its rather anemic 3.0-liter V6 engine, while all of the domestic products had V8 engine options and therefore much greater hauling capacities.
Since the earliest days of its life, the T100 has been rumored to be getting that elusive V8 engine, but that won't materialize until sometime in 1998. However, the performance of the T100s have been improved through the use of a new, larger and more sophisticated 3.4-liter double overhead cam V6 that makes a great deal more power and torque than the original 3.0-liter.
Toyota has been building small pickups for decades, and they have always displayed what we think of as typical Toyota quality, durability and value. Although the T100 is much larger than the compact Toyota pickup, now known as the Tacoma, it still has all of the basic goodness that the Toyota name implies. The T100 has been awarded J.D. Power's Best Full-Size Pickup trophy for its initial quality in three of the past four model years.
The list of new equipment for 1997 is minimal: a larger alloy wheel and tire package, a new optional sport seat package for the SR5 XtraCab, and wider distribution of standard equipment and option packages across the T100 line. Also, there are two new colors.
What you see when you approach a T100 like our tester is a pretty generic full-size pickup truck, with a conservative face, cab design and minimum of decoration. This truck was being designed before the current Dodge Ram and Ford F-Series made their big market splashes, so Toyota went with a very conservative approach just as the market was changing toward chrome-grilled macho trucks. So the design is a little behind its U.S. competition, but if you want a conservative truck that may last a decade or more, it's still a good bet.
What you will also see is painstaking construction quality, inside and out. Toyota takes pickup door fit and panel match as seriously as the same fitments on Lexus luxury cars, which obviously pays off down the line. Everywhere you look on the T100 there are quality materials, quality workmanship, and excellent, if subdued, design.
Our test truck was the top-of-the-line SR5 XtraCab 4×4 (from $24,778, including destination), which comes with the best level of standard equipment, but Toyota also offers three lesser series as well as standard-cab models and two-wheel drive. The model array is almost as wide as those of the American Big Three, minus V8 or diesel power and big-time work ratings.
But the T100 V6 has almost everything else. It is rated to carry a 2150-pound payload in 2WD V6 editions, and tow up to 5200 pounds. It has all the traditional pickup truck equipment, including an easily removable tailgate, two-tier cargo storage, an array of tie-down hooks in the bed, and a set of stake pockets in the bed as well, where customers can add aftermarket wooden stakes to retain taller loads.
But as you'd expect of a Toyota, it isn't so businesslike as to avoid creature comforts. The option lists include all the popular pickup power-operated accessories like seats, windows, mirrors and locks, as well as several very good sound systems.
The SR5 package adds a ton of equipment to the truck, including chrome wheel arch moldings, chrome grille, chrome front bumper and door handles, a sliding rear window, privacy glass, tilt steering wheel, full instrumentation, an AM/FM/cassette sound system with four speakers, map lights and a passenger-side lighted vanity mirror.
The only things conspicuously absent are a passenger-side airbag, which we'll see on 1998 models, and a third door for extended cab models, something that's been very popular for Ford and General Motors trucks.
The Toyota conservatism extends to the interior of the XtraCab SR5 4×4 as well. The instrument panel has everything you need, laid out properly, but while the tach and speedometer are large and conventional, the minor instruments are sliding-bar gauges that went out in the '70s in American passenger cars.
We found the interior of the T100 to be just as roomy as any of the other extended-cab pickups on the market, and the 60/40 split front seats were comfortable, with plenty of front-rear manual adjustment (power seats are available). Interior materials in our test truck were high quality and have the look of high durability, as well, although we found the color combinations a bit on the dull side.
The rear seat area was well done, with a one-touch lever on the passenger side that would slide the front passenger seat up so that groceries could be loaded into the rear floor area. The rear seats, which split for even more cargo convenience, are hinged off the back wall, and are a great deal more comfortable than most. There's a storage compartment built into the floor under each seat as well, and the rear compartment is fully trimmed out.
Our test truck had the optional tonneau cover, and we're not sure whether we liked it or not. The black, semi-rigid cover, with a hefty vinyl covering supported by underbows, looked great and was extremely well made and taut. But it's attached to the truck bed rail by a complicated system of six aluminum clamps that will be hard to reach whenever the owner wants to use the cargo bed.
The T100 powertrain array has been expanded, as we said. Now, instead of taking the 3.0-liter V6 or else, the T100 has a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, but it is offered only in the budget-priced Standard truck, with the 3.4-liter V6–190 hp, 220 lb.-ft. of torque–standard in all other models. The 2.7-liter engine is the only four-cylinder offered in a full-size pickup, an installation made in 1994 to reduce the T100's basic purchase price, and its power doesn't stack up all that well against the basic engines in its Big Three rivals.
The V6 is also short of the V6 power and torque of a Ford or Chevy pickup for real work, but on the street, with only passengers to carry, it was just fine, quiet, smooth and eager to perform, even with an automatic. And don't forget, Toyota also makes some of the world's best manual gearboxes; we mention this because a manual may be a better deal with this engine, since it makes the most of the available power.
The T100 suspension, with leaf springs at the rear end and torsion-bar setup at the front, offers plenty of travel and shock absorption for a street truck, a smooth ride, and a minimum of wallowing about.
While the steering is nice and light in the 2WD mode, when the 4WD system was engaged the front tires seemed to get bound up at relatively shallow wheel angles, forcing a lot of extra maneuvers in parking lots.
The 4WD system is a simple on-demand setup with a separate shifter for transfer case engagement and shift-on-the-fly capability up to 50 mph. Like most pickup truck systems, it's designed for occasional use, rather than full-time.
This is a really nice street truck, capable of lots of recreational travel duties including light towing and family hauling. The cabin, especially the portion aft of the front seats, seems quite large and comfortable for kids and cargo use. Toyota's materials and workmanship are first rate throughout.
The powertrain is typically Toyota, with good performance and the promise of excellent long-term durability and few visits to the shop for things other than routine maintenance.
Our reservations have to do with power and price. You still can't get a V8 engine, and more importantly, at $29,822, our loaded SR5 4×4 XtraCab was at least $3000 more than a comparable American truck, due to the vagaries of the yen and the dollar. Regardless of price, you get top quality with the Toyota T100.
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Toyota t100 1997
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