The Hilux Surf’s third generation was a winner from the start. Safer, more civil, and highly capable off the beaten path, this timeless 4×4 is still popular today. This 1998 example is finished in a fresh coat of Emerald Pearl (C1C) and is set off by a 2″ lift, factory rear wing, OEM spare tire swingarm, privacy tint, and refinished OEM wheels. Aside from a few light imperfections, the body is in good nick, and this rig is fresh off a recent service. Utilizing the same powertrain as our US 4Runners, this 2.7L gasser is offered with a mere 154k verified and documented miles on the clock. Turn key and ready to roll, this reliable hauler would make for a cool year-round daily driver or cool weekend cruiser. Inexpensive to operate and a joy to own, this Japanese Classic is our most popular SUV for a reason!
The cabin is in good shape and was cared for in a prior life overseas. The driver has a clear view of the road ahead thanks to this truck’s tall ride height and the dashboard lacks any cracking or fading. It houses dual SRS front airbags for added peace of mind, a feature absent from the prior generation. The automatic climate control is located in the center stack and the air condition and heat can provide some relief from the outside elements. The driver benefits from a tilt-adjustable steering column and manually adjustable lumbar support. Daily driving is made more manageable thanks to power folding mirrors, power locks, and power windows, which all work in typical Toyota fashion. Even the rear glass powers down so that you can fit some lengthy 2x4s in the boot. The upholstery is in above-average shape and lacks any major rips, stains, or tears. Unlike USDM 4Runners the rear seats 4-way recline and can also tumble forward to allow for a flat loading floor. The headliner, door cards, and carpets have withstood the past quarter century without sustaining major abuse. That’s not to say the cabin is perfect but we wanted to note the head unit is missing its SD card so it can’t function, and the power rearview mirror doesn’t drop down. Still, at 25 years of age, this baby is in good shape and it was clearly cared for in Japan.
Under the skin, these vehicles are nearly identical to our Stateside 4Runners. The 3RZ-FE below the bonnet is fresh off an oil and filter service and churns to life care of a new 12v battery. A new engine air filter and new serpentine belts were installed and one of our trained techs also replaced the valve cover gasket. The four-banger feels hearty as a horse and pulls strong to redline. It is mated to a stout automatic gearbox, which maximizes the 3RZs powerband. For the best acceleration and fuel economy, the selective transfercase can be used to power just the rear wheels. The rarely spec’d center locking differential, and a low-range 4WD are available should you need some additional traction on sand or snow. Acceleration is more than adequate for daily use and blasting down the highway is a stress-free affair. The ABS brakes do a great job of slowing this rig down and feel confident. The power steering is on point and feels connected, and this midsizer is easy to maneuver around the tight confines of a parking lot. The suspension got a heavy refresh with new shocks all around and new front control arms. Lastly we mounted and balanced four new Falken 31″ tires at each corner. They quiet down the ride and should last for tens of thousands of miles to come. We aligned this Toyota for good measure as well! Practical, determined, and handsome, this turn-key-ready N185 is an all-around performer and looks the part, too!
- Make Toyota
- Model Hilux Surf
- Production Year 1998
- Mileage (KM) 247839
- Engine 3RZ-FE
1998 Hilux Surf 2.7 Locked
- 23234, Deepwater Terminal Road, Richmond, Virginia, United States
- #1420375 February 1, 2024