1996 Toyota Hilux SSR-G
As vehicles undergo a redesign, manufacturers generally make some decent all-around improvements. When it comes to most SUVs sold nowadays, they have been neutered and are far less capable off-road than their ancestral truck-based haulers. This 1996 Hilux Surf does it all and performs better than average on the tarmac while still being able to traverse some of the most aggressive terrain out there. This SSR-G, which is the top-level trim, is finished in an understated but classy (1A5) Desert Dune Metallic. The body is in good shape aside from some minor dings and scuffs associated with normal use and looks sharper than the average Surf thanks to an aftermarket JAOS brush guard and a set of OEM rain guards. Offered with a mere 83k verified and documented miles on the chassis, this tough turbodiesel is only now just getting broken in. Recently serviced and legally imported this brutish mid-size five-seat hauler is a practical and collectible Japanese Classic!
The cabin is spacious, well equipped, and has obviously been cared for throughout its life. This one even includes the Japanese maintenance book with some service records in the glove box, which is rarely found. The dash is in good shape and lacks any cracking or distortion, and unlike the previous generation N130 vehicles, these have standard dual SRS airbags. Power folding mirrors, electric locks, and windows are all standard as well and work as they should as does the overhead compass and inclinometer. Even the back glass in the hatch rolls down for better ventilation. Our favorite factory option is the power rear mirror which unfurls from the OEM rear spoiler. You can see the rear bumper when you are backing up and can more easily avoid bumper damage. The seats are upholstered in a durable gray textured cloth. It's still soft to the touch and lacks any major rips, stains, or tears. The driver seat even has a lumbar adjustment. The automatic climate control pumps cold air conditioning out of the vents, and the OEM audio below works properly as well. There is a small amount of discoloration on the driver's door plastic but otherwise, the door cards look good. The carpet does have some light staining but the headliner looks well cared for and we also wanted to note the power sunroof is not working.
These KZN185 models are known for their legendary reliability and powerful engines. The 1KZ-TE that powers this truck is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up immediately thanks to two new 12v batteries. These will last for years to come and provide enough cold cranking amps to get this thing running in the dead of winter. The four-banger idles confidently and is connected to a selective transfer case. Unlike the US models, these came with a center locking differential which is prized for off-road enthusiasts. The driver can choose between engaging 2WD or 4WD and low gearing is available, of course. The automatic transmission shifts as it should and the Surf accelerates impressively for such a large vehicle. It's also pretty fuel efficient and these 185's are nicely suited for sustained highway use. The multilink suspension can handle the rigors of daily abuse and are actually adjustable via the OEM optioned TEMS struts. The TEMS suspension was cutting edge at the time and includes firm and soft settings to aid driver comfort. The factory alloy wheels are wrapped in new all-terrain rubber at all four corners and we even have installed a new spare tire to match.
*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.