1997 KZN185 Hilux Surf
Available for: $16,995
Toyota's 3rd generation Surf is a winner on all fronts and one heck of a do-it-all SUV. Our 1997 is about as good as it gets aesthetically, and is finished in a one off Quartz Black. It's set off by a 2" lift, front OEM rainguards, LED tail lamps and a set of complementary 16" multipiece wheels that really complete the tough guy aesthetic. Save for some minor paint imperfections and wear marks from day to day use, the exterior on this Surf shows well overall and the 168k miles on the ticker are barely broken in as far as these N185's are concerned. Better yet, this one is underpinned by a near indestructible turbodiesel powerplant and is fresh off a recent service by our trained technicians. A swiss army knife of a hauler with looks, performance, and durability, there's truly no going wrong with this Japanese Classic SUV.
The interior is chock full of options, equipment, and was clearly built to stand the test of time. These N185 Surfs are leagues better than their 2nd generation predecessors as features like dual SRS airbags, side impact protection, and ABS came standard. The moon mist upholstery has resisted the better part of three decades without succumbing to any unwanted rips, stains, or tears, and the remaining materials in the cabin are in good nick too, from the matching door card inserts to the sweeping grey vinyl dash, which has fortunately resisted any UV damage or distortion. Tucked away in the center stack, automatic climate control works like a charm and sits adjacent to upgraded Pioneer audio. Although you're unlikely to hit most US FM frequencies, the factory system pumps out NPR at above average quality. The HVAC is ripe with Cold A/C and front and rear heat, and the controls are intuitive as well. Power amenities are plenty available, and power windows, locks, and mirrors are available for a bit of added accessibility. Unique to these 'yotas, the rear glass powers up and down and allows for optimal ventilation to flow throughout the cabin. The rear bench offers ample room for three additional passengers, and it can also fold fully flat for any spontaneous overland excursions. Additionally, the driver up front benefits from added lumbar support and a tilt adjustable steering column. We retained the factory owner's manual, maintenance booklet, and overall, it's hard to nitpick one of Toyota's best cabin designs to date. It's durable, stylish, and comfortable enough to stand up to daily use in the 21st century. In other words, it's nearly the perfect SUV interior!
It's what's on the inside that counts, and this sturdy body on frame Surf couldn't agree more. The simple body on frame platform is powered by a powerful and efficient 3.0L turbodiesel. The 1KZ-TE is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up with a twist of the key. A new 12v battery was installed here stateside and should last for a few years to come and deliver all the cold cranking amps needed for the cold winter ahead. A new valve cover gasket and half moon seals were installed to keep the engine topped up on lubricant and it runs like a champ. A Suxon exhaust emits a delightful burble from the rear without being too overbearing and looks great poking out of the bumper to boot. After replacing the serpentine belts for good measure, this 1K was ready to hit stateside streets. Power is fed through a slick-shifting automatic and sent to two or all four wheels depending on the driver's preference. Should you choose to trudge into the muck, 4WD low is on hand for good measure. The suspension delivers a comfortable ride and soaks up road imperfections with hardly a squeak or rattle. The steering is on point and this heavy midsize SUV stops proficiently thanks to new front brake rotors. We didn't stop there and further refreshed the driveline with new front swaybar links and bushings for optimum handling. New Falken all-terrains are mounted on all four corners and deliver reliable grip in droves. The Wildpeaks not only look great, but they keep a fair amount of road noise from penetrating the cabin as well!
*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.