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2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road review: A good, rugged all-rounder

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is a rugged-hunting small SUV that sits at the prime of its model vary. Not only does it give modestly enhanced path-bashing functionality, it is every single bit as refined and adaptable as far more mainstream versions of the likable RAV4. With handsome strains and plenty of wholesome goodness, there are several factors not to take into account parking 1 of these devices in your garage.


  • Normal driver-assistance tech
  • Sleek, fantastic-sounding motor
  • Crisp steering truly feel
  • Pleasant interior

You should not Like

  • Minimal-resolution 360-diploma digicam
  • Some controls are really hard to use
  • Steep as-examined price tag

TRD Off-Road ‘upgrades’

Separating the TRD Off-Road model from far more workaday RAV4s is a vary of enhancements. Reasonably broader fender flares enable give it a bulkier, far more planted visual appearance. Entrance and rear, the bumpers are new, and there’s a various grille up front. The in general seem is cohesive and eye-catching, even if it is very comparable to what you get with the far more affordably priced Journey-trim edition of this Toyota.

As for true, substantive upgrades, they’re rather small. These RAV4s roll on special eighteen-inch wheels that are taken care of to a matte-black end. Delivering enhanced traction in a assortment of problems are a established of 255/60R18 Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. Their sidewalls might scream Rubicon Path, with their squared-off shoulders and blocky lettering, however the true tread sample is a great deal considerably less aggressive and greater suited for every day street use.

At the rear of those upgraded wheels is a special suspension setup. The RAV4 Off-Road model options twin-tube shock absorbers, crimson springs for a jaunty seem really should you bury your deal with in a wheel perfectly and new bump stops that supposedly give greater system management when tackling rugged terrain. With Michigan still mainly locked down, I have not been in a position to set this assert to the check by undertaking some suitable off-roading, but this automobile does hold an even keel when faced with potholes or when tackling pockmarked filth roadways.

Doing the job in conjunction with those all-terrain tires is a conventional torque-vectoring all-wheel generate system. With a couple of consumer-selectable options for various problems, this arrangement can send up to fifty% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle and it can apportion that twist from the left aspect to the right as essential for improved handling. The rear part of this driveline can also disconnect when not essential to enable boost gasoline overall economy.

The TRD Off-Road comes with marginally beefier tires, but no added ground clearance.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Curiously, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road has no enhance in ground clearance. It can be obtained the exact 8.six inches you get in other models. If it is developed for path crawling as Toyota signifies, shouldn’t it have far more? Also, there are essentially no skid plates guarding this vehicle’s delicate underbody, so if you do make your mind up to acquire 1 of these from the shopping mall to Moab, be very careful. I will not want to see you rip out a brake line or puncture the gasoline tank when traversing rough terrain, and you unquestionably will not want to pay back for associated repairs.

A correctly competitive powertrain

Even though a hybrid drivetrain is accessible in other RAV4 models, the TRD Off-Road only comes with 1 motor: the familiar two.five-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder, which is employed in other products and solutions like the Toyota Camry sedan. This engine’s corporate name is a bit schmaltzy, but the functionality it delivers is correctly respectable.

Put that quartet of pots on the boil and you might be rewarded with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-toes of torque. This motor certainly is not concerned to allow its voice be read when performing really hard, but I actually imagine it sounds pretty fantastic, emitting an assertive rumble, primarily at greater revs.

A responsive eight-velocity automated transmission is your only preference, which I guess indicates it is not really a preference at all. Fortunately, this gearbox is attentive, equally sleek and fast to shuffle via its gears, creating the most of the engine’s accessible grunt. It also helps supply respectable gasoline overall economy. Driven ordinarily, you can count on twenty five miles per gallon city and 32 mpg freeway. Put together, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated at a not-unreasonable 27 mpg. These figures evaluate favorably with other small crossovers. According to the EPA, a Honda CR-V, 1 with all-wheel generate and the accessible turbocharged motor, really should return 29 mpg in mixed motoring.

On usual streets, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is enjoyable enough to pilot. Its steering is unexpectedly crisp, equally for a crossover and a Toyota, with a gentle and specific truly feel. Aside from a bit of tire sound, its interior continues to be mainly quiet, even at freeway speeds.

Stand on the accelerator pedal and this RAV4 moves with affordable authority. No, it won’t shove you again into your seat like obtaining kicked in the chest, but the functionality it gives is correctly fine and far more than competitive with rival crossovers.

Convenience and comfort

For the most aspect, I really like what Toyota has finished with the RAV4’s interior. The front seats are comfortable and there are plenty of tender plastics and storage cubbies, in addition I appreciate the crimson stitching you get in TRD Off-Road models.

In lieu of animal hides, my tester’s seats are coated in SofTex, a fake-leather product that not only seems to be fantastic, it feels good, neither low-priced nor plasticky. To protect the carpet from winter slop or muddy boot prints, TRD Off-Road models also attribute rubber ground mats. The to start with and 2nd rows are secured by these all-weather conditions floorcoverings, as is the cargo region.

Rear-seat passengers have plenty of room. At six toes tall, I have no grievances about this vehicle’s accommodations simply because there’s plenty of space for equally my knees and noggin. As for cargo room, there’s no scarcity, possibly. With the aft backrest up, you get a claimed 37.five cubic toes of junk-hauling potential. Fold that ’em flat and you get 69.8 cubes. As an added bonus, the RAV4’s ground is very reduced, which can make it much easier to load hefty or bulky cargo.

The interior supplies are good, but the infotainment tech is just Alright.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Up front, this vehicle’s weather-management and audio knobs attribute a grippy rubber texture and have a swirl sample slash into them, which kind of brings to thoughts the blades of a turbine motor. They are effortless to use and truly feel chunky. Sadly, they’re flanked by a series of tiny, rectangular buttons. Not only do these switches seem out of position, they can be really hard to hit, primarily when driving. Adjusting the enthusiast velocity or bringing up a menu can be like seeking to thread a needle when whitewater rafting.

Maintaining absolutely everyone content and their products completely juiced, 5 USB ports are sprinkled through this Toyota’s interior. These are conventional fare on every single RAV4, ditto for Android Car, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. My tester also options an up-degree infotainment system with navigation and an 8-inch touchscreen. Travellers are also taken care of to an eleven-speaker JBL seem system.

That infotainment system is fine, no far more, no considerably less. Toyota’s multimedia offerings are likely to be underwhelming, with unattractive graphics and obtuse consumer interfaces. This 1 is pretty responsive and it unquestionably gets the occupation finished, but it is much from my favourite.

Other optional goodies include a useful wi-fi charging plate, parking sensors and a 360-diploma digicam, however this previous merchandise is rarely a little something to crow about. The resolution of the graphic it produces is appallingly reduced and the monitor would seem to flicker when it is on, and which is a entire lot of not fantastic.

On the in addition aspect, Toyota Protection Sense two. is conventional on all 2020 RAV4 models. This incorporates a slew of driver aids like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise management and automated substantial beams. Blind-place monitoring with rear cross-targeted traffic notify is involved throughout the vary as perfectly, save for the most standard RAV4 LE model. All this kit is uncomplicated to use and really productive.

Neat as the TRD Off-Road model is, considerably less pricey RAV4s are certainly the greater buy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Is it value the price tag?

No matter if in far more-every day trim or vary-topping TRD Off-Road form, I are unable to say the RAV4 is my favourite small crossover. It competes in a phase rife with exceptional options. The Honda CR-V is excellent, Subaru’s Forester is incredibly perfectly finished and the Mazda CX-five basically feels like a luxurious automobile. Still, even however it might not excel in any specific region, this Toyota is fantastic at just about every little thing. It can be perfectly created, it is spacious inside and it gives plenty of tech, in addition it is refined, affordable and attractively priced.

Like location fees, an entry-degree RAV4 LE starts off at just about $27,000, which is far more than honest these times nonetheless, my generously optioned TRD Off-Road check model rings up for close to $41,five hundred, a price tag which is a great deal more difficult to swallow. Sure, that outlay does get you some extra functionality, but truth of the matter be explained to, it is almost certainly not value what Toyota is charging.

In its place, this is my advice: Sidestep the TRD Off-Road model and get a far more middle-of-the-street RAV4 variant, like the just-as-rugged-hunting Journey. You can save a large chunk of improve and the inherent all-close to goodness really should make you pretty content.