1998 Intercooled Surf
Toyota closed out the last millennium with a fully refreshed slate of SUVs that were setting industry standards for reliability and capability. This 1998 Hilux Surf is one awesome rig, with its fire breathing intercooled diesel and trusty selective 4WD. Fresh off a recent service, this turn-key Toyota touts a scant 177k verified and documented miles on the clock, which is barely broken in. Finished in glorious Natural White (056), this stunner is set off by a neat factory rear spoiler, forged 17" Epsilon Mozzer SFW III alloys, and a desirable scooped factory hood. Aside from a few light dings, chips, and scuffs this Hilux is in good condition overall, and would make for a wonderful daily driver, cool weekend cruiser, or overlanding all-star. Equipped with an incredible drivetrain and a handsome aesthetic to match, this Japanese Classic drives even better than it looks, and is tough to beat for the money!
Inside the cabin, plenty of space and electric amenities can be found. For those concerned about safety, dual SRS airbags were made standard as were ABS brakes. The driver benefits from a tilt-adjustable steering column, adjustable lumbar support, and an OEM field monitor to keep an eye on the outside conditions. The dash lacks any cracking or fading, and houses a simple-to-use automatic climate control system. Cold A/C and piping hot heat can be mixed through the cabin, but if natural ventilation is required, power windows, rear glass, and an electric sunroof can be retracted in unison. Other power features include functional power folding mirrors, and power locks which work like a charm. Other upgrades include an Eclipse audio upgrade with an integrated backup camera. It modernizes the cabin and fits perfectly, but the touchscreen controls are a bit finicky. The dark confetti upholstery is durable and lacks any major rips, stains, or tears. The rear bench split folds, 4-way reclines, and tumbles forward to reveal a flat loading floor. The headliner and cloth door cards are in good nick, and aside from a few marks on some of the plastic interior panels and a few light carpet stains, it's really hard to nitpick the cabin.
The 1KZ-TE under the hood is a legendary engine. Known for its bulletproof nature, power, and efficiency, we are in love with this power plant. Fresh off an oil and filter service, the 3.0L fires promptly care of two new 12v batteries. Like all of our diesels, we replaced the fuel filter and also took care of a new air cleaner while we were at it. The 1K feels strong as an ox and is linked to a sturdy automatic gearbox. The broad torque curve aids acceleration from stoplight-to-stoplight and sustained highway cruising is effortless. For the best straight-line performance and highest MPGs, 2WD is the ticket, but whoever is behind the wheel can select 4WD on the fly. If the weather turns nasty, low-range 4WD and center locker can be engaged. Another improvement for this generation was a revised front and rear suspension which allows for better performance on and off-road. The platform sails over bumps and feels predictable and connected for an SUV. New upper and lower control arms were replaced for state inspection and now the ride is right as rain. The power steering is light and easy to articulate, and one of our trained techs replaced the steering rack bushings, too. The brakes can be relied upon to slow this hoss down in a hurry, as the pedal feel is linear and the brakes are responsive. Lastly, we mounted and balanced new Falken 31" tires. The new rubber will last for tens of thousands of miles to come and will deliver all the year-round grip you'll ever need.
*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.