1997 Hilux Surf 3.0D

Available for: $19,495

Stock #6320

For the true Toyota off-road enthusiast, a diesel Hilux Surf is always a safe pick. Capable, easy to service and modify, while nearly impossible to kill, this 1997 is quite the truck. It's efficient and powerful too, and the 1KZ-TE power plant has a top-tier reputation. Fresh off a recent service, this turn-key rig is offered with a mere 141k verified and documented miles on the clock. Lifted on new Bilsteins, this example is finished in a one-off Brooklands Black. Handsome enough in stock form, this Hilux is accentuated by a set of refinished OEM alloy wheels, LED tail lights, a stylish OEM rear spoiler, privacy tint, and some OEM rainguards. Aside from some light dings, chips, and scuffs the body is in good nick overall, and the interior is even better! Safe, spacious, and stylish, this Japanese Classic is an incredible value and would make for a decent daily driver, fierce family hauler, or cool campsite cruiser.

The interior includes a few eye-catching upgrades and a slew of power options. Dual SRS airbags and ABS brakes are standard on the third generation Surfs, for those who may be safety conscious. The driver benefits from a tilt-adjustable steering column and power-adjustable lumbar support. The dashboard features a simple design and optional automatic climate control. The system mixes cold air conditioning and heat when requested, and the controls are close by, and at hand. If you prefer natural ventilation the side windows power down, as does the glass in the rear hatch, and the OEM moonroof tilts and retracts. A Pioneer radio upgrade supplies tunes to the cabin and looks more modern than the dated factory unit. The seats are covered in fitted leather covers to protect the cloth below. The rear bench 4-way reclines and can also tumble forward to accommodate more cargo. Power mirrors and door locks function as they should, making daily use more enjoyable. Faux wood trim dots the cabin and breaks up the darker colors of the interior, while the leather accents give the interior a more upscale experience. The headliner and door cards are in fine nick, and aside from some light carpet staining and an old nav mount that is still installed on the dash, it is hard to complain about the cabin as this Hilux was cared for overseas.

Mechanically, this SUV shares its chassis and suspension with our stateside 4Runners. The main difference is the rugged and resilient 1KZ-TE engine under the hood, which we missed out on here in the US. Parts are readily available for this 3.0L domestically, and this Surf is fresh off a in-house service. The four-banger chugs to life care of a new 12v battery and the 1K benefits from a fresh oil and filter service. To keep all that new oil internal, one of our trained techs has replaced the weary old valve cover with a new one and we replaced the half moon seals while we were at it. New serpentine belts were installed to keep the electronics powered and a new fuel filter was taken care of. The 1K pulls hard to redline and the low-end grunt is as impressive as its fuel economy. The turbodiesel is mated to a stout automatic gearbox that shifts just as it should. New transmission fluid was swapped into the transmission, too. Torque is fed through a selective transfer case to the rear, or both axles, depending on the driver's preference. For beach outings or slippery trail driving, a low-range 4WD and optional center-locking differential can be engaged. Highway cruising is comfortable and we have refreshed the suspension heavily for those who value above-average ride quality. New Bilstein shocks and new rear upper control arms, new lower front ball joints and front lower control arms make quick work of potholes small and large. Slowing down this big Toyota is stress-free, and the ABS brakes benefit from new front rotors and pads. Grip is handled by four new 33" Falken tires mounted and balanced at each corner. The Hilux drives straight as an arrow thanks to a new alignment and new steering rack bushings. The standard power steering is communicative, direct, and on point for a truck, although we wanted to note a slight power steering seep. Turn-key, and ready to roll, this KZN185 is a true all-around performer that won't let you down!

*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.

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