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  • REVIEW: 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition

    REVIEW: 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition

    I first saw the retro-styled 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition at the State Fair of Texas last Fall.  The special heritage racing-inspired graphics, TOYOTA grille and badging, well let's just say this SUV won me over at first sight.

    I'm no stranger to the 4Runner, having also recently reviewed a road-oriented 2022 TRD Sport model, which at the time I called my favorite 4Runner yet. I've reviewed the very off-road capable TRD Pro model as well.

    What makes this one different - is of course its special status and everything that comes with it.  Note,  Toyota is only building 4,040 of these special editions and that the badging is the same on them all -  reading "1 of 4,040." 


    I couldn't love the heritage design elements more. Features include bronze-finished 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-color-matching TOYOTA heritage grille and a bronze-colored 40th Anniversary exterior tailgate badge.


    It's available in red, white and my test vehicle's Midnight Black Metallic.

    Of course, the coolest exterior feature is the heritage graphics package, created just for this model. The retro-inspired bright yellow/orange/red striped body graphics pay homage to Toyota's early off-road racers.  They run down the sides and down through one side of the grille.

    And wow do the graphics pop against the black exterior. 2023-Toyota-$Runne-40thAnny-retro-closeup-CarPro.jpg

    And this might be the coolest Anniversary badge out there. The tricolor stripes are incorporated into the design.   


    The 40th Anniversary Edition is based on the SR 5 Premium grade. As such it comes with LED headlights and tailights, integrated front fog lights, skid plates, and a power sliding rear window,


    The Anniversary Edition adds a moonroof,  black roof rails, and black mirror caps, 


    There are no power changes this year and like the entire lineup, the Anniversary Edition features a 4.0-liter V6 that delivers 270-horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque.   The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Don't expect great fuel economy at just 17 mpg combined.  

    Other features include Hill Start Assist Control • Downhill Assist Control.


    Inside the cabin, the 4Runner's old-school charm gets the anniversary treatment.  You'll find exclusive badging on the dash and bronze-colored accents on the shift-knob and bronze-colored seat stitching. 


    2023-Toyota-4Runner-40thAnny-seats-state-fair-CarPro.jpg.jpg2023-Toyota-4Runner-40thAnny-badge-CU-CarProFortieth Anniversary floormats and embossed logos on the black SofTex-trimmed heated (and comfortable I might add) seats further denote its special status.

    Standard features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an 4.2-inch driver information display. It also comes with an 8-speaker sound system with Dynamic Navigation. 


    The multi-media system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa along with Bluetooth and there's also a AT&T WiFi hotspot and 4 USB charge ports.  On the center stack, you'll also see the 4Runner's familiar large dials to control the climate.

    It's roomy in back and the fold-flat second row has a 40/20/40 split. A drop-down center console sports cupholders.



    The 4Runner TRD Sport is all about utility and off-road capability.  A power rear lift gate opens to a vast amount of cargo space.  This one is not equipped with an optional sliding rear cargo deck, but it does have a mesh net to help keep things from falling out. 


    2023-Toyota-$Runne-40thAnny-tailgate-CarPro.jpgKeep in mind it's a hike to get into this SUV for some, due to the 9.6 inches of ground clearance afforded by the 4WD model.  Therefore,  optional automatic running boards were on my wish list.

    All 4Runners come with an integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness.  


    For 2023, all 4Runner models feature standard Blind Spot Monitor + Rear Cross Traffic Alert. That's in addition to Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, and  Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.  Rear Occupancy Alert is also now standard on all 2023 models.

    Ride and Drive

    The 40th Anniversary Edition delivers just the ride you expect from this easy to love SUV.  As I've shared before,  I enjoy its truck-like body-on-frame ride and the suspension, which provides a comfortable ride. It's rugged, capable and true to its roots.  If you're looking for a more refined ride, you'll want to try to the TRD Sport model which is equipped with a X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension system.  



    A $130 cargo mat is my test vehicle's only option.  That brings the sticker price of this 40th Anniversary Edition to just under $48,000. There's a -$750 discount listed on the Monroney for Keep It Wild Savings.


    As Anniversary Editions go, this one is perfectly executed and sure to become a collector's item among 4Runner fans. This is one special SUV that's true to its iconic roots.

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    1. What I liked most:  Heritage Graphics, 40th Anniversary elements.
    2. What I would change:  Improve fuel economy.
    3. MSRP: Base $46,370. As equipped $47,085. 
    4. Fuel Economy: 16 city/19 highway/17 combined.  
    5. Odometer reading when tested:   580 miles.
    6. Weight:   4,675 pounds.
    7. Spare Tire:  Full-Size Spare Tire.
    8. Length-Width-Height:  190.2” long/ 75.8 wide/ 71.5” high w/o roof rails.
    9. Fuel Tank Capacity:  23 gallons, filler on the driver's side.
    10. Official Color:   Midnight Black Metallic.
    11. Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds.
    12. 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary in a few words:  Old-school perfection packaged in tricolored stripes.

    13. Warranty: 3-year/36,000-mile Comprehensive; 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain; 5-year/unlimited-mileage Corrosion Perforation.
    14. Final Assembly Location:  Tahara, Aichi, Japan.
    15. Manufacturer's Website:   Toyota