The 2020 Toyota RAV4, which is one of the most popular crossovers globally, comes with a TRD off-road trim this year. It is, without a doubt, the most rugged version of the RAV4 Toyota has ever made. I remember when the Rav4 was available in the U.S. around 1996 and now we are seeing the 5th generation of this reliable Toyota compact SUV.
The first thing I noticed about the car is how good it looks compared to the other generations. The version I tested comes with eye-catching 18-inch TRD alloy wheels, which are exclusive to the off-road package. The highlights were the exterior and interior appearance, TRD package and the overall usability of the vehicle.
During the test drive, the car felt reliable and solid. The 2020 Toyota Rav 4 is now more fun to drive than ever with the TRD upgrade. It features the TNGA platform from Toyota that plays a major role in making the driving experience fun.
The steering is precise and the suspension is stiff but the ride is still very comfortable. The cool thing about the RAV 4 with the Off-road TRD package is you have a nice compact SUV that can handle all kinds of weather and road conditions.
Through five generations of redesigns the RAV4 remains true to its focus on being a reliable and comfortable driving SUV.
The interior has been redesigned for the Toyota RAV4 TRD. It features rubber elements on the dashboard coupled with red accents around the induction charger and cup holders. In the interior, you will feel the spirit of the 4Runner with big round buttons for the climate control system.
The Corolla heavily inspires the rest of the dash. It features a nicely centered 8 in. touchscreen that sticks out at the center and seems bigger than 8 inches. The steering wheel, which is the largest ever on the RAV4 with multiple functions that make it easy to focus on driving while doing various tasks.
Seating is comfortable in both rows (I am 6’3), and the trunk comes with enough volume to match some of the bigger vehicles in its class.
The RAV4 TRD comes with some noticeable differences to the other RAV4s. One of them is moderately wider fender flares that give it a bulkier look. The front and rear bumpers have also been upgraded, and the grille has received an upgrade as well. All of this combined makes the RAV4 way more attractive and tougher looking than its predecessors and many of its competitors.
All of the outside badging is in black, and it features the TRD Off-Road logo on the rear hatch. Its suspension has been reworked for better resistance off-road. In terms of substantive changes, they are minor. One of them is the special 18-inch wheels that come with a matte black finish. It also features 255/60R18 Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires for enhanced traction.
Engine / Powertrain
Under the hood, the RAV4 TRD comes with a familiar 2.5-liter Dynamic force four-cylinder engine. From a performance standpoint it is respectable. It can deliver 203 HP and 184 lb/ft of torque. At higher revs, you can audibly hear the engine make a rumble, which sounds quite assertive.
The powertrain has an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard on all versions. Its gearbox is attentive, and it feels smooth and quick to move through the gears. The result is that you can take advantage of the engine’s power while getting great fuel economy. It comes with a combined 27 mpg fuel economy, which is 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
The RAV4 TRD has been highly rated for safety. It features several driver-assist features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
While many RAV4 owners might not off-road very often, it makes a lot of sense for Toyota to offer a TRD trim level. It combines the best of both worlds in an on road and off-road capable compact SUV. I think it has a great blend of power and gas mileage.
The value is there for someone that wants those extra capabilities. Toyota brings a lot of value to the table with the RAV4 and be careful if you test drive one as you might just drive it home.
MSRP $36,235 base price
$42,902 as tested
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History of The Toyota RAV4 click below