1997 Hilux Surf 2.7L Locked
Many feel Toyota's heyday was in the late 80s through the 90s, and we would tend to agree. Every car, truck, van, and SUV seemed to be a smash hit, and this 1997 Surf is no exception. Versatile, capable, and easy to service, it's no secret why this is our best-selling vehicle. This Desert Dune Metallic (1A5) SSR-X edition has been spiced up by a set of refinished black aftermarket alloys, 31" Falken rubber, privacy tint, and a subtle set of OEM rainguards. Aside from some light dings, chips, and some fading clearcoat, this turn-key SUV is in good shape, and offered with a mere 74k verified and documented miles. Boasting a spacious interior, a durable body-on-frame design, and a selective 4WD system, it's everything you could ask for in a ute. As a daily driver, weekend cruiser, or dedicated family hauler, this RZN185 is a true Japanese Classic!
In late 1997 Toyota gave the cabin a light refresh and added some additional equipment. New upholstery designs liven up the cabin and a new gauge cluster displayed more vehicle info to the driver. The dashboard houses dual SRS front airbags for some added peace of mind and there is no cracking or fading of note on the tan vinyl. The factory automatic climate control works like a charm and is located in the center stack. For those living in a seasonal climate, the air conditioning will be handy for the summer ahead, and the heat can easily handle these last few cold mornings. Directly adjacent is the Pioneer touchscreen audio upgrade. It happily supplies all the tunes necessary to drown out your spouse and kids. The driver benefits from a tilt-adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support. The power windows, door locks, power rear glass, and electric windows all work in typical Toyota fashion. The tan upholstery is in above-average shape and lacks any major rips, stains, or tears. The door cards, headliner, and carpets have withstood the past quarter century without sustained major abuse. Even the owner's manuals are on hand, and a rare set of OEM mats are included in the sale to protect the carpet below against future spills and stains. That's not to say the cabin is perfect as we did want to note some light wear on the touch surfaces and a non-operational clock. Still, at 25 years old this Surf is in wonderful nick and the next owner will likely feel the same way.
The mechanicals are shared with the US 4Runner so service and parts are easy to find. The 3RZ-FE is one hell of a well-built engine, with its forged connecting rods and crank. This DOHC mill is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up with the twist of the key care of a new 12v battery. A new engine air filter and new fuel filter help the 2.7L to run seamlessly and a new harmonic balancer was installed by one of our trained techs. A new valve cover gasket was also replaced so that the four-banger stays topped up on oil. Linked to a smooth-shifting automatic, power can be sent to the rear wheels or all four depending on the driver's preference. A low-range 4WD setting can also be deployed with the factory center locker to ensure you can get where you need to go, even if the weather doesn't want to comply. On tarmac, the third-generation Surf is considerably better than the generation that came before it. The revised multi-link suspension provides decent insulation from large and small potholes alike, but is predictable and connected rather than floaty feeling. The ABS brakes reel in this midsize ute from higher speeds without breaking a sweat, and the new 31" Falken all terrains will provide all the grip you'll need for tens of thousands of miles to come.
*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.