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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition: The Most Retro, Modern Vehicle on the Road

If you are in the market for a family vehicle that offers ruggedness, reliability, and a little bit of retro flair, then the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition may just be what you are looking for.

As a family vehicle, the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition has a lot going for it. The seating position is high, providing a commanding view of the road ahead, while the large windows offer excellent visibility all around. The cabin is spacious, with ample headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the SofTex-trimmed seats in this special edition model have contrasting stitching, an anniversary badge embossed on the headrest, and the front seats are heated for an added touch of luxury.

Getting in and out of the 4Runner is easier for me at 5'10" than it is for Holli at 5', thanks to its step-up height, Holli made it fine but was wishing for running boards. Installing a child safety seat in the back seat is also relatively easy, although the lower latches can be a little hard to find due to the seating material.

When it comes to cargo space, the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition has plenty of it. With 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat, there is ample room for all your family's gear. The 40/20/40 split rear seatback allows for even greater flexibility, enabling you to fold down sections of the seatback if you need to accommodate longer items while still seating passengers.

Under the hood, the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition is powered by the tried and true 4.0L DOHC V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission, this engine is good but shows its age versus newer designs in the competition. The Part-Time 4WD System with Active TRAC and Hill-Start and Downhill Assist Control provide added confidence when driving off-road or in inclement weather conditions.

One of the standout features of this special edition model is its heritage-inspired design. The bright orange, yellow, and red heritage stripes, bronze wheels and badges, and classic boxy shape give the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition a distinct and eye-catching appearance. Inside the cabin, the bronze-colored contrasting stitching on the seats and shift knob, as well as the 40th Anniversary liftgate and dash badging and 40th Anniversary lettering on the headrest, further emphasize the vehicle's special edition status.

When it comes to technology, the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition is well-equipped. The 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allows you to seamlessly integrate your smartphone into the vehicle's audio and navigation systems. The 8-speaker audio system provides decent sound, and the single-zone climate control ensures that all passengers are comfortable. As far as driver aids, there is a rear backup camera, Blind Spot Monitor, and Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes a Pre-Collision System, Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High-Beam Headlights to provide added safety and convenience.

The 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition is not without its drawbacks, however. Its fuel economy ratings of 16/19/17 (city/highway/combined) are rather low compared to other vehicles in its class. The ride can also be a little bumpy and noisy on rough roads, although this is to be expected given its off-road capabilities.

The visuals of this anniversary model definitely make it stand out, we were turning heads everywhere we went in this. Only 4,040 of these will be made, and we expect the 4Runner to be completely overhauled for the 2024 model year.

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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