hilux surf vs hilux

Submitted: Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 19:22
ThreadID: 12925 Views:18195 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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can anyone give a good honest opinion on the pro's and con's . I hear a lot of different comments eg:there is no difference between them, to there is a slight
difference, to they are a completely different set-up and are not made for our conditions.
As some of you might have seen ,for the same money, the diesel surf has
about 1000,000ks or less,the 4 runner 200,000ks or more. It is very hard to get a
unbiased opinion on this subject even though my gut feeling says buy locally.
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Reply By: Cruiser88 - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:33

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:33
Hi Seanshar,

I have not owned either but have been bush with people driving both models. Hilux for my mind (although an older model ie. late 80's) are underpowered but were pretty good with an aftermarket turbo. The ute models were rough and jarred about alot without a load. I would look at a hilux to buy but I would allow extra cash for suspension and engine mods. Very recently took a mate for a long weekend out bush with his factory turbo diesel Surf (early to mid 90's model) and we were looking forward to some relatively serious work (read as fun) and was severely disappointed in its performance. For starters turbo would not kick in till 3000 rpm which for a diesel is top end of torque/load curve. Coming through dry sandy/loam creeks with fairly steep banks and flat bottoms was always a drama, it just could not get to working revs before the uphill load was needed and it was still underpowered even in low range which all the crossings required. The result was I spent a fair bit of time dragging the damn thing around. Another thing is in low range acrosss medium tracks it just could not keep up to the 60 series which meant he was high range on tracks then back to low range for crossings or small rock work then back to high, result is a lot of waiting for him to catch up. For the type of driving I like to do I would not even look at a surf, based on performance alone before you look at spares. Having said that if you want a vehicle to to do mild 4wding and want something to keep the gear and dogs dry at the same time, tow a small trailer to the tip and a Sunday cruise up the beach the Surf would do. PS. change the standard shocks as a priority.Sorry it is solong but hope it helps
AnswerID: 58848

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 12:31

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 12:31
Cruiser88, fair comment in some regards if you are talking about the 2.4L surf. However there is also the 3.0td that looks identicale but is vastly different. I find my self stopping and waiting for others in the group to catch up all the time!
Also having a low range that is actually low is not a bad thing. I very rarly have to use low range as the auto box in the surf is unreal for sand, mud and rocks. They only time I use low range is for water crossings and very steep acends or decents, and it does not take more than a few seconds to change. Sounds like the problem you had was the driver not the vehicle.
The surf is very different to the hilux, however it is the same body and running gear as the 4 runner. The 3.0td is the 1kz-te motor which is strong and reliable and a very good performer in power as well as being easily modified to get even more out of it. It's the same motor that is used in the prado td but with no intercooler. Never had a problem with parts or insurance and find it keeps up with the big boys and generally leaves them behind on the blacktop and in the scrub.
If you need to know anymore, just email me at jeff@austechsurveillance.com.au and I can tell you anything you need to know about them.
Just for a point of refference... You know the only problem I have in the bush with my surf... People bagging me because I own one.
Never here a comment about why they a trailing so far behind on trails, or why they have to slow down for corners on the highway etc etc.
Mean time I sit in my stock recaro seats listerning to my factory amplifer and 6 speaker stereo set my cruise control and think about the $35,000 I saved by buying a surf instead of the other alternatives.
FollowupID: 320558

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:47

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:47
Everyone will tell you that Surfs are hard to get parts for - well that is not my experience and I have the newer model Surf the KZN185 - different shape to the old 4Runner shape. Getting parts no problem they are either Hilux or Prado with mine. The KZN185 has a Prado chassis & suspension and also the same 3L turbo diesel motor but with the intercooler aswell. The old 4Runner shape (KZN130) is an excellent vehicle with the 3L turbo diesel and sourcing body panels may be easier than for the KZN185 due to the fact that the 4Runner panels are the same as the 130. Anyway the 185 handling better and looks the gots especially with the intercooler bonnet scoop. I've taken my previous Surf(95) and this one a 1997 model heaps of places and have had no problems. Keep them serviced and ensure the cooling system is Ok and you will be fine. I know mine will go past a Prado diesel as the vehicle is also lighter and it is by far a better looking beast - the older Prado's were butt ugly. The KZN185 also has a centre diff lock as the Prado does but the Surf also enables you to disengage the 4WD & go to 2WD where you cannot with the Prado. There are slight differences in the Hilux and Surfs with the main one being an automatic - the auto boxes are as strong as an ox. Hope this helps.
The Surfs have all the comforts but they also have the added weight of those comforts - the Hilux is basic and so less stuff to go wrong with. Hilux is underpowered if they don't have a turbo. You can also check mileage on Surfs aswell - the timing light should have been changed on 100,000 and have receipts for and also the vehicle may have the Japanese auction papers which would verify the mileage when coming into Australia - then service record should show servicing records. The Surfs have a good web site aswell that you can look aswell fror parts etc.
AnswerID: 58943

Reply By: Cruiser88 - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:10

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:10
Hi Jeff M

Yes the Surf that followed me was the 2.4l. Don't get me wrong different cars for different pars. After reading what you wrote it would be interesting to go on a run with a vehicle like yours to see the difference between the models. Thay definately have the looks but at the time the performance waqs uninspiring.

AnswerID: 58988

Reply By: Member - Frank - Thursday, May 27, 2004 at 19:58

Thursday, May 27, 2004 at 19:58
I have a 3ltr turbo diesel see pics just went through ann bedell it was a rough track but had no problems with performance just rattled afew bits off on 200 Ks of corigations was fully loaded 300 ltrs fuel 300 ltrs water towing my trailer never got boged and every time I neede the turbo it was there.

The main differance is the fitout of the vechical the surf is a town car as well the hilux is certainly not

Hersay the models below 3ltr were under powered and the after market mods not always sucesful

AnswerID: 60487

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