1996 KZN185 Surf 3.0TD
The Hilux Surf is a wonder. Built to be nearly bulletproof, it provides a five-seat SUV option for those who value efficiency, low cost of ownership, and off-road performance. Finished in a one-off Gotham Black, this stunning rig is set off by a 2" lift, OEM color matched rear spare tire swingarm, subtle OEM rear spoiler, and 17" WEDS Keeler alloys shod in meaty 33" rubber. Aside from a few light dings, chips, and scrapes this 1996 is in good shape and is fresh off a recent service. Rocking an impressive 82k verified and documented miles on the ticker, this turbodiesel beast is barely broken in. Practical, collectible, and performance-oriented, this super Surf would be a top-tier daily driver, cool weekend cruiser, or dedicated off-road playtoy. Japanese Classic SUVs provide so much more value than their US competition, with fewer miles, more interior options, and a powertrain that just won't give up! If you don't believe us, just get behind the wheel!
The cabin is well-designed and includes plenty of upgrades and factory power features. When you hop into the driver's seat, you are greeted with a lovely woodgrain steering wheel. To the left, a Bluetooth-equipped Pioneer touchscreen head unit is happy to pipe in some tunes, and the sound quality is still decent, too! Other updates include a leather armrest and door cards, and piano black door trim with a matching center stack bezel. For those who plan to daily drive this rig year round, the automatic climate control is happy to send in piping hot heat or cold A/C so that the cabin remains comfortable. If you prefer natural ventilation, the rear hatch glass retracts into the tailgate and the power side windows can be unfurled quickly. The power door locks and side mirrors also work in typical Toyota fashion making daily use enjoyable. The seats are upholstered in a rare and desirable Moon Mist-colored cloth. The durable material lacks any major rips, stains, or tears and was obviously cared for in a prior life. For those who live life on the go, the cargo area can be expanded by tumbling forward and it also 4-way reclines and split folds. The headliner and carpets have resisted major abuse over the years and are still in fine shape. That's not to say the cabin is perfect as we wanted to note an inoperable tachometer, and some lifting on the door cards and dashboard by the glove box. Still, at 25 years old this cockpit puts most American 4Runners to shame and the lack of squeaks and rattles is something that frankly impresses even us. It even includes the manuals and maintenance booklets from Japan!
Body on frame and built to take a fair bit of abuse, these Surfs are a sturdy SUV. The engine is an absolute gem, the 1KZ-TE. The 3.0L is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up with the twist of a key thanks to a new 12v battery. To ensure tip-top performance and fuel economy the engine air filter and fuel filter were switched out with new units. We didn't stop there as we also replaced the serpentine belts to keep the electronics reliably powered. With the engine good to go, we focused our attention on the selective transfer case. One of our trained techs replaced the front and rear output seals with new ones, and now it's right as rain! The automatic gearbox maximizes the broad torque curve of the sizable four-banger and acceleration is peppy for such an old truck. New front CV axles allow for the power to be transferred to the pavement seamlessly, and while 2WD is best for straight-line acceleration and maximizing fuel economy, 4WD is available to provide additional grip. If a beach outing is in order, the optional center locking differential can be engaged with the low-range 4WD and suddenly this truck is all business! The steering is power-assisted and nicely weighted, and new front sway bar links have been taken care of while up on the lift. The standard ABS brakes are predictable and there is plenty of ground clearance to enjoy should you choose to take the road less traveled. Lastly, we mounted and balanced new 33" Falkens at all four corners. The new rubber quiets down the road noise a tad, but most importantly will last 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.