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  #1  
Old 2 Mar 2012
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Landcruiser vs Hilux Surf

I am planning my Africa overland trip (cape to cairo) for next summer, I have was planning on doing it in a 90's Landcruiser Amazon or Colorado as they seem popular choices.

However when since searching autotrader and classifieds i have noticed than Toyota Hilux Surf's are considerable cheaper. I know the you shouldnt skimp out on the vehicle you plan on driving in, however I am a student and on a tight budget.

Does anyone the comparisons between the two, or any reason against the Hilux surf?

Cheers
Dan
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  #2  
Old 2 Mar 2012
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Been looking at the surf as well myself after trouble with my Colorado

What I've established is
Avoid the 2.4 Engine
Gen 3? Surf on shares the same chassis with the Prado/Colorado
Surf selectable 4x4 vs Prado/Colorado Full time 4x4
No Diff Locks
Longer in the back if your looking to sleep inside.

Looking on Autotrader though it appears that theres little difference in price between the Colorado & Surf. Late Gen 3 surfs seem to go for £2.5k - 3.5K but Colorado's start at around £3.5k.

Having got a Colorado at the moment and suffering some issues with it on my Morocco trip, I would definately have another as first choice. But if a very good surf came up at between £2-2.5k then it would be hard to justify the difference in price. On my Morocco trip I didn't need a Diff lock and barely used low range but they are nice to have if the budget stretches to Colorado levels.

Plenty of people have used both for Africa so I guess a lot ultimately comes down to personal choice and budget

Last edited by TheWarden; 2 Mar 2012 at 12:29. Reason: fat fingers don't type
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  #3  
Old 2 Mar 2012
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Hi Dan

I think The Wardens just about covered it, however, personally I would go for the Colorado (90 series), 80 series or 100 series Amazon, over and above the Surf for me the permanent 4x4 wins the day, but each to their own.
Would re-iterate that the Surf is more than capable, as is a Hilux etc.
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  #4  
Old 2 Mar 2012
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Hello Dan

Hilux Surf Third Generation from 1996 onwards is selectable 4WD but also has a center differential and can be driven as a permanent 4WD if required and has a center diff lock, but no rear.

Hilux 3rd Gen also has a smaller fuel tank (70L vs 90L)

I have a friend with a 3rd Generation and it's very much as capable as my Colorado and if you can get one cheaper I would seriously consider the Surf.

IMO I would not be looking at any Surf prior to the 3rd Gen because they are really getting old now, my daily drive is a 1993 Hilux and it is feeling it's age.

I don't know much about them but Mitsubishi Shogun Sport's seem very good value for money, so maybe worth looking into as you're on a tight budget.
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  #5  
Old 3 Mar 2012
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Thank for all the feedback! Very informative.

Ok so I'm thinking a 100 series amazon or 3rd gen hilux surf!

I was hoping for a manual gearbox(which doesn't seem possible for the import hilux surfs in the UK) mainly because i have heard they are easier to fix for local mechanics if i get problems. So was wondering if there were any side effects of autos. Despite my inherent desire to drive manual.

Many thanks
Dan
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  #6  
Old 3 Mar 2012
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The main downside with autos is you cant tow start . The other thing is in hard work situations (loaded in soft sand ) they generate a lot of heat which is not good for longevity. Thats why autos usually have a overheat warning light , or go into limp mode, when overheating . Re not standard equipment rear diff lock , there are aftermarket options available, which work which is not always the case with high mileage lim slips HTSH.
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  #7  
Old 3 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodders91 View Post
Thank for all the feedback! Very informative.

Ok so I'm thinking a 100 series amazon or 3rd gen hilux surf!

I was hoping for a manual gearbox(which doesn't seem possible for the import hilux surfs in the UK) mainly because i have heard they are easier to fix for local mechanics if i get problems. So was wondering if there were any side effects of autos. Despite my inherent desire to drive manual.

Many thanks
Dan
.
.
Pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum.

4,2 L 100 series or a 3,0 L Surf?

Vette
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  #8  
Old 3 Mar 2012
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Failing the above, you could always go for this Chinese copy surf



God knows what the quality is like though!
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  #9  
Old 4 Mar 2012
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Thumbs up

I have a Gen3 Surf, 3L diesel auto, and it's a fantastic car, the best I have ever owned. It's the SSR-X model which has push button selectable 4WD, diff locks and is happy in full time 4WD, but why would you when you can hit the button at any speed under 100kmph? That way you have less steering load, use less fuel and have longer tyre life in 2WD.

Regards the auto v manual debate, I tow heavy loads often, over the mountain passes of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, and I have seen the over-temp light come on twice on very hot days on the same long 12% grade. This is with 2 tonne behind and quite a load aboard. I have an after-market transmission cooler fitted which is a good idea and only cost about UKpounds180 fitted here. Auto is also much better in rough going as it's much easier to control the speed when you are going slow, plus it doesn't spin the wheels as easily in slippery going. You are less likely to get stuck. I'd never have another manual 4WD and I do a lot of really rough roads, river crossings and bush tracks.

My Surf has done 240,000km with zero engine work, zero transmission work, new shocks and springs in the back only, and everything in the car still works.

From 1998 on, they have the inter-cooled motor, which gives a nice improvement in power and fuel economy. Certainly much better fuel economy than you would ever get from a 'Cruiser.

Cheers bloke

Nigel in NZ
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  #10  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWarden View Post
Been looking at the surf as well myself after trouble with my Colorado

What I've established is
Avoid the 2.4 Engine
Gen 3? Surf on shares the same chassis with the Prado/Colorado
Surf selectable 4x4 vs Prado/Colorado Full time 4x4
No Diff Locks
Longer in the back if your looking to sleep inside.

Looking on Autotrader though it appears that theres little difference in price between the Colorado & Surf. Late Gen 3 surfs seem to go for £2.5k - 3.5K but Colorado's start at around £3.5k.

Having got a Colorado at the moment and suffering some issues with it on my Morocco trip, I would definately have another as first choice. But if a very good surf came up at between £2-2.5k then it would be hard to justify the difference in price. On my Morocco trip I didn't need a Diff lock and barely used low range but they are nice to have if the budget stretches to Colorado levels.

Plenty of people have used both for Africa so I guess a lot ultimately comes down to personal choice and budget
I am another one who has been looking at the online reviews of these vehicles, along with a few other manufacturers that are mentioned in other threads.

The summary here of the surf characteristics ties in with my own research but what problems have occurred with the Colorado?
Also, there are a lot of surfs for sale in the UK but not many with lowish mileages for their age; I guess the owners tend to keep them. Many seem to have been used for towing.

Second hand Amazon models are still pretty expensive and they also have a larger - 4.2 litre - diesel engine.

SWB Colorado's are much rarer in the UK second hand market; maybe that maintains their second market a bit??

Having said that and asked those questions I am still a bit confused; what is a Prado?
And what is a 4 Runner?
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  #11  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Smile

My avatar says it all. Awesome vehicle.
Used, abused, rolled over, rammed, converted to gun platforms, shot at, never serviced etc etc by umpteen thousands of freedom fighters and always going strong where others fail.
For Africa and even for extreme journeys like going to tesco's perfect!
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  #12  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
I am another one who has been looking at the online reviews of these vehicles, along with a few other manufacturers that are mentioned in other threads.

The summary here of the surf characteristics ties in with my own research but what problems have occurred with the Colorado?
Also, there are a lot of surfs for sale in the UK but not many with lowish mileages for their age; I guess the owners tend to keep them. Many seem to have been used for towing.

Second hand Amazon models are still pretty expensive and they also have a larger - 4.2 litre - diesel engine.

SWB Colorado's are much rarer in the UK second hand market; maybe that maintains their second market a bit??

Having said that and asked those questions I am still a bit confused; what is a Prado?
And what is a 4 Runner?
My problems with the Colorado result from the garage that sold it not the vehicle itself (issues dicussed elsewhere on the site), as a consequence my current one has been rejected under the sale of goods act, hence considering a Surf

LC Prado = LC Colorado outside of the UK
4Runner = Surf in the US and other parts of the world, they were sold here in the UK for a while I believe
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  #13  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
My avatar says it all. Awesome vehicle.
Used, abused, rolled over, rammed, converted to gun platforms, shot at, never serviced etc etc by umpteen thousands of freedom fighters and always going strong where others fail.
Also for misuse on Top Gear - see this - Killing a Toyota part 1 - Top Gear - BBC - YouTube Parts 2 and 3 will follow on
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  #14  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post

Having said that and asked those questions I am still a bit confused; what is a Prado?
And what is a 4 Runner?
The name Prado, which was never used in the UK, can refer to a range of Toyota Landcruisers.

Some 70 series
90/95 series what we call the Colorado.
120 series the replacement for the Colorado
150 series the new smaller Landcruiser.

anything sold as a Prado in the UK is an import.

The 4 Runner was sold in the UK / based on a Second Gen Surf.

I'm a great fan of the Hilux also Bertrand, having owned mine for 13 years now.
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  #15  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Interesting if you read the surf forums, they seem to suffer from head issues on the 3L, also lots of electrics on the import ones. Advice seems to be do the head, replace the rad and don't overheat them

I was advised that a 4runner would suit me better as less electronics. In the end I bought an Isuzu pickup
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