1986 versus 2016: The Toyota Pickup Through the Years
Kansas Toyota Dealer Creates Infographic on Pickup’s History
A Toyota dealer in Olathe, Kansas, is building hype for the 2016 Tacoma by comparing it to one of its oldest predecessors. An infographic by the Olathe Toyota Parts Center shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same, at least in terms of the little pickup.
The comparison (shown below) comes in the form of two similarly configured trucks: the 1986 Toyota Pickup SR5 4x4 Access Cab and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4x4 Access Cab. The older truck has rightly earned a reputation as a reliable, rugged, fun pickup, seeing duty as everything from a Moab-bound trail rat to a lawn-and-garden hobby truck. Will the 2016 Tacoma live up to its great-great-grandfather’s legacy?
As in 1986, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a naturally aspirated I-4 (displacing 2.4 liters in 1986 and 2.7 liters in 2016), and an independent front and solid-axle rear suspension isolate the road, just like in the old Pickup. Surprisingly, the old Toyota is nearly as capable as the new Tacoma, with a payload rating of 1,100 pounds and a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The new Tacoma I-4 can muster an additional 200 pounds of payload, but towing capacity should be about the same for both models.
The differences show up once you dig deeper, obviously. The old Toyota weighs around 2,800 pounds, while the new one weighs about 50 percent more. Additionally, engine power (and engine size) has increased with time. The new I-4 makes 159 hp, compared to 105 hp in the old base engine. The optional motor for 1986 was a turbocharged 2.4L I-4 producing 135 hp, while the current truck’s optional motor is an Atkinson-cycle direct- and port-injected 3.5L V-6, which will likely make double that turbocharged truck’s power.
In spite of the higher curb weight and larger engines, the Tacoma I-4 will probably get about 30 percent better fuel economy compared to its older, smaller forerunner. And as size, weight, power, and efficiency have increased, so too has price. A 1986 Toyota Pickup started at $9,568, while the new one will likely crest at least $23,000 before options. Even adjusting for inflation, the 1986 truck would have cost $3,000 less than its new equivalent.
So, if you had your druthers, what would you pick? The increased capability, comfort, and efficiency of the new truck? Or the reputation and no-frills style of the old one? If you’re like us, you’d rather just have one of each.
Source: Olathe Toyota Parts Center