1996 Hilux Surf RZN185
The Hilux Surf is a fun, capable, and collectible sport utility. This 1996 is particularly sweet, equipped with a manual gearbox and punchy gasoline four-banger power plant. Finished in a Stellar Blue over Dark Graphite (8L7) two-tone, and set off by a color-matched rear spoiler, privacy tint, a set of OEM rainguards, and aggressive Rays Daytona alloys this Surf is a seriously eye-catching example! The paint is in good shape aside from some light scuffs, chips, and scratches associated with normal use, and this turn-key 4x4 is fresh off a recent service. At only 122k verified and documented miles, she is barely broken in! As a year-round daily driver, family cruiser, or unique trail rig, this Toyota is ideal. Collectible, inexpensive to service, efficient, and fun to drive, but most of all reliable RZN185s are wonderful trucks to own and bonafide Japanese Classics.
The cabin has a simple layout but includes plenty of power amenities and features. Safety was a big focus of the team at Toyota with this model's redesign, and they made dual SRS airbags standard up front. The dash lacks any cracking or fading and is in good overall shape. An automatic climate control system is centrally mounted, and boy does that A/C blow cold. A Pioneer head unit upgrade with USB input looks more modern and sounds fantastic. The driver benefits from a slate of amenities including an adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support. Additionally, functional electric mirrors, windows, locks, and rear glass make daily use enjoyable! The seats are in above-average shape and lack any major rips, stains, or tears. The material is a blue durable corduroy-type upholstery and is mirrored in the door cards, which are in good nick as well. The headliner is tight and taut, while the carpets have withstood the past quarter century without sustaining major abuse. Even the OEM carpet mats, factory maintenance booklet, and owners manuals are on hand to give to the next American owner!
The underpinnings of this platform are the same as US 4Runners, so parts and service are a snap. This body-on-frame ride is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up promptly care of a new 12v battery installed while it was in the shop. The engine idles with confidence and has been refreshed with a set of new spark plugs and wires, distributor cap, and rotor button. The valve cover gasket was replaced as well, keeping the 2.7L full of oil. We didn't stop there, as one of our trained techs replaced the water pump and thermostat to give the cooling system a new lease on life. The five-speed transmission makes daily driving much more fun and involved. Shifts occur without a hitch or grind, and you can't help but smile while running this SUV through the gears. The gearbox does a great job of maximizing the 3RZ-FE's horsepower is pretty quick to accelerate. Sustained freeway driving is comfortable, and the gearing is tall enough so that sustained high-speed cruising is stress-free. If the weather doesn't comply the selective transfer case has both low range and high range 4WD settings if necessary. The ride quality is above average, but there is a good reason for that. New front and rear struts have replaced the old worn-out stock units and now this Hilux feels much more buttoned up. Large and small potholes alike are gobbled up by this chassis translating to a stable and predictable feel overall. The brakes also feel confident, and the power steering is light and on point. To complete our full reconditioning we installed new 32" Falken tires at all four corners. The new rubber looks mean, but more importantly will last for tens of thousands of miles to come while delivering all the year-round grip you might need!
*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.