1996 Hilux Surf SSR-X 2.7L
We are privileged to see and drive many cool Hilux Surfs around our dealership, but this eye-catching 1996 is a special one. It starts with the color, Toyota's Light Blue Metallic (8L6). Set off by a set of aggressive WEDS Keeler alloys, an OEM brushguard, Factory grille guard, privacy tint, and a set of OEM rainguards, the paint is in good nick aside from some minor scratches, dings, and chips associated with normal use. The lower cladding was refinished in a one-off Graphite and matched to the rear spoiler to complete the aesthetic. As if the head-turning styling wasn't enough, this rig is equipped with a true manual gearbox, which enthusiasts will love. Fresh off a recent service, this five-seater is offered with only 90k verified and documented miles. Boasting tons of electric equipment, reliable mechanicals, and a rugged 4x4 system, what isn't there to like? Practical, collectible, durable, and easy to own this RZN185 is a top-notch Japanese Classic that won't last long.
The interior is in good overall shape and was cared for in a prior life. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and this tall truck allows the driver to see above traffic. Dual SRS airbags are handy for a little extra peace of mind and the dash itself lacks any cracking or fading. Atop the windshield is an OEM Field monitor that displays the direction of travel, exterior temperatures, and barometric pressure. The center stack includes a simple to use automatic climate control system, that blows cold A/C and piping hot heat. For those that prefer natural ventilation, an electric sunroof combines with power rear glass and power windows for a more airy experience. The driver also benefits from an adjustable steering column, adjustable lumbar support, and power locks and mirrors. These all work like a charm and make daily use enjoyable. A Pioneer radio upgrade was performed in Japan at some point, but surprising has US frequencies. This updated audio system not only looks modern, but sounds great, and includes USB and auxiliary inputs. The seats are upholstered in a durable blue cloth that is mirrored in the door cards. The material has withstood the past 25 years of use without any major rips, tears, and stains of note. The rear bench is 4-way reclinable, too, which is a feature not offered in our stateside 4Runners. The carpets have been protected by the OEM floor liners and multicolored OEM cargo mat, and the headliner is clean and taut. It even has the owner's manuals and maintenance booklets still sitting in the glovebox.
Some folks have concerns about owning a JDM vehicle as it relates to service and ownership. Perhaps the easiest vehicle of them all to daily drive are these RZN185s, as they are nearly identical to the US counterpart, the 4Runner. The engine, for instance, is the same hearty 2.7L four-banger as the one offered here stateside. The 3RZ-FE is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up with the twist of the key. A new 12v battery was installed while it was up on our lift, and will deliver all the cold cranking amps needed in even the coldest of winter snaps. The four-cylinder is linked to a five-speed manual transmission. It makes fantastic use of the 3RZ's powerband and acceleration is comparable to the larger and thirstier V6. The transmission shifts without any issues and the driver has much more control over the platform, as compared to a slushbox-equipped model. For the best fuel economy, we recommend using 2WD, but if you want to get down and dirty, a selective transfer case is within arms reach. The smaller lever has settings for 4WD high and low and it operates seamlessly. The driveline has been refreshed since the truck arrived and one of our trained techs installed new front axles. The suspension also was improved with a new set of rear shocks. The result is a confident and predictable ride that is worthy of a daily driver. The brakes feel tidy and standard ABS is on standby in case you encounter some icy roads later this year. Lastly, new 31" Falken all-terrain tires were mounted and balanced and will deliver tons of year-round grip for tens of thousands of miles to come.
*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.