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Toyota drops 80s throwback for 4Runner’s 40th

Toyota drops 80s throwback for 4Runner's 40th
In 1983 Ronald Reagan was at the White House, John Denver handed the Best Album Grammy to Toto (people unironically loved Africa that year), and Toyota put some seats in the back of a pickup truck. They put a removable fiberglass hood over it and called it an SUV, and so the Toyota 4Runner was born.

It is now comfortably middle-aged. Even has a child (the Lexus GX was born in 2003 and is currently in college). The 4Runner turns 40.

A cosmetic package … but a good one

To celebrate, he gets a special edition of throwback. There’s not much to the 2023 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition. It’s just an appearance package. But maybe being old enough to remember the 1980s (Kelley Blue Book is a jolly 96) makes us more inclined to love prism decals.

Toyota has not announced pricing for the 40th Anniversary 4Runner. It is based on the SR5 Premium trim, which will cost $41,515 in 2022. We expect it to cost a few thousand dollars more, mainly due to the added cost of the wheels and adjustment for a year of wild inflation.

Toyota will only build 4,040 of these. Someone at Toyota likes that numbers game – last week they announced plans to build 2525 25th anniversary edition Siennas).

It gets a 270 horsepower 4.0-liter V6 like all 4Runners. It gets four-wheel drive as standard as all 4Runners should (rear-wheel drive is standard on some other trims). And it’s available in white, black or Barcelona Red.

Classic Toyota Racing Colors

The paint color matters little. Because everyone’s attention will be drawn to the glorious, dark side of the moon style laser prism decal in a gold, orange and red livery straight from a TDK cassette cartridge. The three colors that graced Toyota race trucks back then The A-Team was on NBC. They look particularly beautiful against the black, but the white is more nostalgic for the colors of those original desert racers.

It sits on bronze 17-inch alloy wheels. The real hero of the retro look, however, is the grille – the bronze TOYOTA writing in the original block font makes the current 4Runner look classic in a way that the current round logo never could.

A logo from an episode of a six million dollar man

Toyota has created a 40th Anniversary Edition logo with perfect retro styling that could of course fit on the cover of any VHS tape. It is embossed in the seats and attached to the dashboard and doors. The seats and shift knob have black leather with bronze stitching. That’s a styling touch that we don’t remember anyone in the 80s, but someone should have.

Buried in the press release, Toyota notes that all 2023 4Runners will come standard with blind spot monitoring and rear intersection warning. That seems to be the only change for the aging 4Runner. The current model is designed for the 2010 model year and is getting old by automotive standards.

Although we have to admit that by our 40s, most of us have some 13-year-old things that work just fine.