1996 Surf 3.0TD
Toyota's 3rd generation Surf is a champion on all fronts, and still remains a fan-favorite model among the brand's enthusiasts to this day. While US Toyota heads are quick to champion the 96-02 4Runner with its durable gasoline powerplants, the Japanese were cooking up their own recipe for success, with models like this 96' equipped with a robust turbodiesel engine and center locked 4WD drivetrain. Finished in Baja Storm Metallic (HAL) this Surf is perfectly spec'd for mudding, trail crawling, or trips wherever you choose to get dirty, and the 145k miles on the clock are verified and sure to make you feel confident driving this rig for daily use. Set off by privacy tint and refinished 16" alloys, this handsome rig looks the part, and it should come as no surprise we give it our Japanese Classic stamp of approval.
The interior is well appointed, full of options, and overall holds its own in a society dominated by technology laden cabins. Upholstered in a stately moon mist cloth, the fabric assumes an almost corduroy appearance and, aside from some light wear and tear to the driver's seat and delamination on the door card fabric, it's clear the previous owner cared about this one in a prior life. The dash sweeps across the cabin and houses dual SRS airbags up front for safety conscious pilots and passengers alike, and the grey vinyl has resisted any unwanted cracks or UV distortion over the years. The center stack is easy to navigate and features automatic climate control and OEM audio, which makes daily use more enjoyable. As expected the A/C blows ice cold and the audio quality isn't too shabby either. Further aiding accessibility, power windows, mirrors, and locks work without a hitch, and the power rear glass is unique to the 4Runner platform and is always a fan favorite feature amongst your passengers and canine companions in the rear. For a 25 year old cabin, the headliner and carpets aren't too worse for the wear, and the middle row can tumble forward should you require more cargo space in the rear, or recline if your occupants need a bit of shut eye on a road trip. Overall, this cabin does about everything you need it to. It looks good and has withstood the past couple of decades without falling victim to too much wear and tear. We've even held on to the original maintenance booklet so you feel good about your investment in this Surf!
Simply put, the 1KZ-TE under the hood is a champ on or off the pavement. It's a shame this robust turbodiesel was never available in our stateside market, but fortunately our team of trained technicians has no problem servicing them! From a mechanical standpoint, a fresh oil and filter service was performed, and we buttoned up the valve cover with a new gasket to ensure you won't leak a drop of fluid. New serpentine belts were installed across the board and this 1K cranks to life care of two new 12v batteries we plopped under the hood. With the maintenance performed and a fresh fuel filter and engine air filter installed, this one is a treat to drive and the turbo propels this diesel mill from stoplight to stoplight without batting an eye. For longer excursions, the automatic transmission is geared nicely for highway driving, and if you choose to go off the beaten path, 4WD can be selected in a pinch, with a center locking differential coming in handy should you find yourself in less than ideal territory. The suspension is free of any unwanted creaks or clunks, and ABS brakes can be engaged in a pinch to stop this SUV on a dime. As we couldn't verify the age of the Japanese rubber that was on this rig, we ditched it in favor of 4 new Falken 33" All Terrains. They look substantially better and most importantly will grip strong for tens of thousands of miles to come and we have performed a fresh alignment!
*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.