1996 Hilux Surf Turbo Diesel
This 1996 Hilux Surf is a stunning truck, and the first we have come across in the pretty (3K4) Sunfire Red Pearl. Rocking a subtle set of OEM rainguards and a factory rear spoiler, the paint is in good shape aside from some minor dings and chips associated with normal use. Offered with a mere 149k verified and documented miles, this tough, torquey turbodiesel rig is fresh off a recent service. Roomy, refined, and safe, this capable Japanese Classic 4x4 would make for a wonderful daily driver, efficient family hauler, or weekend trail toy.
The cabin is simple in its design, and it's roomy and well-appointed too. The driver has a clear view of the road ahead as this Hilux rides far above traffic. The dash is in good nick and lacks any cracking or distortion. Dual SRS airbags are standard and add a bit of peace of mind. Electric mirrors, power locks, and electric windows are all standard and work as advertised and the driver benefits from an adjustable steering column for ultimate comfort. The OEM audio was ditched in Japan for an Addzest unit and it provides all the tunes you need. Directly above is an automatic climate control system that features boiling heat and cold A/C. It's easy to use and there are two pull-out cup holders located above. The seats are trimmed in a durable, gray cloth. They lack any major rips, stains, or tears and are comfy on long trips. The door cards look good too, although we did want to note some light staining on the carpets and headliner. The rear glass powers down if you have some lengthy 2x4s to hand out the back or a canine companion. We also wanted to note the tach works intermittently but it doesn't affect the odometer. Still, at 25 years old, the cabin is in good shape and was cared for in a prior life.
The mechanicals are nearly identical to the US version so parts and service is a snap. The biggest exception to the prior statement is the engine, which is a brute of a turbodiesel. Powered by the 1KZ-TE 3.0L, this SUV performs impressively. Fresh off an oil and filter service, the four-cylinder starts right up with a twist of the key. A new 12v battery will last for years to come and allow the Surf to crank in the coldest of winter snaps. The diesel is mated to a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox, and the driver can determine whether 2WD or 4WD is appropriate. If you get on the beach, a standard center locker sets this truck apart from the US 4Runner. These rigs are almost unstoppable with it engaged. The suspension is compliant and predictable when on tarmac, which is likely going to be how these are used for the most part. There are fewer squeaks and rattles than most SUVs of this vintage and these Surfs are remarkably civil. The brakes are confident and the power steering is light and power-assisted. The OEM alloys are all wrapped in new all-season tires that will deliver tens of thousands of miles of year-round grip to come.
*California Residents: In order to register a Gray 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.