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.
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).