Solid Survivor: 1988 Toyota SR5 Xtracab 4×4 Pickup

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During the 1970s, vehicle manufacturers began to recognize that an untapped buyer market was ripe for the taking. Some potential buyers craved the practicality and ruggedness of a pickup but were unwilling to forego the creature comforts brought by the average family car. Companies like Toyota stepped up to the plate with their SR5 derivatives, and the buyers eagerly handed over their cash. This 1988 SR5 features those comfort upgrades while adding the versatility of more interior space courtesy of the Xtracab option. It isn’t perfect but is a solid and mechanically healthy vehicle ready to tackle whatever Mother Nature throws at it. The SR5 is listed here on eBay in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Bidding has hit $8,850 but remains short of the reserve.

The seller purchased this Pickup around fourteen months ago, intending to keep it forever. However, changed circumstances mean it needs to find a new home, which is a positive for potential buyers. Its desirability is demonstrated by the bidding history, with twenty-seven submitted at the time of writing. Those potential owners are vying for a vehicle with many positive points. Its Garnet Red paint holds a nice shine thanks to a high-quality repaint performed by a previous owner. It isn’t perfect because the seller indicates it carries the small scratches that can accumulate when a vehicle of this type ventures off-road. There is also the usual collection of scratches in the bed but no evidence of abuse. At least it confirms that this Toyota is no trailer queen. Otherwise, the panels are straight, and there is no evidence of rust. The Pickup has spent its life in drier climes, so this last point is no surprise. The glass and trim are in good order, as are the alloy wheels. Overall, this classic makes a positive first impression.

I remember a motoring journalist in the 1980s using the term “boring dependability” when describing the drivetrain of the Toyota 4×4 Pickup. If they meant that owners didn’t spend every weekend tinkering under the hood to rectify faults, you could give me boring dependability any day! This SR5 features the fuel-injected 2.4-liter 22R-E four-cylinder powerplant punching out 113hp and 140 ft/lbs of torque. The power feeds to the road via a dual-range transfer case and a five-speed manual transmission. The company also offered a syrupy smooth V6 option delivering more power and torque, but it generally wasn’t as bulletproof as the 22R-E. This classic is in sound mechanical health. A previous owner changed the timing chain, which is one of the few weak points of these engines. It has only accumulated around 8,000 miles since, meaning it will be a few years before the new owner needs to contemplate repeating the treatment. The seller replaced the radiator, the shocks, the sway bar links, and the battery. The Pickup received a complete fluid change and is in excellent mechanical health. It is ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

It was during the mid-1970s that vehicle manufacturers began recognizing that some potential customers craved the rugged practicality of a Pickup, but with greater refinement. Those individuals wanted better sound insulation, more comfortable seats, and a radio where the owner didn’t need to wind the volume to the threshold of pain to enjoy their favorite tunes. The 1988 Toyota SR5 Pickup perfectly embodies this philosophy. It features heavily bolstered bucket seats upholstered in rich red cloth. The remaining surfaces wear matching vinyl or plastic, while carpet, rather than rubber mats, cover the floor. Occupants also receive decent ventilation, a tilt wheel, and a factory AM/FM radio/cassette player. The Toyota’s interior presents well for a vehicle of this type and age and has no pressing needs. There is some minor wear on the outer edges of the driver’s seat, marks on the carpet under the driver’s feet, and some scratches on the dash plastic. The door trims have some wrinkled spots, but those appear to be the only faults worth mentioning. There are no severe stains, crumbling plastics, or evidence of abuse.

The Toyota Pickup enjoys a reputation for longevity, and it is an accolade it deserves. It takes a lot to kill one of these classics, which is why so many older versions continue plying our roads. This 1988 SR5 Xtracab demonstrates that ability and its imperfections could prove its strongest selling point. While tidy, the minor scratches and marks it carries mean that the new owner can venture into the wilds without the fear of damaging a pristine vehicle. It is often said that almost any 4×4 can take you where you want to go, but a Toyota guarantees you will return from that adventure. Have you ever owned one of these beauties? If so, do you agree with that assessment?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Howard Day

    I had purchased 2 of these unbelievable rugged machines with the solid front axles. I lived in PA. and used coal to heat my house witch I hauled myself (many loads rounded up as much as I could without falling off consisting of over a ton. Rear tires inflated beyond maximum pressure, a little squirreley on the road. What a baby monster!

    Like 0
  2. Cooper

    Why is it all the good vehicles are 1600 miles away? There were a few of these running around my hometown back in the 80’s and boy did they take the abuse! We had a 800 acre abandoned coal mine just outside of town that everyone would ride dirt bikes, 3 wheelers, quads, jeeps and 4×4 trucks! The best of times! The Toyota trucks would outshine most of the full-size pickups. And a lot of jeeps! Yes alcohol and some herb was involved in a lot of it. 🤪 Now the INDNR has taken the land over and placed too many rules on riding there, it’s not fun anymore.
    If this wasn’t so far away, I’d be all over it! This would make a great truck for my almost 14 year old grandson! I’ve got a 2001 Ford Ranger with only 27k on it set back for him but it’s not a 4×4. Winters here can get pretty sketchy.

    Like 6
    • angliagt angliagtMember

      I hope that he’s paying for it,& you’re not just giving it to him.
      I’ve found that if a kid pays for (at least part of) their first vehicle,
      they tend to take better care of it.

      Like 2
  3. Hoberg

    Serious question. Anybody know what year these imports came standard with a rear bumper?

    Like 0
  4. Bamapoppy

    This one is going to be a fave of the winning bidder as it checks all the boxes. Reminds me of my 1986 Toyota 1-ton that had the 22RE, a 5-speed and AC. Not much else but it served me well and I miss that beauty!

    Like 1
  5. Bamapoppy

    The new owner is going to be delighted as this one checks all the boxes. Reminds me of my 1986 1-ton I had with the 22RE, 5-speed, AC and not much else.

    Like 0
  6. Bamapoppy

    Sorry about the double post. The first one disappeared. It must have gone over a hill and come back (as the author referred to).

    Like 0

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