2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWhat Is It?
As the fourth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 2020 thus far — trailing only full-size pickups from Ford, Ram and Chevrolet — the Toyota RAV4 is the top-selling vehicle in America that is not a truck. Already one of the most popular crossovers, the RAV4 was redesigned for 2019 with bold styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. Building on that strong foundation, the Japan-based automaker adds the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road to the lineup.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRAV4 TRD Off-Road
For 2020 Toyota ups its off-road game with the RAV4 TRD Off-Road, which features engineering and design from Toyota Racing Development to supplement the fifth-generation RAV4. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road includes standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive and suspension inspired by the Rally RAV4 race team. It also features 18-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels and Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
Toyota provided a 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road to test drive, finished in Magnetic Gray with an Ice Edge roof for a two-tone look similar to what was previously offered for the FJ Cruiser. In addition to standard equipment, our test vehicle also included a TRD Off-Road Weather Package, Premium Audio with JBL speakers, Dynamic Navigation with an 8-inch touchscreen, a TRD Off-Road Technology Package, as well as other options. Starting MSRP for RAV4 TRD Off-Road is $35,180, and as equipped our test vehicle came in at $42,507 — including a delivery and handling fee of $1,120.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceDesign
The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road shares exterior elements with the RAV4 Adventure including roof rails, large over-fenders, aggressive bumpers, a special grille design and fog light surrounds. The two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ice Edge roof is exclusive to RAV4 TRD Off-Road, and Midnight Black or Lunar Rock are also available with the optional Ice Edge roof. Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White are also RAV4 TRD Off-Road color choices.

© Toyota Motor Sales USATRD Off-Road Interior
Also building on the RAV4 Adventure, the sporty interior of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road includes sport style seats that feature SofTex covered with red stitching as well as the TRD logo stitched into the front head restraints. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road features additional red accents throughout the interior as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, TRD all-weather floormats and TRD cargo mat.

© Toyota Motor Sales USATRD Off-Road Instrumentation
Like RAV4 Adventure, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road features digital instrumentation, a 7-inch digital multi-information display, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a power liftgate and a power moonroof. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on all RAV4 trim levels, and the RAV4 TRD Off-Road also includes a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert as well as rear cross-traffic braking.

© Toyota Motor Sales USAUnder the Hood
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is powered by Toyota’s Dynamic Force 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission and Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Multi-Terrain Select. Drive modes are Sport, Normal and Eco. Despite its rugged, off-road look, this RAV4 is EPA rated at an estimated 25 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 27 mpg combined. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

© Toyota Motor Sales USATRD Personality
As a new addition to Toyota’s TRD lineup, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road makes a bold statement that reflects the heritage of TRD off-road racers. Building on the 8.6 inches of ground clearance offered by RAV4 Adventure, TRD Off-Road adds suspension, wheels and tires designed to tackle rugged trails and off-road conditions.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceTRD Off-Road Suspension
When creating the suspension for the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, TRD designers drew on their experience with racer Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4. The suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small bump isolation, and includes red coil springs, re-valved twin tube shocks and new bump stops.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWheels and Tires
The exclusive RAV4 TRD Off-Road wheels are flow-formed 18 X 7-inch matte black TRD wheels that are lighter and more rigid. The Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires feature a unique tread pattern and compound specific to TRD technical requirements, and the square-shoulder design help protect against punctures. The open shoulder helps shed mud and snow, and the tires’ light snow performance earned the tire industry’s severe snow service certification and three-peak mountain snowflake symbol.

© Toyota Motor Sales USAMulti-Terrain Select
Standard Multi-Terrain Select allows the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road driver to choose between Mud and Sand, Rock and Dirt, and Snow for various driving conditions. Other standard equipment includes hill start assist control, trailer sway control and downhill assist control.

© Toyota Motor Sales USADynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive
The standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel-Drive system can send up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, and it also distributes torque from side to side between the rear wheels to improve handling in both on- and off-road conditions. When all-wheel drive isn’t needed, a rear driveline disconnect helps improve fuel economy but automatically returns to all-wheel drive when driving condition require.

© Toyota Motor Sales USAOn the Road
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road builds on the RAV4 Adventure with aggressive looks and TRD-tuned suspension, but on the road it doesn’t lose any ease of driving or the sporty feeling that have made RAV4 so popular. Even with the more aggressive all-terrain tires, the steering is direct and responsive and the ride comfortable — the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road retains the fun-to-drive sporty character of other RAV4 trims, as well as the overall balanced feeling of a crossover.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperiencePower and Drivability
The 203-horsepower Dynamic Force 2.5-liter engine in conjunction with the 8-speed automatic is a great combination for the RAV4, providing plenty of power and smooth, quick shifts while keeping the engine in the right rpm range for good overall drivability. Fuel economy is excellent for a vehicle in this size and capability range.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOff-Road
We didn’t have a chance to drive the RAV4 TRD Off-Road in off-road conditions but, frankly, most RAV4 owners will rarely — if ever — leave pavement. But when they do, the RAV4 Adventure is already one of the best performing vehicles off-road in the midsize crossover segment, so we expect the TRD Off-Road to be even better with its retuned suspension and the advantage of all-terrain tires.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 9.0
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road possesses an aggressive off-road look — thanks to TRD wheels, a TRD-tuned suspension and available two-tone roof — without losing any of the daily utility and drivability that make RAV4 one of the more popular vehicles in the market. The all-terrain tires perform well during everyday use, but will provide additional benefits when conditions deteriorate. For the crossover buyer who wants to make more of a statement, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road delivers a nearly perfect combination of bold looks, off-road capability and everyday practicality.

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