1997 Toyota Hilux 4WD

Sold: $16,495

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Stock #5538

Third-generation Hilux Surfs are becoming as collectible as any SUV we sell. Look at stateside retail figures over the past two years and it's astonishing what the US version sells for. When you look at the value equation, it's hard to understand why you'd want to buy a 4Runner over a Hilux. This 1997 Hilux Surf packs a punch from its legendary turbodiesel powerplant. Finished in one-off Onyx Black that was done in Japan, the truck is set off by OEM privacy tint, an OEM rear spoiler, aftermarket alloys, and OEM rainguards. The menacing aesthetic is a good one, and the body and paint are in fair shape aside from some normal wear and tear. Prior repairs in Japan include a new front bumper. While loved for its robust 4x4 systems and reliability it also happens to have a well-appointed cabin with some decent factory options and a few upgrades. Fresh off a recent service, this 137k verified and documented rig is turn-key and ready to rock. For those looking for a dependable, refined and useful year-round rig, this Japanese Classic just might be it!

Inside the cabin, you'll find tons of electric amenities and plenty of space. The cabin sports some faux wood trim to break up the gray color palette. The driver has a clear view of the road ahead and the tall ride height aids visibility a fair bit. The dash is in good shape lacking any cracks or major UV damage and has dual integrated SRS front airbags. This adds a level of reassurance when behind the wheel and are not as common as you might think for vehicles of this vintage. Functional electric equipment includes a power sunroof, locks, mirrors and windows. Even the rear window rolls down for better ventilation. For parking, a rear mirror drops down from under the spoiler to ensure you can see the rear bumper and don't total the Tesla behind you. The A/C is cold and the automatic climate control system is simple to operate. The OEM audio was replaced at some point with a snazzy Sanyo unit. It adds a modern feel to the cabin and sounds great! The seats are supportive and lack any major rips, stains, or tears. The driver even has adjustable lumbar support. The carpets, headliner, and door cards look good and haven't sustained any major abuse over the years. 

The two big reasons to consider a JDM Surf aside from the superior condition and lower miles of Japanese N185s. The 4x4 system includes not only a low range setting but a center locking differential that can be engaged by the driver when need be. Unlike the 4Runner which didn't have this feature, it can give you a leg up on the sand, snow, or other loose surfaces. The other reason to look at this SUV is the engine. The 1KZ is one of Toyotas' best all-time designs and this one is fresh off an oil and filter service. The 3.0L starts right up with the twist of the key thanks to two new 12v batteries. A new engine air filter allows the diesel to breathe freely and a new valve cover gasket was installed to keep her properly topped up on lubricant. The four-banger is mated to a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox. For fuel economy, the driver can select rear-drive but when the going gets tough a convenient dash-mounted button can be depressed to engage 4WD when necessary. It should be noted that a modification in Japan changed the location of the 4WD button but the system does work. The five-seater gets up to speed hastily for merging purposes and it is peppy around town. The suspension has been refreshed while up on our lift and it gobbles up large and small potholes with confidence. The refined ride is thanks in part to new swaybar links and set of new shocks all around. We also installed a new front axle too. New all-terrain tires were mounted and balanced at all four corners. This new rubber not only looks great but 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.

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