So you need a truck. Not a fancy new truck but something tough that can be put through the wringer and come out the other side. Well, the 1995 Toyota Pickup is one of the best trucks ever made. The mo...
So you need a truck. Not a fancy new truck but something tough that can be put through the wringer and come out the other side. Well, the 1995 Toyota Pickup is one of the best trucks ever made. The model I’m reviewing is the extra Cab, 4 wheel drive, 5 speed manual transmission model with the 4 cylinder 2.4 liter 22-RE engine. I drove one of these for about 7 years.. I got the truck when it had 180,000 miles in it, and I stopped driving it when the odometer read 250,000. I can honestly say it is one of the most durable trucks ever produced. Being a mid sized pickup that is 20 years old, this truck is not for everyone, but for any outdoor enthusiast, farmer, hunter, or guy who is going for the rugged look, I highly recommend this one.
The engine in this truck is bomb proof. It is one of the toughest that Toyota has ever built. The 22-RE, as Toyota named it, is a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder electronically fuel injected engine with a single overhead cam. It is a simple and over built engine that has very few problems. Even after 250,000 miles, 20 years and plenty of rough off road driving, the pickup I owned did not use or leak any oil, nor has it needed any major engine work. The 22-RE is also an improvement over the earlier carbureted models in that it has better fuel economy and cleaner emissions. The carbureted engines can also lose gas flow when the truck is at steep angles, like those encountered when driving off road. The electronic fuel injection fixes this problem. The fuel economy is decent too, with 22 miles per gallon achievable while driving on the highway. The major drawback of this engine is the considerable lack of power. The small engine requires down shifting gears to maintain speed while going up hills or achieve good acceleration. Though larger pickups in the same age range come with bigger engines, the 22-RE is extremely durable and mine did not presented any major issues over the course of 250,000 miles.
The Toyota’s 4 wheel drive and transmission are also two of the best things about this truck. If you are spending any time on dirt roads or in muddy fields, a reliable 4 wheel drive and transmission are important. I have taken my pickup off road and it crawls through thick mud and steep terrain very well, even with less than ideal tires. I never had problems engaging the 4 wheel drive nor did any of the 4 wheel drive components fail on me. The major drawback that I have found, though, is that the locking hubs for the 4 wheel drive have to be locked manually. This means getting out of the truck to lock them, and this can be a pain if you have to get out and lock them in the middle of a giant mud puddle. The manual transmission in my truck still shifts into all gears and reverse reliably, but it has become a bit harder to shift over the last 20 years. However, the only maintenance it needed was a new clutch.
The truck body is also very durable. It has chrome and steel bumpers that stand up to brush and branches much better than more modern plastic bumpers. The interior of the truck does leave a little to be desired. The seats are uncomfortable and the interior trim is minimal with few storage areas for odds and ends. A newer car will provide more comfort and a more cup holders. The ride in the Toyota is also very stiff. Small bumps hit hard, and driving off road practically throws you out of your seat, but the truck can handle rough off road conditions without destroying the suspension.
The Toyota Xtra Cab Pickup with the 22-RE engine and 4 wheel drive is one of the best options for anyone who wants a rugged truck that will be taken off road. It is extremely durable and reliable. The engine, transmission and 4 wheel drive are sound and require very little maintenance. It is not the most powerful or most comfortable vehicle, but because of its reliability and ruggedness I’d say it is well worth considering.