1996 Toyota Hi-lux SSR-X 3.0 diesel from UK and Ireland


You will never need another car!


UK import.

Rusty underneath due to salt use on roads in winter. Silly people!

Replaced ball joints, brake discs front and pads. D-bushes and fan belts also replaced.

General Comments:

Absolutely reliable. My old 4-runner was good in terms of reliability, but not great to drive, and a bit unwieldy.

The Series 3 Surf is revolutionary to drive. Comfy, safe, spacious. Go anywhere ability. Will be used to drive from Ireland via Spain to North Africa and thence to Petra in Syria. No reservations about vehicle at all.

If you want a proper 4x4, buy a Surf. Forget all other pretenders (with the exception of the 2002 to 2005 Nissan Navara, a truly indestructible vehicle if comfort is not an issue). Buy a Surf!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2007

1996 Toyota Hi-lux SSRX Surf 3.0 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Buy one


Battery cable corroded and required replacement at 115,000 - must have been due to driving in the sea.

Bushes on the steering rack required replacement at 80,000.

New shocks fitted at 190,000. Original ones were not broken, just thought it would be a good idea.

General Comments:

Great truck, the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned, cost next to nothing in repairs. Can't seem to find a reason to sell it other than to buy another one. This vehicle has put up with a lot as it has been used for many off road tours, carrying huge amounts inside and towing heavy weights over long distances.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2006

15th Aug 2015, 17:25

Hi, I've just brought a 1996 3 litre turbo Toyota Hilux Surf. It's a brilliant vehicle, but I'm only averaging 350km out of a tank. I've taken it to a mechanic and he said that's normal?? What average km should these vehicles do around town and on the open road???

14th Jan 2017, 04:50

I have had mine for 6 months and get around 600k on a tank. Average NZ driving conditions.

1996 Toyota Hi-lux RN85R 2.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A good strong reliable vehicle


Anti-rattle washer at base of gaerstick broke at 148,000 km (<$100)

Fuel pump failed at 142,000km ($105)

Radiator leaked from top tank 154,000km (cost 1/2 carton of beer to fix)

General Comments:

The vehicle has been very reliable in the last 5 years. Except for normal running items such as tyres, oil & batteries, the vehicle has not cost me anything.

I find the vehicle to be a bit rough riding, but this is due to the 15" light truck tyres & the helper springs at the rear to assist with the weight of the fibreglass canopy on the car when I bought it.

I have never had any other problems except as outlined above. The air-con & heater work well. I changed the sealed beam headlights to Hella H4 inserts for better night driving. The car gets a fair bit of off-road use & gets used as a trade-mans vehicle loaded with tools. Fuel economy is a bit poor at 24mpg on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2004

1996 Toyota Hi-lux Surf SSR-G 3.0TD from UK and Ireland


A brilliant all rounder


One battery terminal needed replacement as it was badly corroded.

General Comments:

This is my second time owning a Surf, having had a '93 model before (see http://www.carsurvey.org/review_11585.html)

This is a seriously comfortable vehicle. Plenty of leg-room and generally quite spacious, both front and rear. The boot-space is terrific too.

This is the top spec (in theory) SSR-G model, which includes a number of extras, including a rear mounted spare wheel with electric drop down mirror in the rear spoiler for parking etc. This is however one area of poor design, as the wheel badly obscures the view afforded by the mirror. Nice gimmick though.

Seat bolsters are not taking the high mileage incredibly well (but still better than many other manufacturers would).

Fabulous to drive; one of the most car-like driving experiences you can get in a (proper) 4X4.

This in my second Surf; it won't be my last one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2004

25th Jun 2008, 15:11

Great review. is it an automatic? if so has the autobox ever given you trouble? I AM CONSIDERING BUYING A 3LTR HILUX SURF AUTOMATIC.

3rd Oct 2008, 03:25

The car is crap. The steering just locks when it wants, it looks horrible, the windows don't work and the paintwork was covered in rust. Also the car starts up when it wants to. I will never own a Hilux again.

20th Jun 2009, 08:51

Have a 1996 Hilux surf SSR-G, 3.0lt turbo, best 4wd I have owned, drives great and am about to do my second big trip with it up through the centre of Australia to the gulf country.

Done the Gibb river road in the Kimberlies and the Tanami track in 06, never missed a beat and I was towing an offroad trailer.

24th Jan 2015, 18:35

The only vehicle I will ever own is a Toyota Hilux 2.5L turbo, and I've had it for 19 years and nothing has gone wrong with it.