HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 1996 Toyota Hilux Surf

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1996 Toyota Hilux Surf

4Runner variant from another continent


Are you looking for a 4×4 that will stand out from other vehicles on the trail?

Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this 1996 Toyota Hilux Surf SSR-X.

This eye-catching sport-utility vehicle was originally manufactured for the Japanese market but was imported to the United States later in life. It is being sold by a dealer in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the auction ends on Tuesday. And the closer we look at it, the more we realize it is a truly unique find.

The Toyota 4Runner has been around for 40 years – first sold in 1984 in the United States as a version of the Japanese-market “Hilux Surf” N60 Series sport-utility vehicle. At its core, that vehicle was essentially a modified version of the brand’s short-bed compact pickups. The formula worked, and Toyota continued to build on the momentum in subsequent generations. By the mid-1990s, an all-new body design was launched called the N180. 

Today’s featured N180 is special because its already-capable chassis has been upgraded with enhancements that give it a competitive advantage in off-road scenarios: Included on the list are LED headlights, a roof-mounted light bar, fender flares, 33-inch Yokohama tires, a four-inch body lift, and a recently-serviced braking system. This Hilux Surf is ready for the street or trail.

Of course, one of the most unique things about this vehicle is the fact that it has a right-hand-drive cabin configuration. Also, the gauge cluster is presented in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour, consistent with units of measure from where it originated. The 161,426 indicated kilometers comes out to about 100,206 miles, which for a Toyota like this just getting started.

Under the hood, power comes from a 3RZ-FE 2.7-liter inline-four mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and dual-range transfer case. This combination isn’t known to be a hugely powerful source of momentum, but the good news is that maintenance is up to date. Recent work included replacement of the transmission fluid, battery, air conditioning refrigerant, spark plugs, serpentine belt, distributor cap, and rotor.

Be sure to check out the dealer’s detailed 24-minute video included in the listing which outlines the cosmetic, mechanical, and driveability aspects of the vehicle. With a presentation this thorough, potential bidders can enjoy a greater level of confidence in buying something sight-unseen. And one lucky winner will drive this unique 4×4 home. Will it be you?

The auction for this 1996 Toyota Hilux Surf SSR-X ends Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 11:30 a.m. (MST)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine,, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


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