1996 Toyota Hilux Surf N185
Available for: $15,995
Having a dependable 4WD truck or SUV has its benefits and drawbacks. On the downside, your buddies Jeep might need a tow out of the muck or you might have to help your old college roommate move his apartment. This spacious, torquey, and reliable 1996 Hilux Surf won't help to get you out of any of that stuff sadly as it's one of the most practical all-around JDM imports out there on the market. Our 1996 KZN185 is finished in Toyota's desirable Stellar Blue (8L7) and is set off by a set-off by factory rainguards, OEM brush guard, and some slick projection headlamps. Aside from some clear coat fading on the door handles and a few normal dings and scratches, the paint is in good nick. Offered with a mere 142k verified and documented miles, this recently serviced 1KZ-TE is only now just getting broken in. Unique, practical, safe, determined, and refined, this third-generation Hilux Surf would make for a wonderful daily driver or weekend cruiser. For the 4x4 crowd who wants it all, this is a certified Japanese Classic SUV if we have ever seen one!
The Hilux cabin received a full redesign in 1996. Larger, better equipped, and full of quality materials the design has aged more gracefully than most. The biggest change up front is the addition of dual SRS airbags for driver and passenger. They offer a level of reassurance absent from most vehicles of this time period. The dash is in good shape lacking any cracking or fading. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and the driver can monitor the direction of travel, temperature, and barometric pressure thanks to a roof-mounted OEM field monitor. Power amenities surround the driver including electric windows, locks, and mirrors. They all work like a charm, and this example was optioned with a power-retractable sunroof, too. It adds some additional ventilation to the cabin and tilts up as well to provide a light breeze. The automatic climate system is simple to use and the controls are intuitive. The A/C blows cold for these last remaining days of summer and the heat works for the end of the year. Updates inside include a Pioneer touchscreen headunit and a VIP RmTurbo remote start. The headunit is a bit finicky and all in Japanese but it does work. We do recommend an American replacement and those are readily available on the cheap! The seats are trimmed in a bluish-gray corduroy cloth. There are some minor stains to note but they lack and major rips, tears, or holes. They are comfortable on long drives and the driver seat includes adjustable lumbar support. The carpets and headliner have held up fine over the year as have the door cards aside from some light staining. The cargo area is fairly large and the rear window power retracts for extra-long items such as 2x4s. With the middle seats folded flat, you can catch some sleep on the road or utilize the space for additional cargo needs. It's clear to see this Hilux was cared for in a prior life and the next buyer will surely benefit from this. We even have the Japanese owner's manual and a spare key sitting in the glovebox!
Mechanically this is a wonderful truck. Starting with the powerplant, the 1KZ-TE, it's easy to see why these have lasted the test of time. Fresh off an oil and filter service the 3.0L fires up quickly thanks to the juice provided by two new 12v batteries. These should last for a few years to come and keep the four-banger churning over even in the middle of the coldest of winter temperatures. This turbo-diesel breaths a bit better thanks to a new engine air filter and makes plenty of power. The engine is also more efficient than its gas counterpart, which is part of this model's appeal. An automatic gearbox makes good use of the powerband and the KZN185 is fast to accelerate for a truck. They are great during sustained highway cruising and get up to freeway merging speeds without having to wring the engine out. A selective transfer case gives the driver the ability to choose between two and four-wheel drive. The front and rear differentials have received a fluid flush as has the transfer case, keeping the driveline happy. Unlike stateside models sold in 1996, this SUV includes a locking center differential. These prove valuable on rugged terrain or sand, for those who love to cruise the beach. These trucks ride better than most any other body-on-frame vehicle we sell and this one is no exception. Thanks to new front and rear shocks, this beauty drives every bit as well as she looks. The brakes are confident and the power steering is reasonably light and communicative for a truck. The alloys wheels are all wrapped in new Falken all-terrain rubber and we even replaced the spare while we were at it. These tires look outstanding and can handle all the weather you can throw at them. They will last for tens of thousands of miles to come and are ready for year-round use!
*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.