About the Toyota T-100
Like almost all of Toyota’s vehicles, the T-100 is known for its reliability. Even the oldest T-100 pickups will most likely run well for a long time to come if the previous owner took good care of it.
The T-100 suffered in the power department, though. The early 2.7-liter four-cylinder produced a wimpy 150 horsepower, which was not that much for a truck of its size. A later 3.0-liter V-6 was introduced that produced 190 horsepower, making up for the early blunder.
Although reliable, certain known issues came up throughout the vehicle’s run. The 1993 to 1997 models suffered from the problems endemic with the A-40 transmission system used by Toyota at the time. The shifting of the A-40 was often rough, causing the bearings in the transmission to wear down and blow through the plate.
Excessive oil consumption was also common on the 1993 to 1998 models. This was covered by an extended warranty. Check to make sure this problem was solved before purchasing a used T-100. Also, check to make sure the water pump is fixed if you are considering purchasing a 1993 to 1994 model, since the water pump was prone to leaking.
Two recalls were also issued for the vehicle. Model year 1993 to 1998 models may suffer a fatigue crack on the steering shaft if the vehicle is constantly turned under high stress conditions or while hauling a heavy load. Another recall was made in 1998 due to defective wheel lug nuts. Check the NHTSA website for information on what serial numbers were involved in a recall before purchasing a used vehicle. Toyota T-100 Features
The Toyota T-100 has its problems. The initial engine was introduced to keep the vehicle competitive in the market as a low-price vehicle, but it largely lacks the power one would expect in a vehicle of its size. Skip these models altogether. The later V-6 model was just right for the two-wheel drive models. However, the V-6 tends to struggle when installed on the heavier Xtracab four-wheel drive models introduced later in the T-100 run.
The automatic transmission does insure a good take off from a standstill. Unfortunately, even the V-6 tends to struggle when maintaining highway speed. The handling is good on the two-wheel drive, but the stiff suspension on the four-wheel drive models, as well as the higher cab, tend to makes the truck hard to steer.
Inside the cab the T-100 is quiet. Little engine noise and little to no wind noise results in a quiet ride. The cab can sit two comfortably, with a third a bit scrunched against the radio and transmission. The Xtracab has an extra passenger seat that will fit an adult, but is rather hard to access. The seat itself is also thin and uncomfortable.
The T-100 has many faults that put it at a disadvantage in comparison to other pickups offered at the time.
The Toyota T-100 was discontinued in 1998 as the Toyota Tundra bowed. The midsize Tacoma pickup truck that slots below the Tundra is roughly the same size as the T-100. Toyota T-100 Evolution
A few changes were made to the T-100 pickup during its run. In 1994, some safety improvements being introduced to the T-100. A driver’s side airbag was added. A side-door guard beam was also introduced to the vehicle to prevent injury during a side impact. A center-mounted light was also introduced to the cab. Two new models were also introduced in 1994: the two-wheel drive T-100 with the new V-6 engine, as well as a one-ton model for extra hauling power.
The 1995 T-100 had a few extra features. The Xtracab version of the vehicle was introduced. The weaker V-6 engine introduced in 1994 was dropped for a V-6 producing 190 horsepower, available with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. The Xtracab, which introduced an extra 27.1 inches to the cab, was available on the DX and SR5 models. The front bench seat was now available as a 60/40 split.
In 1996, the one-ton T100 was discontinued.
In 1997, bucket seats were introduced to the T-100 line. Sixteen-inch wheels were also introduced as an option.
No changes were made in 1998, mostly likely because the vehicle was ready to be replaced by the much better Tundra, which came with a 235-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 on its options list.
If you’re looking for a compact pickup, there are others out there that are a bit smaller with better engines. As a midsize pickup, there were more powerful options, too. The T-100 is generally reliable and decent for city driving, but the poor fuel economy along with the other faults of this vehicle makes it a real dud.