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2023 Toyota 4Runner: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 Toyota 4Runner has a well-earned reputation for durability, longevity, and hunger for off-road adventures. The body-on-frame design makes this midsize SUV tougher than nails, and its proven V6 engine delivers excellent power, although it can be a bit thirsty regarding fuel consumption.

Understanding 4Runner buyers are not the same as those seeking a more modern crossover SUV, Toyota has created eight trims offering various levels of off-road capability. In addition, some options may vary by region as markets and topographies demand.

For 2023, in celebration of the 4Runner’s 40th Anniversary, Toyota has created a limited edition 40th Anniversary trim to commemorate the event. Only 4,040 of these commemorative 4Runners are destined for showrooms.

2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 (starting at $38,805)

The SR5 name is almost as legendary as the 4Runner itself. As the entry-level model, it continues to be immensely popular with those looking for the least expensive way to enjoy all the 4Runner has to offer.

Like all 2023 4Runner SUVs, the SR5 uses a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Power runs to the rear wheels, but buyers can opt for Toyota’s part-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) setup for an additional $1,875.

Toyota’s TSS-P suite of driver assists comes standard. It includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with sway warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.

Additional safety systems include a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, a rear backup camera, a system that reminds the driver to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle, and eight airbags.

The SR5 has LED headlights and fog lights, power heated side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icers, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Toyota’s Smart Key keyless entry allows unlocking the doors by simply touching the handle. You start the vehicle with a push of a button.

Rounding out the SR5’s exterior features are front skid plates, roof rails, rear privacy glass, and a rear liftgate with a power-retractable rear window.

Standard cabin amenities include 1-touch up/down power windows, manual air conditioning, an 8-way power driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar, cloth upholstery, and a 40/20/40-split reclining and fold-flat second-row seat.

Additional features include a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a multi-information display, two 12-volt outlets (one up front and one in the cargo bay), and one 120-volt outlet in the cargo bay.

On the entertainment front, the SR5 features an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and access to Toyota Connected Services. The system includes Bluetooth streaming and can be voice-operated. It can also host a Wi-Fi hot spot (subscription required).

The SR5 offers a few optional upgrades: running boards, a third-row seat, a sliding rear cargo tray, and navigation. The SR5’s option of a 50/50-split folding third-row seat, a distinction it shares with only one other 4Runner trim: the Limited. Buyers who choose the third-row package cannot equip the SR5 with the sliding cargo tray and vice versa.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 costs $40,140. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $721. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 includes:

  • TSS-P – Toyota Safety Sense P is a full suite of driver assists that helps anticipate and avoid potential collisions. It’s like having a second set of eyes at all times.
  • Power rear window – The 4Runner’s rear window electrically lowers into the liftgate, allowing easy access to the cargo area or helping improve airflow.
  • Wiper de-icers – This clever feature employs heating elements at the windshield’s base, helping to keep ice from building up on resting wiper blades.

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport (starting at $41,665)

The TRD Sport brings a more athletic image to the 4Runner, with sportier 20-inch alloy wheels, a color-keyed TRD hood scoop, and color-keyed exterior accents.

To help with on-road performance, the TRD Sport gets Toyota’s X-REAS sport suspension. By regulating the amount of oil in the shocks, the system can balance shock damping at all four corners, a bonus when driving aggressively through tight curves or traversing bumpy unpaved roads.

The TRD Sport’s cabin gets SofTex (faux leather) upholstery, TRD sport floor mats, and a TRD shift knob.

Options above those offered on the SR5 include a broader color palette, power deployable running boards, and a 360-degree panoramic view monitor.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport costs $43,000. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $773. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport includes:

  • Adaptive suspension – This helps to keep the tires firmly planted by adjusting individual shock damping according to surface conditions.
  • 20-inch alloy wheels – These look sharp and provide a lower tire sidewall, which makes for crisper steering response.
  • SofTex upholstery – Simulated leather feels soft to the touch, cleans up quickly, and is more durable than cloth.

2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium (starting at $41,865)

The 4Runner SR5 Premium builds off the base model. It has a few more features but nothing additional in power or performance.

Opting for the SR5 Premium over the SR5 gets you turn signals in the side mirrors, heated front seats, a 4-way power passenger seat, SofTex upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and HomeLink universal garage door opener.

The Premium gains an 8-inch infotainment system with navigation.

Options include a power moonroof and a 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium costs $43,200. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to approximately $776. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road (starting at $42,650)

TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development. This in-house tuner helps enhance the performance of Toyota’s cars, trucks, and SUVs by modifying critical suspension, engine, and exhaust parts.

Building off the SR5, the TRD Off-Road adds standard 4WD and a Multi-Terrain Select system with these modes: Rock, Rock/Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock, and Mud & Sand.

Crawl Control selectively applies power to each wheel and can be used at speeds between 1 and 5 mph. Think of it as low-speed cruise control for off-roading.

A-TRAC stands for Active Traction Control. It helps limit wheel slip in off-road situations.

Other off-road features standard on the TRD Off-Road include a locking rear differential, 9.6 inches of ground clearance (vs. 9 inches on the base 4Runner), 17-inch alloy wheels, and additional skid plate protection for the transfer case.

Optional on the TRD Off-Road is a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, or KDSS. This system uses advanced hydraulic controls to automatically modulate the front and rear sway bar’s range of motion. The result provides greater wheel articulation when off-roading but greater control when driving on pavement.

Other options include the Premium Audio system with navigation and running boards.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road costs $43,985. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to $790.See 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road includes:

  • Crawl Control – This system limits wheel slip at low speeds when off-roading. Power goes to the wheel (or wheels) with the best grip.
  • Available Kinetic Dynamic Suspension – Improves wheel articulation when off-roading, allowing for a greater range of motion over rugged terrain.
  • Available navigation radio – A GPS-based system relies on satellites, not cell phone towers, so you’ll always be able to find your way even when traveling far from civilization.

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium (starting at $45,230)

The TRD Off-Road Premium adds a few more features to the TRD Off-Road. Additional equipment includes side-mirror turn signal indicators, SofTex upholstery, TRD red lettering on the front seats, and navigation.

Optional equipment includes a power moonroof, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, and an external Multi-Terrain Monitor. Like the bird’s-eye view Panoramic View Monitor, the Multi-Terrain Monitor provides better camera angles suited to off-road situations, even an underfloor view created by using the front camera’s previous footage.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium costs $46,565. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $837. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary (starting at $46,370)

With a limited run of just 4,040 units, this is one you might want to put a deposit on before they’re all gone. Celebrating 40 years of 4Runner greatness, the 40th Anniversary model builds on the base SR5 Premium grade and features unique bronze wheels and retro orange, yellow, and red body graphics.

Paint colors are limited to just three: Barcelona Red, Midnight Black, and Ice Cap White.

Four-wheel drive comes standard, as does a power moonroof, bronze stitching on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, and special 40th Anniversary badges.

However, unlike the SR5 Premium, there are no optional upgrades for the 40th Anniversary Edition.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition costs $47,705. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $857. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner Limited (starting at $48,040)

The most luxurious 4Runner might also be the most capable, thanks partly to its optional advanced full-time 4WD system that includes a Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature and Downhill Assist Control.

In keeping with its luxury image, the Limited includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, and perforated leather upholstery.

Both front seats are heated and ventilated.

Additional Limited features include a 360-degree Panoramic-View Monitor, front and rear parking sensors, auto on/off headlights, and a 15-speaker JBL audio system.

Options for the Limited include a third-row seat and automatic deployable running boards.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner Limited costs $49,375. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to approximately $887. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner Limited models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro (starting at $53,270)

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Front Right in Orange

Building off the TRD Off-Road Premium, the TRD Pro is the ultimate off-road 4Runner, although oddly, you can’t get the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension. We suspect it’s related to all the TRD Pro’s additional suspension upgrades, which include Fox high-performance shocks with rear remote reservoirs and the TRD off-road springs.

The 4Runner TRD Pro comes standard with auto on/off headlights, TRD-stamped aluminum skid plates, 17-inch matte-black alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, a TRD roof rack, a unique Toyota front grille, and a power moonroof.

Also standard are the Multi-Terrain and Panoramic View monitors, dual-zone automatic climate control, the 15-speaker JBL audio system, and GPS navigation.

With the $1,335 destination fee, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro costs $54,605. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $981. See 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro models for sale

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro includes:

  • Fox shocks – Specifically designed for off-road use, these rugged shocks can take a beating and not break a sweat.
  • JBL audio – With 15 speakers, including a powered subwoofer, this audio system is a must-have for music lovers.
  • Power moonroof – The glass panel moonroof lets in light when closed and fresh air when open.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 Toyota 4Runner trim?

If all you need is a basic SUV with good safety features and a comfortable interior, the SR5 fits the bill. However, if contemplating off-road adventures in remote locales, the TRD Off-Road would be our choice.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 Toyota 4Runner get?

Regardless of 2WD or 4WD, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner returns EPA fuel economy of 16 mpg city/19 mpg highway/17 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Toyota 4Runner trim offers the most safety?

The 4Runner earns a 4-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with four stars in the frontal crash test, five in the side impact test, and three in the rollover test.

As all 2023 Toyota 4Runners come standard with the same advanced safety systems, they should all be equally safe.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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