Mid 90s Toyota Hilux surf - Jap import

Anyone had one of these? Im looking at picking one up in the new year perhaps as a second car. My current car just doesnt look right on a campsite or with my surf board on to plus it is getting battered to death in all the weird and wonderful places that I visit.

Opinions welcomed if anyone has owned one of these.
I have no personal experience with one but my neighbour has had one for at least 3 yrs now. 3ltr tdi with an auto tends to use quite a bit of fuel around town but he seems happy with fuel consumption on long drives- I think it has an overdrive for top gear.
He has had rock solid reliability from it and it has performed well off road, he raves about it as an all rounder. They can be had for sensible money ie £3k gets a decent one if you buy carefully- compared to a Disco at that price I would go hilux any day.
mate has one and had it for a few years.....loves it and same as 762 says its good mpg on the long journeys, sails through its mot,s etc
Only thing to watch is for overheating , the cylinder heads crack letting combustion gasses into the coolant system , (around 100k miles ) very rarely do headgaskets go so if its showing any symptons walk away- it needs a new head. Head is about £600 - £800 from a reputable supplier .
The coolant in the rad should be a red colour if its got the genuine Toyota coolant in it , it will turn yellow if any combustion gasses are present .
The trans oil cooler is also in the rad if its an auto , these can also fail- letting water into the auto box - never a good thing- it will wreck the box, once again if its been properly serviced then the water in the rad should be a clean red colour , if it shows any sign of a rusty brown colour run away .
Beyond these things they are robust , reliable and well built , condition is everything as a tatty one will cost a mint if it needs small body or trim parts.
There are several internet forums for Surfs so have your self an internet surfing session.
Don't rule out the Landcruiser 80 with the 4.2 turbo diesel - they are as good on the fuel as the smaller surfs - 24-28 mpg and its built like a tank .
had the 2.4 hilux surf, imported from cyprus, mechanically solid and robust, just a bitch to park when shopping
A bloke at my last unit had his converted to run on LPG. Never had any problems with it.

Think I will go for one, bit of a gamble but its not a great deal of money and could be a bit of fun too.
Would love a decent G Wagen, missus hates them though and they are quite pricey for a decent one.


I've got a 95 Previa, had it for 3 years,Been to the Orkney's Shetland, Hebridies,Cornwall twice and Wales four times and never missed a beat! Best car I've had and went through it's last MOT without a hitch :D Top Motors.
I had a turbo deisel one, it was slow and drank fuel like it was going out of fashion.

Traded it in for a Shogun turbo deisel. Now that was a good car! Bigger inside, better economy, better interior.

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