An off-road vehicle, manufactured particularly for Japanese market. However, a large number of Toyota Hilux Surf was exported as a used vehicle to the countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
Outside the Japan, the Hilux Surf is marketed under the name Toyota 4Runner, particularly in Australia and United States. Similarly, in United Kingdom, the second generation models of Hilux Surf were marketed as 4Runner for a short period of time. Ian Harold Brown, a primary designer at Toyota was the main person behind the designing of the entire lineup of Hilux Surf. Initially, the Hilux Surf was manufactured at the Tahara plant in Japan, but later, the production of Hilux Surf was shared by both Tahara and Hino’s Motors’ Hamua plant in Japan.
In 2005, the Fortuner replaced the Hilux Surf in the South-east Asia. The Fortuner also shared the Hilux platform.
First Generation (1984–1989)
Hilux and Hilux Surf are closely related to each other. Hilux Surf was not an independent model as the company used the short-bed pickup body of Hilux to design the Hilux Surf. They made minor changes and introduced a removable fiberglass top to built Toyota Hilux Surf.
It was in 1984 when the Toyota introduced the first production model of the Surf. The entire lineup received the black or white fiberglass top for the first production year. The earlier models were similar to the Hilux in terms of mechanical specifications.
The Surf received an extensive front suspension redesigning in 1986 as a result of which its solid front axle was replaced by the Hi-Trac independent front suspension. Although, this change brought some good things with it, it also affected the vehicle’s off-road abilities.
In 1989, some more changes were made in the truck.
Second Generation (1989–1995)
The second generation Hilux Surf was introduced in 1989. Although, this generation brought new coil sprung rear suspension system, it happened to be just like the previous leaf springs as it sagged from rear.
Majority of the models produced in second generation were 5-door, but some models were produced as 3-door particularly between 1990 and 1992. Different diesel engine variants were offered in second generation Hilux Surf such as a 2.4-L turbodiesel I4 until 1993, followed by a 3.0-L turbodiesel I4. Some models also featured naturally aspirated 2.8-L diesels and 2.0 and 2.4-L I4 naturally-aspirated petrol engines. The majority of petrol versions came with the 3.0-L V6.
Different trim levels offered include SSR, SSR Limited, SSR-V, SSR-X, SSR-X Limited and SSR-G.
Third Generation (1995–2002)
The third generation Hilux Surf featured an entirely new chassis along with all-new body shell. This time it shared its chassis with the LWB Land Cruiser Prado.
Other changes made were a larger body on a longer wheelbase, spacious interior, increased cargo space, coil sprung suspension, ABS brakes, lift-up tailgate, rack and pinion steering and 16 inch wheels. It also featured a central differential offering 4WD on hard terrains without much problem.
Fourth Generation (2002–2009)
The fourth generation model received some major changes concerning chassis and body styling. Although, it appeared different from the previous Surfs in looks and appearances, the aim was same to achieve a mid-sized, quasi-luxury, off-road vehicle.
The production of the Hilux Surf was cut off by Toyota in 2009.