1997 Hilux Surf SSR-X
Stateside 4Runners are cult classics, but what if you had a better option? Perhaps something in better shape, with fewer miles, better options, and identically easy-to-service. Rigs like the 1997 Hilux Surf fit that bill, and this stunning SSR-X model is fresh off a recent service and offered with a mere 105k verified miles. Finished in a stunning Black (204), its original hue, this five-seater is set off by a set of OEM rainguards, LED tail lamps, D-window wheels, and privacy tint. Overall the paint is in good shape aside from some light dings, chips, and scuffs associated with normal use. Featuring a spacious cabin and several performance and cosmetic upgrades, this RZN185 is a certified Japanese Classic. Built to last and highly collectible, this lifted JDM SUV would be a perfect weekend overlander, winter warrior, or unique and capable family hauler.
The cabin is roomy, ergonomically designed, and well-optioned. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and this tall ute rides far above traffic. The dashboard itself is in good nick, and lacks any cracking or fading. Toyota wanted to integrate more safety items into its 3rd generation platform and the dual front airbags are a good example of this. The driver can find an optimal driving position thanks to an adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support. Located in the center stack is a simple-to-use automatic climate control system. Just adjust the temperature control and you can cycle between piping hot heat and ice cold air conditioning. If you prefer more natural ventilation you can roll down the rear glass, power the sunroof, and unfurl the windows. The electric niceties work as advertised as do the power door locks and side mirrors. The leather seat covers are the highlight of the interior and aside from some light driver-side seat bottom wear are in fabulous shape aside from some flaking on the driver side seat bottom. The same material has been custom mounted on the door cards to create an upscale aesthetic. A Panasonic audio upgrade sounds good, and adds to the more modern feel. The headliner is in good nick and the carpets have withstood the past 25 years without sustaining major abuse. Overall, it's really hard to nitpick this special little truck!
A simple and sturdy body on frame platform is a great thing when considering longevity and durability. The beefy underpinnings below this Surf are the same as stateside versions and the zingy 2.7L inline-four powerplant is a perfect mate for this midsize hauler. Fresh off an oil and filter service, this Toyota churns to life promptly with the twist of a key, care of a new 12v battery we installed here in our shop. The 3RZ-FE idles with confidence thanks to a new engine air filter and is linked to a slick-shifting automatic gearbox. The transmission makes good work of the mill's horsepower and this rig effortlessly accelerates to highway speeds safely. We did shore up the driveline with a new right front CV axle, and now she drives right as rain. To maximize MPG and all-weather usability a selective transfer case comes standard. When the weather wants to comply or you need to extract better fuel economy, 2WD is ideal. For off-roaders or those living in seasonal climates, 4WD can be engaged at a click of a button on the control lever. If it's really nasty out there, 4WD low is also on hand. The truck handles large and small road imperfections with confidence and the 2" lift suits the strictly business aesthetic. The brakes feel confident, and ABS was made standard for this body style for those who have winter to contend with. The power steering is light and on point. The 16" wheels are knee-deep in aggressive BFG rubber and are eager to tear up some muddy trails when given the opportunity. Easy to service, a blast to drive, and incredibly useful, this special Surf is a JDM automotive switchblade that you won't want to miss out on!
*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