While hardly the most modern vehicle in Toyota’s lineup, the 4Runner has developed a reputation for being a versatile body-on-frame SUV with the ability to actually tackle off-road trails — rather than simply looking the part.
This year, the model is celebrating its 40th birthday and Toyota has opted to issue a special edition limited to 4,040 examples. The vehicle in question comes with the 4Runner’s 4.0-liter V6, five-speed automatic transmission, and some visual embellishments designed to set the vehicle apart. These include bronze-colored wheels, bronze-colored badging, and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) stripes down the side. But those are just the broad strokes.
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition (its official title) is basically the SR5 Premium with a slew of visual cues cluing you into its status as a limited model. Rather than the standard emblem, the Special Edition’s front comes with a heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” logo spelled out in the brand’s preferred font. Unique interior badging adorns leatherette seats (not standard on the SR5), unique floormats, the glovebox, and more. There’s even contrasting bronze stitching to really drive the point home.
Though it’s the exterior that’s making the biggest statement, owed largely to the 17-inch wheels and tri-colored TRD stripes along the side. It actually looks pretty boss in black and the manufacturer has said the model will also be offered in white and red if that’s not to your tastes. Assuming you’re a fan of the 4Runner, then these inclusions are probably right up your street. However, it’s not a vehicle for everyone and some of the visual accouterments are already available on higher trims. For example, swapping the Toyota logo out for the full script on the grille is something you can also get by purchasing the TRD Pro.
While noteworthy for its outstanding durability, the SUV’s 270-horsepower engine is arguably outdated and chugs fuel like a V8 capable of more oomph. It also rides like a body-on-frame vehicle, sacrificing on-road performance for superior characteristics when off-road, and forgoes a lot of the technology features that currently divide the market. This again, makes the 4Runner extremely popular with some and a non-starter for others. If you’ve got questions about how it might (or might not) fit into your home lineup, feel free to check out any of our reviews on it from the last several years. As luck would have it, the model hasn’t changed much within the last decade.
Though the 4Runner’s development hasn’t been totally stagnant and Toyota has seen fit to add a few new items for 2023. All models will now receive blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment. Pricing has not yet been announced but we’re expecting customers to have to pay a premium for the 40th Anniversary Special Edition. For reference, the base SR5 Premium retails for $41,515 (before accounting for destination). But we also expect just about everyone to option all-wheel-drive since it would be downright embarrassing to have splurged on a limited variant ORV without it.
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