Forty candles. The “big four-0.” The Toyota 4Runner will reach the 40-year mark with the 2023 model year… and, to celebrate, Toyota is offering a distinctive 2023 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition.
Appropriately, Toyota will make 400 of these special editions available for the Canadian market. Over the past four decades, the 4Runner has carved out its place as the ready-for-anything SUV that’s equally at home on pavement or trail.
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition is based on the SR5 grade and will be available in three colours: White, Midnight Black Metallic, and Barcelona Red Metallic. It will stand out from the lineup thanks to bronze-coloured 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-colour-matching TOYOTA heritage grille and a bronze-coloured 40th Anniversary exterior tailgate badge.
The biggest eye-catcher, though, is likely to be the heritage graphics package created especially for this anniversary model. The first 4Runner was built on the Toyota pickup platform, which itself founded the heritage of Toyota’s illustrious success in off-road racing. As an homage to those early racers, the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition will be wearing some very cool, retro-inspired yellow/orange/red body graphics.
The anniversary theme continues inside, where the 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition gets exclusive badging on the centre console and features a bronze-coloured cross-stitch shift knob, bronze-coloured seat stitching, 40th Anniversary floormats and a 40th Anniversary logo on the Black SofTex-trimmed seats. Topping it off is a standard power moonroof.
Engine and transmission
A 270-horsepower DOHC 4.0-liter V6 engine with 278 lb.-ft. of peak torque gives 4Runner plenty of get-up-and-go. The engine’s Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps optimize torque across the engine’s operating range, enhancing responsiveness in a variety of driving conditions.
The five-speed ECT-i automatic transmission features a sequential shift mode for manually shifting when desired. All 4Runner grades are standard-equipped with an integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness, and all models can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds.
Fun facts: When the first 4Runner arrived, “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” was the top-grossing movie in America, and “Every Breath You Take” by the Police had ended the year at #1 on the Billboard 100. (Yep, that was then “Jedi” was the third Star Wars movie, not “Episode Six.”)