1996 Toyota Hilux Second Gen
Stock Number: 4982
The capable, mid-sized, Hilux Surf takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. Powered by one of the best turbodiesels the brand ever designed along with a beefy 4WD system, this '96 second-gen is offered with a mere 119K verified miles. While similar to the wildly successful KZN130 chassis the KZN185 takes everything that was great about the original and polishes some of the rough edges. The bodywork is slightly revised and frankly, Toyota did a great job with it. The same can be said about the interior with some subtle touches. The Evergreen Pearl (751) is an awesome color that stands out without looking too flashy. The giant Surf graphics on the other hand most certainly grab your attention though in properly '90s fashion. The paint is in fair shape and the only reason we say that is the fact there are a fair bit of light clear coat scratches. It looks like it may have been caused by a car wash rubbing against the paint. Luckily they're light enough that a good paint correction would probably clear up most of it. Otherwise, there's not much to complain about on the exterior. The body is in good shape though you're always going to expect to find a door ding or two. The factory rain guards and privacy tint add a nice touch to the looks while also being rather functional at the same time.
Like the exterior, the second-gen got a nice upgrade on the inside. The center console and dash layout are revamped making it a bit easier to use. While the wood grain accents add a little class without going over the top. You also get a nifty digital compass and thermostat up by the sunroof controls. The sunroof is a great piece with summer right around the corner when you pair it up with the power back glass it's about as close to being a convertible as you can get. Plus with those rain guards, you can still get some fresh air when spring showers hit. Of course, if you'd rather you've got full automatic climate control and the A/C definitely does its thing. This one even still has the original radio which works as best it can here stateside. Luckily if you want to upgrade it to something newer and more feature-laden it's the same conversion you'd use in a typical 4Runner. You even get two pop-out cup holders which aren't something we see often in JDM rigs. The seats are just the right blend of bolstering to keep you in place without feeling like you have to squeeze into them like a lot of bucket seats tend to do. They've also held up great over the years without any real signs of wear. Even the back seats have been kept largely stain and blemish-free, plus with the 50/50 fold feature, you can easily double your carrying capacity. And with that power back glass, you can fit some overpriced 2x4s in the back to knock out your honey-do list.
The best part of the Hilux is the powerplant which is considered to be one of Toyotas' most reliable ever built. Now that statement is a big one, but do your research on this 3.0L 1KZ-TE. Admittedly its only shortcoming is its refinement being a massive 3.0L four-banger its to be expected. On the other hand, this bulletproof mill is known for making copious amounts of torque and surprises many with how frugal it is on fuel. Fresh off an oil and filter service it churns to life with a twist of the key thanks to a new 12V battery. With a mere 119K verified miles this rig is only just getting broken in, and that's not including the fact it's a diesel. A longer wheelbase, beefier 4WD system, and more rigid chassis were the main focus with its latest generation resulting in improved overall ride quality. Mated to a trusty 4WD system, an automatic gearbox makes good use of this engine's prolific torque profile. These have no issue getting up to speed while still being civil around town running errands. The trans is surprisingly quick to shift and has no hesitation running through the gears. There is an ECT power button that will hold you in gear longer to keep you in the powerband when need be. The selectable 4WD system has more than enough oomph to get you out of any bind. 4 new all terrains also make sure that you've got plenty of traction to go along with the 4x4 system. The stock suspension has little issues on crappy US highways and is plenty capable offroad. As a capable truck, the Hilux is more than capable of whatever you can throw at it. The overengineered powertrain, aggressive aesthetic, and low cost of ownership make this an instant Japanese Classic.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint 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.