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Introducing the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition

Image Source: Roman Chekhovskoi @ Shutterstock

It’s hard to imagine, but the Toyota 4Runner is marking an impressive 40 years on the road this year. To celebrate this milestone, Toyota has rolled out the 4Runner 40th Anniversary special edition, which incorporates retro design elements inspired by the original 1980s 4Runner model.

The 40th Anniversary 4Runner is a variant of the standard 4Runner, which hasn’t undergone a complete redesign in over a decade. This sets the 4Runner apart from its competitors, as Toyota has only made minor updates to this model over the past 14 years.

In contrast to most SUVs, the 4Runner is built on a truck-based chassis, providing the necessary ground clearance for off-road adventures. While the 4Runner excels on trails, it can feel a bit rugged on paved roads.

The 40th Anniversary 4Runner special edition is based on the SR5 Premium trim level, featuring bronze 17-inch wheels, a TOYOTA heritage grille, unique badges, and retro yellow, orange, and red decals. It is available in black, red, or white, with Toyota planning to produce only 4,040 units.

While the 40th Anniversary 4Runner boasts a retro design, it also captures the nostalgic driving experience associated with the 4Runner. Being rooted in the same DNA as the 2004-2015 Tacoma, the current generation 4Runner indeed reflects its age.

Powering the 4Runner is a 4.0-liter V6 engine generating 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, paired with a dated 5-speed automatic transmission. The old-school V6 feels coarse, requiring some patience to get the 4Runner rolling.

The soft suspension contributes to excessive nosedive, the brakes could be improved, and the steering lacks feedback while feeling overly light.

Inside, the 4Runner’s cabin exudes a retro vibe with its large rotary knobs, 8-inch touchscreen, and dated gauge cluster.

Despite these drawbacks, the 4Runner continues to be a hot-selling model for Toyota, boasting a dedicated fan base and renowned reliability. The upcoming release of a new 4Runner, based on the same platform as the 2024 Tacoma, brings exciting prospects for the future.

Image Source: Roman Chekhovskoi @ Shutterstock

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