The majority of the other mid-size crossovers and SUVs that litter the streets and fill suburban driveways are not like the 2023 Toyota 4Runner. This is due to the 4Runner’s older-than-new vehicle design, which features a pickup-truck chassis and boasts true off-road prowess. It features enhanced suspension parts, an electronic locking rear axle, more underbody protection, and knobby tires in its most powerful configurations. Every model comes standard with a 270-hp V-6 and an automatic transmission, as well as rear- or four-wheel drive. Sadly, its powerplant is outdated when compared to those driving competitors with body-on-frame construction like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. The 4.0-liter engine in the Toyota may be dependable, but it also consistently uses fuel at an alarmingly high rate.
The truck’s interior is spacious for both passengers and freight, but the materials are dull. This truck-based Vehicle handles loosely and rides unpolished on public roads, much as a truck would. The 4Runner can travel in locations that many of its peers cannot, but outside of those specific, constrained situations, it is unquestionably out of date.
What has changed for 2023?
The 4Runner nameplate celebrates 40 years in the 2023 model years. To commemorate, Toyota releases a special edition with a 4040-unit manufacturing run based on the standard SR5 model. The ’23 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition comes with tri-colored graphics on the body sides and grille and is painted in red, white, or black. There are also a pair of 17-inch bronze wheels included in the package. The stitching on the leatherette seats and shift knob inside is the same golden tone. The floormats, front headrests, and a few inside emblems also make reference to the 4Runner’s 40th birthday. For 2023, all models come standard with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning.
Performance – Engine, Transmission, and Other
A 4.0-liter V-6 engine with 270 horsepower and a five-speed automatic gearbox power every 4Runner. The outmoded powertrain offers unimpressive performance, with the most recent model we tested needing 7.7 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph. It is available with rear-wheel drive and either full- or part-time four-wheel-drive systems. The automatic’s sluggish reflexes undoubtedly don’t maximize the engine’s erratic performance, and downshifts frequently call for strong right-foot inputs to propel the 4Runner forward. Nonetheless, compared to the more cumbersome Wrangler, the Toyota manages to seem more calm on pavement. The SUV’s substantial ground clearance was on display during our time behind the wheel of the off-road-oriented variant, and its body-on-frame structure was backed by a soft suspension that handled a variety of terrain rather well.