The toyota surf is an excellent vehicle choice. Sturdy construction with high quality parts and reliability. The 2.4 Turbo diesel units had a common fault of either overheating or blowing the head gasket at 120,000 miles and over. The 3.0 tdi was a real workhorse of a motor. Also found in the last 78 series troop carriers, it pulls like a train and very rarely needs parts replacing like any toyota engine.
Off road they are reasonably capable. Part time 4wd, hi & lo ratio with rear LSD as standard. Some models or imports from japan came with a rear diff lock option. But most are rear LSD. These work well up to about 85,000 miles, after that the clutch plates will need to be serviced and the correct oils used and replaced more frequently to ensure positive forward traction.
They are rear live axle sprung and front independent wishbone. The articulation on the front is limited and the rear gratly improved.
There are numerous off road accessories for the Surf, most can be found in Australia. There are a few company's in the uk who import and supply the parts exclusively.
On road the road manners are good. The 3.0 has alot more torque than the 2.4, but both will keep up with the traffic when fully laden or when towing. A popular mod on the 2.4 is an uprated intercooler & the addition of a cooling fan. This increases the torque.
Some come with cruise control, others dont. All should have central door locking, electric windows, wing mirrors and sun roofs. Air conditioning was standard on all models except some Japanese imports.
The 2.4 typically achieved 25mpg Average and the 3.0 31mpg respectively.
Sale prices are strong even when aproaching the 200,000 mile mark as like the hilux and land cruiser they tend to live longer than US.
A great choice IMO.
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