1996 Hilux Surf SSR-X 3.0TD
It's no surprise to us that our best-selling model is the N180 Hilux Surf. Dependable, easy to service, and highly practical, these rigs are great for families, adventurous types, and JDM enthusiasts alike. This 1996 is finished in Stellar Blue over Dark Graphite two-tone and is set off by a set of color-matched refinished OEM wheels along with some subtle OEM front rainguards. Aside from some light dings, chips, and scratches the paint is in good nick, and this recently serviced rig boasts a mere 96k verified and documented miles. A diesel die-hard will tell you, the 3.0L engine is barely broken in and provides an abundance of torque that was absent from our stateside gasoline models and this truck even includes a factory center locking differential, too! With a spacious and safe cabin, refined driving dynamics, and an affordable entry price, what's not to love about this Japanese Classic?
The cabin feels modern, and is logically laid out with plenty of electric equipment. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and the dashboard itself lacks any cracking or fading. Dual front SRS airbags come as standard equipment as does a centrally mounted automatic climate control system. The latter of which works as advertised and pumps in hot heat for the last few days of winter. Proper A/C is on standby for the summer months, and this Surf is rocking a new compressor to keep everyone within the friendly cabin confines nicely chilled. For those planning to commute, the OEM audio system works as it should as do the power windows, door locks, and electric side mirrors. The driver benefits additionally from a tilt-adjustable steering column and manually adjustable lumbar support. The seats are in above-average shape and the cloth upholstery is colored Moon Mist gray. They lack any major rips, stains, or tears and are durable, to boot. The rear seats are four-way reclinable and can fold flat to create a sleeping surface in the rear. For furry friends, the rear glass powers down to let in an additional breeze and rear privacy tint works hard to keep down cabin temps during sunny, hot days. The door cards, carpets, and headliner have resisted any major wear over the years, and it's clear the cabin was cared for in a prior life. That is not to say the interior is perfect as we did want to note the tachometer is nonoperational. Still, at 25 years old that is a bit of nitpicking and overall the condition will surely impress the next owner!
The engine that comes in this example was forbidden fruit to us lowly Americans. Our SSR-X here is powered by the nearly bulletproof 1KZ-TE. Fresh off an oil and filter service the 3.0L cranks to life care of a new 12v battery we installed here in our shop. While it was up on the lift we replaced the fuel filter for good measure and the hearty diesel pulls like a freight train to redline. The automatic gearbox is ideal for those looking to relax on a road trip, and shifts are smooth and properly executed. If you want to return some decent miles per gallon, 2WD is the ticket, but if the going gets tough, the driver has a few other options. 4WD can be engaged with a quick press of a button, and there is a low range available, too. Unlike the USDM 4Runners a center locker was also equipped, making these beasts nearly unstoppable over sand and other loose surfaces. The suspension handles large and small potholes with confidence and has loads of ground clearance to brag about. The power steering is nicely weighted and as direct as a truck will get. The standard ABS brakes will add some peace of mind for those dealing with snowy climates or hustling kids about. New front pads and rotors allow them to perform optimally and will save the new owner some coin on maintenance. Lastly, we mounted and balanced new Falken 31" all terrains at all four corners. The mean-looking rubber will deliver tens of thousands of miles of grip for years to come and reduce the road noise a touch over the worn-out units they've replaced.
*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.