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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary: Wonderfully Retro, Slightly Modern

The Toyota 4Runner has been around for an impressive 40 years, and to commemorate this milestone, Toyota is releasing a 40th Anniversary Special Edition for the 2023 model year. This adventure-ready SUV has amassed over 4 million sales over the years and continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a vehicle that can handle any terrain.

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition will be based on the SR5 Premium grade and will only be available in 4WD. Toyota will make 4,040 of these special editions available for the U.S. market, and they will come in three colors: White, our tester’s Midnight Black Metallic, and Barcelona Red Metallic.

The exterior of the 40th Anniversary Special Edition features some eye-catching features such as bronze-colored 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-color-matching TOYOTA heritage grille, and a bronze-colored 40th Anniversary exterior tailgate badge. However, the biggest standout feature is the retro-inspired yellow/orange/red body graphics paying homage to Toyota's off-road racing heritage, not to mention the fact that they match my retro Astros jersey!

Inside, the special edition 4Runner features exclusive badging on the dash, bronze-colored seat stitching, 40th Anniversary floor mats, and a 40th Anniversary logo on the headrest of the black SofTex-trimmed seats. There is also a standard power moonroof.

Under the hood, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition comes with a dinosaur of an era that is now behind us with its 4.0L DOHC naturally-aspirated V6 engine, producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an ancient 5-speed automatic transmission and features a part-time 4WD system with Active TRAC, Hill-Start, and Downhill Assist Control. It all works in a way that takes you back to the original 4Runner and in a way we won’t see again when the 4Runner is updated, possibly for the 2024 model year.

Safety features for the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition include Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) which is standard on all grades, not just this anniversary model, which includes a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high-beam headlights. Another driver aid is a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

Overall, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition is an impressive SUV that pays tribute to its 40-year history. With its off-road capabilities, old-school engine and transmission, and unique looks, it's sure to be a popular choice for those who want a capable vehicle with a little flair. The starting MSRP for the anniversary model is $46,370, and our tester had a price as tested of $47,085.

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Specs:

  • 4.0L DOHC V6 Engine

  • 270 Horsepower

  • 278 lb-ft of Torque

  • 5-Speed Automatic Transmission

  • Part-Time 4WD System with Active TRAC

  • Hill-Start and Downhill Assist Control

  • Tow Hitch Receiver with 7 & 4-pin Connector

  • Seating for 5

  • Heated Front Seats

  • SofTex-Trimmed Seats

  • Power Driver’s and Front Passenger Seats

  • 17-inch Bronze Alloy Wheels

  • 265/70 R17 Bridgestone Dueller Tires

  • Heritage Insider Graphics

  • Bronze-colored Contrasting Stitching on Seats and Shift Knob

  • 40th Anniversary Liftgate & Dash Badging

  • 40th Anniversary Lettering on Headrest

  • TOYOTA Front Grille

  • 40th Anniversary Floor Mats

  • 47.2 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space Behind Rear Seats

  • 89.7 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space with Rear Seats Folded Flat

  • 8-inch Infotainment Screen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™

  • Premium 8-Speaker Audio System

  • Single-Zone Climate Control

  • Rear Backup Camera

  • Toyota Safety Sense P: Pre-Collision System

    • Pedestrian Detection

    • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

    • Lane Departure Alert

    • Automatic High-Beam Headlights

  • Star Safety System

  • Blind Spot Monitor

  • Power Sliding Rear Window

  • Front Skid Plates

  • Full-size Spare Tire

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • EPA Fuel Economy 16/19/17 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • Starting MSRP $46,370

  • Price as tested: $47,085

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