Toyota Pickup Origins
The Toyota Pickup has an excellent 3.0-liter V-6 engine that produced 150 horsepower. The truck's small size meant this displacement is enough to get the truck really moving. Unfortunately, the torque of the engine doesn’t compare to other domestic pickups available during the same period. The five-speed Xtracab with the 3.0-liter V-6 could go from zero to 60 mph in 13.1 seconds.
Like many other Toyota vehicles, the cabin is fairly quiet. Engine noise is heard at higher revs of course, but wind noise is kept to a minimum. The handling and suspension feels comfortable, even on the highly-strung four-wheel drive model. The four-wheel drive demand system was also easy to control in comparison to earlier four-wheel-drive models made by Toyota. About the Toyota Pickup
Unfortunately, cab space is somewhat an issue in the Toyota Pickup. Although the front bench is meant to seat three, only two can do so comfortably. The rear seat in the Xtracab is hard to access and a bit cramped for an adult. The seat is also thinly padded, making for an uncomfortable ride.
A complaint at the time of release was the high price of the vehicle. But now you can pick one up for a song.
There are some issues with the Toyota Pickup build. Transmission noise is common on the 1990 model due to a faulty driveshaft. The noise comes as a high whistle. Always test drive before making a purchase to ensure the model doesn’t suffer from this problem.
A faulty clutch design on the 1990 and 1991 models will cause a blown-out bearing to squeal. This clutch must be replaced with a new one.
There were also issues with the shifting lever for the transmission mounted on the steering column. The mechanics commonly bind after a few years, requiring a replacement.
Several engines were available throughout the vehicle run. A 2.4-liter fuel injected and carbureted four-cylinder engine was available, as well as a 3.0-liter V-6 in 1990. The carbureted engine was ended in 1991. The fuel-injected engine became standard. A more powerful 3.0-liter V-6 was introduced to the SR5 models as well as the Xtracabs in 1991.
The Toyota Pickup was discontinued in 1994, replaced by the Toyota Tacoma, which is still in production today.Toyota Pickup Evolution
Several changes were made to the Toyota Pickup throughout its run.
In 1991, rear-wheel ABS was made standard on the SR5 models. Four-Wheel Demand was standard on the SR5 V-6 models and was optional on other four-wheel Pickups. The Four-Wheel Demand system had auto-locking front hubs, and a floor-mounted transfer case allowed shift-on-the-fly possible between two-wheel and four-wheel drive. The carbureted 2.4-liter engine was dropped this year in favor for the fuel-injected engine.
A small exterior change was made in 1992. All Toyota Pickups received a new front valance panel as well as a grille with the Toyota logo incorporated into it. The grilles were slightly different between the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models. The dashboard storage compartment was moved underneath the radio, slightly changing the dashboard.
The larger Toyota Pickup models were discontinued to favor the Toyota Tacoma and T-100 models, which grew in size during their production runs, adding an Xtracab model. The four-wheel drive long bed Toyota Pickup, the One Ton, and the long bed two-wheel drive models were discontinued in 1992.
The exterior of the vehicle is once again changed in 1992. Exterior logos and graphics are added to jazz up the vehicle’s image.
The four-wheel drive SR5 V-6 now had 31-inch tires when the alloy wheels were installed.
All long-bed Pickups were dropped in the 1994 year to highlight the other, larger models in the line. The Toyota Pickup was now truly compact, making it the ideal vehicle for driving in the city. This is the most refined of the entire run. New safety features were added as well, including side-door beams to protect during a side impact, and a center-mounted high stoplight on the back of the vehicle.
If you are looking for a compact truck that can lift and carry a heavy load you are better off looking at some of the domestic vehicles from the same period. However, the Toyota Pickup build quality is exceptional. The quiet cabin, strong engine and nice styling make the Toyota Pickup a decent used vehicle.