1997 Toyota Harrier
To most American buyers the name Toyota Harrier might not ring a bell, but take one look in your local grocery store parking lot or major interstate and you'll instantly recognize its all too familiar silhouette. Sharing its bones with our stateside RX300's, this 1997 Harrier is our first imported example to date and with only 45k verified/documented miles on the clock these usually prove to be a more competitive bargain than USDM offerings. Finished in White Pearl (057) the exterior looks more modern than the boxier Toyotas we typically specialize in, and this one shows great, save for some expected age related paint chips, dings, and a decent size dent on the left rear door. With no major exterior differences aside from the fender mirror and badging, the Harrier is easy as pie to find parts for, and with its reliable V6 underpinnings, it's no wonder why we feel comfortable adding these to our inventory of other Japanese Classics!
Compared to Toyota's other SUV offerings of the time, the Harrier was a cut above in terms of quality, comfort, and amenities. The durable tan cloth upholstery is more comfortable and resists any premature wear better than its leather counterparts, and the dash and remaining trim is in good nick to boot, showing no unwanted cracks, fading or other pesky signs of UV damage. An aftermarket navigation screen sits atop the center display, but can easily be removed should you prefer a less obstructed view out of the cockpit. Both occupants up front benefit from dual SRS airbags, and the driver can tilt the steering column to their own liking as well. While other manufacturers were developing damage-prone multi function displays in the late 90's, the blue and white LCD in this Harrier looks shockingly modern, and is quite intuitive to operate as well alongside the fully functional OEM audio and digital automatic climate control. As a year round hauler, this one would be an optimal choice thanks to readily available cold A/C and hot heat. As expected from a more premium SUV, power windows, locks, and power folding mirrors came standard. All three of which function as expected and make daily driving a breeze. The rear bench fits your additional passengers with ease and can also be folded flat should you need some extra cargo space in the rear. As further evidence this one was cared for in a prior life, the previous owner included the factory owner's manual and even the carpeted floor mats. Overall this well appointed cabin is one of the brand's best offerings we've seen yet, and this one is a nice place to be overall for around town jaunts or longer road trips.
Under the hood, Toyota's 1MZ-FE saw much success in markets across the globe, including our own! This makes the Harrier a breeze to service, and our trained technicians have already given this one a once-over for the road ahead. A new engine air filter was installed, and both valve cover gaskets replaced to help the 3.0 stay sealed up after a fresh oil and filter service. A new 12v battery cranks this one over with the twist of a key, and she settles into a buttery smooth idle and accelerates well to boot! The suspension glides over road imperfections with ease, and we've even replaced the front shocks and rear lower trailing arms to get the drivetrain into compliance. New front brake pads, rear pads and rear rotors aid in stopping power, and the left CV axle was replaced to keep the front wheel drive transmission free from any unwanted seeps. Lastly, we've wrapped the factory alloys in fresh Falken rubber, sure to deliver tens of thousands of miles of uninterrupted 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.