1997 Toyota T100 4x4
1997 Toyota T100, pictured 4×4 model

By Bob McHugh

It was the first import challenger in the full-sized
truck market. Toyota entered the T100 in this domestic
stronghold with great enthusiasm (and probably some
trepidation) back in 1993 and although the challenge
was greater than anticipated it continues to hang-in
and compete.

T100 came in 4×2 or 4×4 versions, however it lacked
the long shopping list of trim levels, drivetrain
variations and optional equipment the North American
truck buyer has come to expect. A big step-up in size
and utility when compared to Toyota’s compact pickup,
the T100 was initially only offered with a standard
cab (no extended cab) and powered by a good but “big
load” limiting 3.0 litre V6 engine that generates 150
horsepower.

On the other hand, the T100 has a payload capacity of
749 kg (1651 lb.) and a maximum towing capacity of
2268 kg (5,000 lb.) which is certainly competitive
with base versions of the ‘Big-3’ pickups. Add to that
Toyota’s excellent reputation for quality and
reliability and you have a desirable but probably hard
to find used truck purchase, as initial sales were
poor.

Safety upgrades came in ’94 in the form of a driver’s
side air bag and side impact beams in the doors. The
much needed extended-cab (the T100 Xtracab) version
finally arrived in ’95 and with it also came a
new and more powerful 3.4 V6 engine. An anti-lock
braking system was also offered as an option for the
first time. The Xtracab quickly out-paced the regular
cab in sales and by the 1998 model year it was the
only cab size offered.

The T100 has never been recalled for a safety-related
problem, which is quite an achievement. However, the
3.0 V6 is known to have weak cylinder head gaskets
that tend to leak. Even if the original warranty has
expired, check with a Toyota dealer to see if the
gaskets are covered under an extension on that
warranty from the manufacturer.

Sold in either basic or SR5 trim levels the Toyota
T100 has more car-like qualities than other vehicles
in its class. Although, generally considered a
lightweight in the full-sized truck market, it still
could be all the truck you need.

Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

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