1997 Intercooled Hilux Surf
Surf enthusiasts want diesel, intercooled models just like this 1997. These intercooled diesels offer incredible performance and efficiency and have a reputation for being nearly bulletproof engines. Pair that with a safe and spacious cabin and surefooted 4WD, you have the perfect midsize SUV. This special SSR-X is finished in Natural White (056) over flat black two-tone and is set off by a factory rear spoiler, privacy tint, and machined 16" Pro Comp Xtreme alloys. Aside from a front right fender replaced in Japan, and a few light dings, chips, and scuffs the paint is in good nick and this five-seater is fresh off a recent service. Boasting only 130k verified and documented miles, this freshly serviced rig is barely broken in. Practical and performance-oriented, this Japanese Classic would make for an ideal year-round cruiser, fun weekend escape vehicle, or ultimate off-road play toy.
The cabin is spacious and includes a number of safety systems and power amenities. Items like rear reclining seats and a power mirror that unfurls from the rear spoiler in place of a backup camera were never offered in the States, and works like a charm. The view of the road ahead is clear and the skinny pillars promote top-tier visibility from inside. The dashboard houses dual SRS airbags and lacks any cracking or distortion. The center stack includes controls for the automatic climate system and audio in arms reach. Both function, the latter of which is a JVC unit that sounds crisp and clear, and includes an auxiliary input for your smartphone. Power windows and door locks work like a charm, and make daily use more enjoyable. The driver even has a tilt-adjustable steering column and an adjustable lumbar support to find the ideal driving position. The seats are trimmed in a durable blue and charcoal cloth. They lack any major rips, stains, or tears, and aside from a bit of sag on the driver's bolster, they are in good nick. The door cards have avoided major use and abuse over the years, and aside from a few light stains on the carpet and headliner, and the non-functional power mirrors, it is hard to complain about the cabin. On the positive side everything else is great and even the owners manuals were included from Japan.
Under the skin, this Surf is just like the stateside 4Runners. The 1KZ-TE is the holy grail of N180 engines and the added intercooler increases performance and the longevity of the 3.0L. This one is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up promptly care of two new 12v batteries. With all of our diesel vehicles, we always swap in a new fuel filter and we also replaced the intake crossover tube due to a hairline crack. The four-banger feels strong as an ox and creates prodigious low-end grunt for easy freeway merging and it has no problems keeping up with traffic. The automatic transmission shifts properly and is stoutly built. The transfer case offers the ability to drive in 2WD or 4WD while a center locker can be engaged for the roughest terrain. One of our trained techs resealed the transmission pan and addressed a couple of driveline items too. New rear upper control arms were replaced as were the front inner and outer tie rods. Overall the feel is predictable and connected for an SUV, and the power steering is light and on-point. The ABS brakes feel confident and the 16" wheels are all wrapped in new all-terrain 31" Falken rolling stock. The new rubber quiets down the ride and 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.