1997 Hilux Surf RZN185
Available for: $17,995
The Hilux Surf is a tremendous all-around performer. It's great in stock form and can be easily customized to help better fit the needs of the enthusiast. For those shopping for a more unique example, look no further than this 1997 RZN185. Finished in a One-Off Amber Mocha Metallic over Steel Gray two-tone, this special rig really stands out from the crowd. Aside from some light cosmetic imperfections, the paint is in good shape overall, and this Surf is set off by a sporty set of 16" WEDS Keeler alloys and a sexy OEM rear spoiler. For those who value ease of ownership, this spacious five-seater is offered with the same driveline as US 4Runners, so parts and service options are readily available. This practical, rugged, and fun midsize truck is offered with only 98k verified and documented miles and is turn key, ready to roll! As a daily driver, winter hauler, or weekend trail toy this Hilux is a Japanese Classic for the ages.
The cabin boasts gobs of space, electric equipment, and a few snazzy upgrades. The custom-fitted leather seat covers steal the show and protect the charcoal cloth upholstery underneath. The addition of these and a more modern, and functional, Strada headunit set this cabin apart from the rest. The driver benefits from a slate of power and convenience items. An electric sunroof, power windows, locks, and mirrors all make daily use more enjoyable. Even the rear glass power retracts for a more open-air driving experience that dog owners will surely appreciate. This truck utilizes a simple to use automatic climate control system with piping hot heat and cold A/C on standby. Ideal for year-round use, the amount of headroom, legroom, and shoulder room are plentiful and this Surf has a large cargo area with fold-down seats in case a camping trip is in order. Unlike stateside versions of this SUV, the rear bench is four-way reclinable so that those in the rear of the vehicle can relax and catch some shuteye if need be. The headliner and door cards lack any major imperfections and the head unit is tight and taut on the roof. That's not to say the cabin is perfect as there are some cracks on the dash and the power folding function on the passenger side mirror has given up the ghost, and the speedometer intermittently works (usually when it is cold outside). Still, at 25 years old it's obvious this truck was cared for in a prior life and the interior is still in better shape than most American 4Runners available for purchase.
The simple and sturdy underpinnings of these N180 SUVs are a large reason why so many of these rigs have stood the test of time. Powered by the 3RZ-FE, these lovable utes take a licking and keep on ticking. Fresh off an oil and filter service, the four-banger cranks to life care of a new 12v battery installed in-house. The 2.7L idles with confidence and is linked to a slick-shifting automatic gearbox. Power can be fed through a selective transfercase to the rear or all four wheels. For stickier situations, the Hilux Surf has a dedicated low 4WD gearset to multiply torque so you can forge forward through the muck. The acceleration is nearly as good as the thirstier V6 and sustained highway cruising is stress-free. To shore up the drivetrain one of our trained techs replaced the front left differential seal and she now rides right as rain. The suspension offers loads of ground clearance and is predictable even on rougher pavement. The brakes feel confident and for those living around snow, ABS is standard. To complete the list of required maintenance, we mounted and balanced four new Falken Rubitrek all-terrain tires. The 31" rubber not only looks mean but most importantly will last 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.