1997 Hilux Surf N185
With its nearly universal appeal, the 3rd generation Hilux Surf is a practical purchase. They are appreciating rapidly at the moment, and examples like this turbodiesel SSR-X are hot sellers. This 1997 is nicely optioned, fresh off a recent service, and offered with only 113k verified and documented miles. Refinished in a one-off Avocadogruen Pearl (LZ6R), and set off by a subtle OEM rear spoiler, OEM rainguards, 16" bronze aftermarket alloys, and rear privacy tint, this truck is a real head-turner. Aside from some light paint imperfections, this five-seater is in good cosmetic shape, and repairs in Japan include a rear bumper replacement. Touting a rugged 4x4 system, robust drivetrain, and spacious interior, this midsize Japanese Classic is turn-key ready to roll, and to start the next exciting chapter of its life!
The cabin has plenty of room with a bunch of electric amenities and safety equipment. For the first time ever, dual SRS airbags became standard equipment. This should add some peace of mind for those who are riding up front. The dash itself lacks any cracking from sun exposure, and the view of the road ahead is clear and commanding. Night-time driving is aided by an LED headlight upgrade, as well. The driver benefits from adjustable lumbar support, and an adjustable steering column. The electric window switches, door locks, and power mirror controls are all at hand. The options work properly and make daily use enjoyable. In Japan, the old owner installed a host of Pioneer radio upgrades, including a headunit, nav screen, and dual rear speaker pods replace the factory bits. The audio quality is decent and it's never bad to have some tunes on standby in case you get stuck in traffic. The biggest cabin flaw is that the factory sunroof no longer power retracts. On the positive side, it lets in plenty of natural light to make the cabin feel larger and it seals the rain out as it should. The seats are upholstered in a durable, blue corduroy-like cloth. Other than two minor burn marks on the driver seat bottom, they lack any major rips, stains, or tears, and are in good nick overall. Rear occupants have plenty of shoulder and legroom, and unlike American 4Runners, the rear seats have several recline settings to choose from in the event you want to take a quick snooze. The rear bench can also be conveniently folded away to create a flat loading floor. If your pup plans to ride in the cargo area the rear window also electrically unfurls for premium ventilation. That is not to say the cabin is perfect as there are some normal flaws for SUVs of this vintage. The carpets and headliner have some of the common light stains we see on vehicles of this age, and there are some scuffs on some of the interior plastics. The overhead field monitor also no longer powers up. Still, compared to the US, third-generation 4Runners, the cabin condition is superior, and we even have the original owners' manuals and books for the next owner!
If you have an adventurous spirit this Hilux Surf can take you nearly anywhere. Unlike US versions, this truck is equipped with two special items. The obvious one of note is the bulletproof 1KZ-TE engine. In the states we could only purchase gasoline motors, which weren't nearly as exciting as the one in this Surf. Fresh off a recent oil and filter service, the 3.0L springs to life care of a new 12v battery. It has a deeper exhaust note thanks to a Suxon polished catback, and sounds killer under throttle compared to an average KZN185. The four-banger idles with confidence, and is mated to a slick-shifting automatic transmission. The driver can choose between 2WD and 4WD with the click of a button mounted on the side of the transfer case lever. For tough terrain, the driver can select 4WD low and engage the center locker, which is the second special item our stateside 4Runners never had. Nearly unstoppable on the sand and in the snow, this KZN185 can be used year-round. Getting up to, and above merging speeds is easy with the gobs of torque supplied by the 1K, and it returns decent fuel economy for this size SUV. The brakes are confident, the power steering is weighted nicely, and is as communicative as a body-on-frame vehicle can be. While up on the lift one of our trained techs replaced the rear wheel bearings and the right front axle to shore up the driveline. Lastly, new 31" Falken all-terrain tires were mounted and balanced at all four corners. Not only does the rubber look mean, but they will provide tens of thousands of miles of the year-round grip 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.