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Toyota Hilux Surf History

The Toyota Hilux Surf is an off-road vehicle manufactured by Toyota, sold mainly in Japan, with large numbers imported as used vehicles to the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. The original Surf was little more than a Toyota Hilux pickup truck with a fiberglass shell over the bed, but the model has since undergone significant independent development into a mid-size Off-road vehicle.

The Hilux Surf is sold outside Japan, primarily in the United States as the Toyota 4Runner. The second generation models were also briefly marketed in the United Kingdom as the Toyota 4Runner. Initially all models were built at Toyota's plant in Tahara, Japan, but starting with the 3rd Generation models production was split between both the Tahara plant and Hino Motors' Hamura, Japan plant.

First generation (1984–1989)

The Toyota Hilux pickup (upon which the Surf was originally based) underwent a major redesign in 1983 for the 1984 model year. Instead of developing an entirely new model, Toyota took an existing short-bed pickup body, made some simple modifications, and added a removable fiberglass top.

Thus, the first generation Surf is nearly mechanically identical to the Toyota Hilux pickup. All first generation Surfs had two-doors and were indistinguishable from the pickups from the dashboard forward. Nearly all changes were to the latter half of the body; in fact, because the rear springs were actually downgraded with one leaf less than the pickup, with the additional weight of the rear seats and fiberglass top, these models tend to suffer from sagging rear suspensions (a problem which continued to afflict later generations of the Surf).

The first Surfs were introduced in 1984 as 1984 1/2 models. For this first year, all models were equipped with black or white fiberglass tops.

In 1986, the Surf underwent a major front suspension design change as it was changed from a solid front axle to the Hi-Trac independent front suspension. This change made the Surf more drivable at highway speeds and increased the space in the engine compartment (necessary to fit larger engines, such as the V6 introduced in 1988) but arguably decreased the truck's off-road capabilities. The Hilux at this point retained the more rugged and capable, if less refined, solid axle configuration Small cosmetic and option changes were made in 1989, but the model was left largely untouched in lieu of the replacement model then undergoing final development.

Second generation (1990–1995)

The 1990 model year Surf continued its reliance on the Hilux pickup, as the pickup was redesigned the surf followed. It remained virtually identical to the Hilux from the 'B' pillars forward, but this time gained a full steel integrated body in place of the prior fiberglass cap. It also gained an all new coil sprung rear suspension system, which unfortunately proved to be just as prone to sagging as the leaf springs on the rear of the previous models.

Nearly all second generation Surfs are 5-door models, however from 1990 to 1992, a 3-door model was also produced. These vehicles are somewhat rarer and were discontinued in August 1992.

It was available with a range of diesel engines, including a 2.4 L turbodiesel I4 up to 1993, followed by a 3.0 L turbodiesel I4. Small numbers were also made with a normally aspirated 2.8 L diesels and 2.0 L I4 naturally-aspirated petrol engines. The majority of petrol versions having the 3.0 L V6.

Most other full-body Off-road vehicles produced at the time featured tailgates that opened upward with the glass closed. In contrast, the second generation Surf carried over the retractable-glass tailgate from the first generation. Opening these tailgates requires first retracting the rear window into the tailgate and then lowering the tailgate, much like as on a pickup truck.

In 1992, the Surf received minor cosmetic updates, including larger 'Aero' headlamps and one-piece front bumpers. At this time a Wide body version was introduced featuring extended wheel arch flares along with wider wheels and tyres. This facelift distanced them somewhat from the Hilux pickups which did not receive the same cosmetic changes.

Various trim levels were offered ranging from the base model 'SSR' through 'SSR Ltd', 'SSR-V' 'SSR-X' and 'SSR-X Ltd' to the range topping 'SSR-G'.

Third generation (1996–2002)

1996 marked another significant redesign of the Surf. Whilst the third generation Surf looks very similar to the second generation, this similarity largely ended with its looks. It carried over the basic design and concept, but executed it differently with an all-new bodyshell on an all-new chassis. This time, it shared virtually nothing with the pickup it had originally evolved from, and had more in common with the Land Cruiser, as it shared its chassis with that of the LWB Land Cruiser Prado.

Significant changes from the second generation models include a larger body on a longer wheelbase, increased interior space, increased cargo space, twin airbags, coil sprung suspension front and rear, ABS brakes, lift-up tailgate, rack and pinion steering and 16 in wheels. One of the biggest mechanical changes was the addition of a center differential, enabling the use of four wheel drive on hard surfaces without complication for the first time. The prior ADD system was also retained to give on-the-fly shifting between rear and four wheel drive as before.

Trim and model designations remain similar to those used for the second generation models.

Fourth generation (2003–present)

The fourth generation Surf incorporated serious changes to the chassis and body of the vehicle, but was targeted at approximately the same demographics as the third generation. The updated Surf looks very different from the older Surfs, but is still targeted as a mid-size quasi-luxury Off-road vehicle. It continues to share most of its underpinnings with the LWB Land Cruisers of similar age.

When Toyota introduced Toyota Hilux Vigo in December 2004 and it became an overnight sensation and Asia's and Africa's largest selling pickup, it was expected that an SUV will be soon be introduced. Sure enough Toyota introduced the Toyota Fortuner based on the Toyota Hilux Vigo. The Toyota Fortuner is a luxury sports-utility vehicle (SUV) but in the price range of a regular SUV. It comes with seven seats, top-notch quality, high performance engine and a fine balance between on- and off-roading capability. This popular SUV is based on not only wildly popular Hilux Vigo but also on luxury Lexus. It comes with a 2.7-liter petrol (118 bhp @5200 rpm, 241 Nm @ 3800 rpm), a 3-liter D4D turbo- intercooled diesel engine (163 bhp @ 3400 rpm, 343 @ 1400 rpm), or a 2.5 liter D4D turbo (non-intercooler in Malaysia) [102PS (75 kW) @ 3600 rpm, 260Nm @ 1600 to 2400 rpm]. Four- or five-speed automatic gearboxes are available.

Fortuner SUV completed the Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle (IMV) line-up together with the Hilux Vigo pick-up and the Innova Multipurpose Vehicle launched February 2005.

Toyota Hilux Vigo on sale at Thailand's Top 4x4 Dealer Soni Motors Thailand

Toyota Hilux Vigo is always on sale at Thailand's top 4x4 exporter, top new car and used car exporter, Thaialnd's top auto exporter, and  Thailand's top Vigo pickup exporter. Toyota Hilux remains Soni Motors Thailand largest selling pickup since its inception in late 2004, its demand remains undiminished. Toyota 4x4 remain our top selling vehicle, our Dubai division Soni Motors Dubai cannot keep up with its demand for Toyota Hilux Surf, Toyota Landcruiser Prado and the higher end Toyota Landcruiser. Even before the release of Toyota Hilux Vigo, Toyota Hilux Tiger was our best seller and we still continue to export hundreds of Toyota Hilux Tiger along with nearly new and second-hand Toyota Hilux Vigo. Used Toyota Vigo is now selling just as briskly as the brand new zero meter Toyota Hilux Vigo. There is no better workhorse than Toyota Hilux whether in  a farm or mine with the comfort of a luxury sedan. Single Cab Toyota Hilux Vigois only available in 4x2 but Extra Cab Toyota Hilux Vigo and Double Cab Toyota Hilux Vigo is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. For more details on Toyota Hilux Vigo please visit our detailed Vigo page at http://www.sonirodban.com/vigo.html.

Toyota 4x4s as Toyota Hilux Vigo, Toyota Hilux Surf, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Prado and Toyota Landcruiser are loved and admired the world over for their distinctive look, top quality, reliability and comfort. Toyota Hilux became popular right after its release some five decades ago an continues its popularity with the advent of Toyota Hilux Vigo. It has latest 4x4 technology that make it an offroader dream vehicle while building on its reliability, performance, comfort. Email us now at sonivigo@gmail.com to acquire your very own Toyota Hilux Vigo or used Toyota Hilux Tiger or email sonivigo@gmail.com to acquire Right Hand Drive or Left Hand Drive Toyota Hilux Surf, Toyota Prado, Toyota RAV4 or Toyota Landcruiser or any Toyota of your dream.

Here are some highlights:

  • All new top-of-the-range model that combines exceptional durability with high quality styling and equipment
  • Part of worldwide success story that has seen sales of almost 12 million Hilux
  • 130bhp 2.5-litre D-4D engine or 163bhp "Land Cruiser" 3.0 D-4D engine available
  • Full leather seating available as an option
  • Leather steering wheel and gear shift knobs. Wood dash kit available for steering, dash, gear shift and door
  • Optional in-dash 6 CD auto-changer, radio cassette or CD MP3 Player. DVD player with rear TV screens available as option
  • Dark-tinted rear ‘privacy’ window option available
  • Stainless steel rear styling bumper and "Vigo" chrome badging
  • Large range of optional accessories available including rear canopy, a-bars, towbar, rear sensors, tow bar rear, DVD player with TV screens, 20' chrome alloy wheels etc.

Toyota Hilux Surf History

 

 

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Welcome to the website of world's top 4x4 dealer and 4x4 exporter! Soni Motors Thailand - Thailand's oldest and largest new and used Right Hand Drive and Left Hand Drive dealer and exporter of Toyota Vigo and other 4x4 pickups and 4x4 SUVs  is here to serve all your automotive needs.  Email us now at sonivigo@gmail.com for any questions or comments.

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