1997 Hilux Surf 2.7 Limited
Our love for the N180 platform is endless here at the dealership, and this 1997 is one lovely example. Offering the same, easy-to-service engine as our stateside 4Runner, this reliable rig is ideal for those looking to daily drive, hit the trails, or haul the family about. Finished in a stately Natural White over Graphite Gray (056) two-tone, this Surf is set off by a set of OEM rainguards, optional rear spoiler, privacy tint and refinished OEM alloys wrapped in aggressive 31" all-terrain Falkens. Aside from some light chips, scuffs, and scratches associated with normal use, this Hilux stands tall and conveys a tough, all-business aesthetic. Fresh off a recent service, the center-locked beast is turn-key and ready to roll, and boasts a mere 116k verified and documented miles. Practical, stylish, collectible, and cool, this surefooted 4x4 is an all-around performer and a certified Japanese Classic.
For late 1997 the Hilux Surf received a light factory refresh. The cabin was updated with a new gauge cluster and seating materials among other things. This example has held up well over the years and was clearly cared for in a prior life. The dashboard lacks any cracks or fading and the driver has a clear view of the road ahead. A tilt-adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support will ensure whoever is behind the wheel finds the ideal driving position. Dual SRS airbags are standard equipment for those who may be safety-oriented. Power windows, retractable rear glass, electric locks, and power-folding mirrors are all in good working order and make daily use more enjoyable. Really the only item we would recommend replacing at this time is the head unit which has given up the ghost. The seats are in above-average shape and are upholstered in dark gray confetti cloth. They lack any major rips, stains or tears. The rear bench is quite versatile. Not only does it fold fully forward for dedicated cargo hauling, the seats recline slightly to allow your rear passengers to catch a quick snooze. If you appreciate a good party trick, you'll love the power retractable rear under mirror, which works as an analog backup camera when unfurled. The carpet and headliner have resisted major abuse over the years and the carpets are covered by a set of pricey OEM carpet mats. All in all, this interior should be plenty adequate for it's next owner, and aside from some missing sunvisors and grab handles atop the headliner there's not much to turn your nose up at with this example.
Under the skin, the Hilux Surf is a beefy, well-built SUV. Its body on frame platform traces its roots to a real truck unlike soft-roading tall sedans masquerading as SUVs these days. This SSR-X is powered by the robust 3RZ-FE. Fresh off an oil and filter service, the 2.7l churns over with the twist of a key care of a new 12v battery. While the tune-up was a touch outdated, one of our trained techs took care of several maintenance items to give the new American owner the opportunity to start ownership off on the right foot. The weary original valve cover gasket was replaced by a new one, so that the four-banger stays topped up on oil. A new engine air filter, fuel filter, and serpentine belts across the board ensure the 3RZ operates seamlessly. The powerplant is linked to a smooth shifting automatic gearbox that makes good use of the engine's powerband. These four-cylinder gassers accelerate nearly as well as the V6s and are easier to service and simple to turn a wrench on. One of the neatest upgrades is within the selective transfercase. A center locker and low-range 4WD can be engaged to keep this truck moving forward over some of the nastiest terrain imaginable, and we've replaced both front axles to ensure smooth operation for the road ahead. The revised multi-link suspension delivers tons of ground clearance and a much better on-road feel than its predecessor. To improve the ride quality and steering system, we set to work replacing the front shocks and front sway bar links. With this work performed the Surf now drives much better! Brand new 31" Falken rubber was mounted and balanced at all four corners to complete this terrific truck's reconditioning and the ABS brakes are tight and tidy. Daily drivers, overland adventurers, and families on the go all seem to enjoy these 3rd generation midsize SUVs and we only see the market going up from here!
*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.