Would you believe it? This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Toyota 4Runner. To commemorate this milestone, Toyota has introduced the special edition of the 4Runner to celebrate, featuring retro design elements inspired by the original 1980’s 4Runner.
The 40th Anniversary 4Runner is derived from the standard 4Runner, which has not undergone a complete overhaul in over a decade. This makes the 4Runner a true antiquity compared to its competitors, as Toyota has only made minor updates to the 4Runner over the past 14 years.
Differing from most SUVs, the 4Runner is built on a truck-based framework with the necessary ground clearance for conquering rocky terrains. This means that while the 4Runner is highly capable off-road, it feels somewhat rough on paved roads.
The 40th Anniversary 4Runner special edition is based on the SR5 Premium trim level. It sports bronze 17-inch wheels, a TOYOTA heritage grille, distinctive emblems, and stylish retro yellow, orange, and red decals. It is available in black, red, or white, with Toyota planning to produce only 4,040 units.
Despite the retro design cues of the 40th Anniversary 4Runner, it also resonates with the vintage sensation experienced when driving the 4Runner. Since the current generation 4Runner shares the same DNA as the 2004-2015 Tacoma, it certainly demonstrates its age.
Under the hood, the 4Runner is propelled by a 4.0-liter V6 generating 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, which is paired with an outdated 5-speed automatic transmission. The traditional V6 feels coarse and requires some patience to get the 4Runner in motion on the road.
The soft suspension exhibits excessive nose dive, the 4Runner’s brakes leave room for improvement, and the steering lacks weight and feedback.
Internally, the 4Runner’s cabin exudes a vintage aura with its sizeable rotary knobs, 8-inch touchscreen, and antiquated gauge cluster.
Despite all of this, it’s of little consequence considering how many 4Runners Toyota sells each year. The 4Runner has a dedicated following and its reliability makes it a dependable choice. The positive news is that a new 4Runner is expected to debut soon, which will be based on the same platform as the new 2024 Tacoma.
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