1993 Hilux Surf 3.0TD
Available for: $22,995
Good luck finding a new, manual transmission, turbo diesel SUV these days. They just don't exist, and of course, we never got any of the good stuff here in America in the first place. Thank goodness for the fine folks at Toyota, because they built these N130 Surfs to stand the test of time and now we benefit from that here in the States. This 1993 is finished in (204) Black, and is offered with a delightfully low 62k verified and documented miles. Rocking an OEM brushguard, factory rear spoiler, privacy tint, and some refinished third-gen Surf alloy wheels, the body and paint are in good nick aside from some light dings, touch-ups, chips, and scuffs associated with normal use. Boasting a few upgrades and a slate of recently performed maintenance, this rig is an enthusiast's dream. Collective, practical, capable, powerful, and reliable this midsize SUV is about as good as it gets. As a weekend trail truck, year-round family hauler, or unique cruiser this stellar SSR-X won't last long and is a certified Japanese Classic!
The spartan cabin is spacious and can seat five with plenty of cargo to boot. For a midsize SUV, from the 90s there is a surprising amount of power options and a few upgrades to note! The view of the road ahead is unobstructed and clear, and the tall ride height allows the driver to see beyond traffic. The dash lacks any cracking or distortion, which is common in these models, and a touchscreen Kenwood upgraded head unit modernizes the look of the center stack. It works too, providing plenty of tunes for those within the cabin, although we strongly prefer listening to the 1KZ powerplant. The A/C blows cold and the climate control system is simple to operate. The upholstery is in above-average condition and lacks any major rips, stains, or holes aside from the driver's side bolster which has some light seam separation. The carpets also have some light staining to note, but the door cards and headliner look quite good. The driver benefits from a tilt steering column, electric mirrors, locks, and windows for enjoyable daily use. Even the rear windows power down in case you have a canine companion. If all this wasn't great enough, even the JDM owner's manuals are still inside the glovebox, which the American buyer will surely appreciate!
The body on frame platform that underpins this truck is simple and sturdy. Mounted under the bonnet is one of Toyota's most legendary engines, the 1KZ-TE. This torquey four-banger is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up promptly thanks to a new 12v battery. The 3.0L idles with confidence and is connected to a real deal five-speed manual. The gearbox makes the Hilux even more fun to drive, delivering a level of control and involvement for the driver that is lacking with the automatic. Running up and down the gears is a blast, and the gearbox lacks any grinding. The Hilux can be driven in rear-drive form for maximizing fuel economy and can be switched over to 4WD through a selective transfer case. If loose surfaces such as sand or snow stand in your way, you can engage a 4WD low option. The power steering is light and on point and the brakes are confident thanks to the new front pads we installed in our shop. We also performed a rear differential service to shore up the driveline. The suspension can handle the rigors of daily use and abuse, and large and small potholes alike are gobbled up without breaking a sweat. With five new tires, including the spare, we mounted and balanced, too. The new 31" Falken rubber not only looks tough, but it will deliver tens of thousands of miles of premium grip. All in all, this special truck is hard not to appreciate. For those looking for a rare and special JDM SUV, we don't know how you could go wrong with this one!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.