1996 Toyota Hilux Surf 3.0
Available for: $16,495
In the middle of the 1990s, Toyota had cemented its place as one of the premier designers of true SUVs. Its body on frame portfolio included the Land Cruiser, Prado models, and this Hilux Surf. The N185 offered top tier capability and reliability, but is much more nimble and balanced compared to Toyota's larger options mentioned above. This 1996 is good looking truck, finished in a Desert Dune Metallic over Cement (1A5/1H5) two-tone. Aside from a few light dings and scratches the body is in good shape and this rig is set off by OEM rainguards, an optional front grille garnish, a stylish rear spoiler, privacy tint, and some aftermarket 16" alloys shod in beefy 31" all-terrain rubber. Best of all this recently serviced SSR-X boasts a mere 118k verified and documented miles on the clock. For the enthusiasts who love this 1KZ-TE turbodiesel, they know this Surf is barely broken in. This sport utility touts the better performance and fuel economy than its gasoline brethren. Durable enough for a weekend on the trails, yet composed enough to be daily driven this Japanese Classic is tough to beat, and is highly collectible in the long term!
The cabin design is simple and straightforward. It has more than enough amenities for those looking to drive year-round, even in a region with climate extremes. The driver benefits from a tilt adjustable steering column and lumbar support to find the ideal driving position. The view of the road ahead is unobstructed and the taller ride height and low belt line deliver above average outward visibility. The dashboard lacks any cracking or distortion and houses dual SRS airbags. The center stack includes a simple-to-use climate control system with cold A/C and piping hot heat on demand. Below is a functional Pioneer headunit that's also compatible with our modern smartphones and US FM stations! Power windows, door locks and electric mirrors are all functional and make daily use enjoyable. If you have a four-legged friend who likes to tag along the rear glass powers down to supply a fresh breeze. The seats are in good shape and are upholstered in a durable Moon Mist colored cloth. They lack any major rips, satin or tears and are comfortable on longer hauls. The rear bench folds flat into the floor to maximize the cargo capacity and can also be 4-Way reclined when passengers are aboard. The headliner, door cards and carpets are in fair shape and have escaped the past 25 years without sustaining major abuse outside of a few stains here and there. Additionally the driver's side seat bolster has flattened after decades of use, but that's of little concern when you analyze this cabin's condition as a whole.
Sharing a platform with our US 4Runners, parts and service are a snap. That even relates to the diesel powerplant as we have cross-referenced most everything to be found here in the US. The 3.0L under the hood is fresh off an oil and filter service. Two new 12v batteries were installed while it was on our lift and they will be more than happy to provide all the juice for startup for years to come. To ensure the four banger feels fresh we replaced the engine air filter and fuel filter, too. The 2982cc mill is paired with a stout automatic gearbox. The selective transfercase allows the driver to select between 2WD, for the best fuel economy and acceleration, or deliver the grip of 4WD on the fly. We replaced a rear differential pinion seal so that torque can be safely applied to the driveline without leaking unnecessary lubricant. Even better, a low range and optional center locker can be engaged to keep the momentum moving forward. Speaking of which, these things are great on the beach and to give the next owner some additional ground clearance we have installed a 2" lift and installed new Bilstein shocks all the way around. An alignment was added for good measure and this Surf is about as smooth as they get. The standard ABS brakes feel confident and the power steering is light yet direct. The wheels are all wrapped in new 33" all terrain Falkens that will go just about anywhere, and look great doing it!
*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.