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Even if the Toyota 4Runner has fans divided, the case against this full-size SUV is weak. The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary upholds the bulletproof reputation it has earned and only improves upon things from there. With retro graphics and a limited production run, this 40th Anniversary Special Edition is one to hold onto.

What grade is the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary based on?

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary stripes
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary is based on the SR5 Premium trim. Toyota is all about the celebration this year, with this special edition marking 40 years of 4Runners. After spending a week with the newest 4Runner, it is clear why the SUV has lasted so long on the market.

Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? This is when you have never really noticed something, but suddenly, it is everywhere. That is how life is with the 4Runner 40th Anniversary. Everywhere we drove in the SUV, other 4Runners drivers waved and complimented ours. Many thumbs-ups were received (and given), probably because of the retro stripes.

40th Anniversary badging
40th Anniversary badging | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

Toyota decided to lean into the retro look of the original Toyota pickup trucks back in the day. These tracks had historic success in off-road racing and often had similar retro-inspired yellow/orange/red body graphics. It makes the vehicle stand out from the crowd, even amongst other red 4Runners. Many of the SUV’s biggest fans during testing were folks who remembered the graphics from back in the day; some even had one in the driveway at one point.

The 2023 4Runner SR5 Premium trim adds safety features like Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and heated power outside mirrors. These systems worked well during our week with the 4Runner. Some new vehicles have overzealous techniques to warn of a nearby object, but that wasn’t the case here. Helpful but not intrusive.

How many 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary are being made?

Toyota will only produce 4,040 units of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition. Even though the fifth generation has many iterations, just over 4,000 units are not a lot. According to Toyota’s year-end sales numbers, the automaker sold 7,291 units in 2022. That means only about 2% of the options on the road are available as the 40th Anniversary edition. Pricing for the special edition starts at $47,720.

While the special edition version seems quite popular online, these SUVs have been quite elusive in person. Even though it can be hard to tell the different years of the fifth-gen apart, the stripes are easy to spot from afar.

Toyota uses the same 4.0L V6 engine regardless of the trim level you select. Part-time four-wheel drive is a helpful addition and makes life with the SUV easier. The 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque are enough to power the reliable SUV around town. It can feel underpowered when trying to get up to highway speed, but it was otherwise enough for city driving.

What are the colors for the 40th Anniversary special edition?

Bronze wheels on the Toyota SUV
17-inch bronze alloy wheels | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

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The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary comes in three colors: White, Midnight Black Metallic, and Barcelona Red Metallic. Toyota added some badging on the center console, the Black SofTex-trimmed seats, and the stripes. The bronze stitching on the shift knob and seats matches the bronze-colored 17-inch alloy wheels.

Our test vehicle had Apple CarPlay that worked well, and was Android Auto compatible. The touchscreen was big enough to make sifting through menus more accessible, even if it looked a bit dated. Many people complain that the 4Runner has been long overdue for an update, which might be true. However, the Toyota 4Runner is legendary and delivers on all promises.

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary was comfortable on and off-road and still had plenty of space in the back for cargo. The lack of a third row means the second row is pretty spacious, too. Sure, some folks can find an issue with the absence of a redesign. But truthfully, there is a reason this sport utility vehicle has such a cult following. If reliability and durability are the name of the game, the Toyota 4Runner is the winning team.