Stock Number: 4877
Toyota’s stable of offroad trucks and sports utility vehicles were incredibly good back in the ’90s. The old adage that “they don’t make ’em like they used to” applies to sports utility vehicles more than any other segment in our opinion. It’s sad really, but it turns out that you can still find reasonably priced body-on-frame classics like ours, offered with a mere 155K verified miles which is a mere drop in the bucket when you’re talking about Toyota diesels. Powered by one of the most capable diesel’s Toyota ever built, this 4WD SUV can off-road with the best of them, yet is civil enough for daily use. Finished in a sporty Aztec Blue (8E3), the body is in good shape barring a few routine little door dings and blemishes of the sort. The paint looks great for its age with only a few typical stone chips and clear coat scratches any 26-year-old daily driver is bound to accumulate. Powered by one of Toyota’s most bulletproof diesel engines, the 1KZ-TE, this 4×4 has plenty of grunt and is surprisingly efficient. Some real offroad credibility backs up the aggressive aesthetic however, the cabin is full of power amenities you might not expect for an SUV of this age. The aggressive front brush guard and spare tire carrier hint that this isn’t your average 4Runner.
The simple, yet straight forward cabin is refreshing compared to new vehicles with their dizzying array of screens and buttons. This Hilux has a spacious cabin, with a few surprising power amenities you might not expect from such a capable truck. Power accessories include the mirrors, locks, and even a one-touch driver window. All of the basic powered pieces are functioning as they should, and the climate control system is rather straight forward. The power mirrors are a bit finicky which isn’t terribly uncommon, but worth noting. Since the weather is heading into that perfect time for window down cruising you have some massive factory rain guards up front and the back glass is powered as well which is a tricky little feature. The dash does suffer from a few cracks, likely from sun damage over the years, so it now sports a NuTech dash mat to help clean up the interior. Barring a few light marks the carpets, headliner, and door cards have also held up well over time which is always a good sign for how the truck was maintained over its lifetime. The two-tone seats are exceptionally comfortable and have held up fantastically to routine use. The driver’s side bolster does have a hole in it along with some wear on the opposing side which you can spot in the photos. Otherwise, the seats look great for their age and make for a great place to spend an afternoon wheeling. The back seats are a 50/50 split fold-down for when you need some extra cargo space since there were built to be used at the end of the day.
The driveline is nearly bulletproof with the 3.0L 1KZ-TE stealing the show. These torquey four-bangers impress everyone with their toughness and reliability. The automatic transmission is linked to a selective transfer case, that can be used in 2WD or 4WD depending on driver preference. Acceleration is impressive for an SUV especially with the new 31″ all-terrain tires thanks to the added torque of the diesel. While the V6 ones offered stateside are plenty fine, they don’t hold a candle to the 1KZ at the end of the day. The 3.0L 1KZ-TE turbodiesel has been revered over the years for its reliability and massive torque profile. The automatic transmission is a fairly simple unit and is mated to a selective transfer case. This Surf can be driven in 2WD most of the time for the best fuel efficiency, but when you need to get out of a bind the 4WD can be engaged with the press of a button mounted on the range selector. Mechanically it touched down in great shape needing only a few routine maintenance items like those 5 New all-terrains, new serpentine belts, and a retightening of the front hubs. The brakes feel strong and the suspension is happy to handle the daily grind if you’re planning to overland this baby, and the long-wheelbase inspires confidence at highway speeds. A timeless classic, these Hilux make sense for those who value a real body-on-frame SUV. They are cheap to run, easy to find parts for, and an absolute blast to drive.