The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road Comes With a Better Suspension and Great Looks

Who would have thought two or three years ago that Toyota will reveal the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-road at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show? Well, I did, a bit, as back in 2016 Toyota decided it needed more young people (preferably males) in its showrooms that make deals on the RAV4. Toyota even entered a FWD rally competition with the cool RAV4 with Ryan Millen behind the wheel. And that was the start of the major revamp of the entire RAV4 character that has finally come to fruition with the reveal of the new Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 TRD Off-road, however, is a proper concoction spruced from the seats laid down by that Millen RAV4 rally SUV.

I freaking like it!

Important Equipment Increased the Off-road Capability Of The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road

 A Buffed up 2020 Toyota RAV4 Was Built on the Pillars of a Rally SUV
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The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD does have a similar vibe I felt with the RAV4 Adventure, but this one is all what the Adventure is and then some more. Like a lot more thanks to a rather fine Toyota Racing Development rework.

First of all, the TRD did a bit work on the suspension and gave the RAV4 TRD somewhat better off-road proves.

In fact, the suspension was inspired by that Ryan Millen car I wrote about a bit earlier. Now with twin-tube dampers and springs and the standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive, the RAV4 TRD will definitely be more capable off-road. The tuneup went so far that Toyota actually garnished its 18-inch wheels (FYI, lighter than before) with the Falken Wildpeak Trail tires with specially designed treads for mud and dirt.

As the TRD is based on top of the Adventure, the ground clearance has been increased to 8.6 inches. That’s a bit more than what you’d get on the RAV4 LE or the RAV4 XLE.

As a final touch to the suspension, the TRD installed new bump stops that can handle more suspension travel.

Couple all this with the AWD and smart torque distribution system between the rear wheels and the city lovin’ Toyota RAV4 transforms into a rebel. Sure, it’s not a Land Cruiser, but it’s better than the previous gen RAV4 by a large margin. And this goes for the engine as well. The Dynamic Force, 2.5-liter engine develops 203 horsepower and it is exactly the same as in all other 2020 RAV4s.

Unique Style Touches On the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road

 A Buffed up 2020 Toyota RAV4 Was Built on the Pillars of a Rally SUV
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The heavy off-road-inspired guise definitely differentiates the new 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road from the rest of the lineup. Not so much from the RAV4 Adventure though.

That one looks a lot like the TRD Off-road, but I have to say that the TRD Off-road revealed in Chicago is exclusively available with the Midnight Black finish and Ice Edge hue on the roof.

The two-tone finish definitely looks cool on it. Mainly thanks to beefed up black fenders, darkened features on the grille, bumpers, and standard LED fog lights. That’s a small touch, granted, but LED fog lights are really cool.

If you find the Midnight Black a bit, well, dark, you can go for the Lunar Rock, Super White or Ruby Flare Pearl. I don’t know about you, but I can actually imagine all these colors just by reading their names.

The Off-road focused features inside are really noticeable. Red is the color of choice for stitching, the TRD embroiderment on the headrests, plastic touches between the seats, and even for the virtual “skin” on the infotainment system. It looks kinda cool. Especially with all the leather on the seats.

Conclusion

 A Buffed up 2020 Toyota RAV4 Was Built on the Pillars of a Rally SUV
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Considering that the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road is based on top of the RAV4 Adventure, Toyota loaded it up with all kind of gizmos as the: Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). On the other hand, and as you probably know if you read my article on the top facts about the 2020 Toyota RAV4, the RAV4 TRD Off-road comes with a comprehensive safety suit. Unlike other versions, however, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road safety suite includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB).

In Chicago, the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road joins the Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition, the Sequoia TRD Pro, and the stunning 2020 Tacoma under the spotlights. I can safely say that Toyota has one of the most impressive lineups of new cars in Chicago.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Drivetrain And Performance

Fuel Capacity 14.5 gallons
Drivetrain Layout (gas-only) Front-engine, FWD, AWD optional
Engine (gas only) naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder
Horsepower (gas only) 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm
Torque (gas only) 184 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm
Transmission (gas only) Direct Shift eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout (hybrid) Front-engine, AWD
Engine (hybrid) naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder
Horsepower (hybrid combined net) 219 horsepower
Horsepower (hybrid gas engine) 176 horsepower at 5,700 rpm
Torque (hybrid gas engine) 163 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm
Horsepower (electric motor) 118 horsepower (front), 54 horsepower (rear)
Torque (electric motor) 149 lb-ft (front), 89 lb-ft (rear)
Battery Type (hybrid) Sealed nickel-metal hydride
Transmission (hybrid) Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (ECVT)
0-to-60 mph (gas only) 8.2 seconds
0-to-60 mph (hybrid) 7.8 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph (est.)

Further Reading

2019 Toyota RAV4 - Driven
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Read our full driven review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 775546

Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Safet Satara
About the author

The all-new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, which launched just two months ago, is already looking ahead with the unveiling of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the Chicago Auto Show. Arriving in the fall, the newest addition to the RAV4 family will be outfitted with a full array of special Toyota Racing Development engineering and design features for greater trail-driving capability and standout style.

The vehicle that started the segment 22 years ago is now the best-selling non-pickup truck in the U.S. With the latest generation, it is bringing even more sport and more utility. For 2020, the new TRD Off-Road is designed for customers who make the great outdoors a second home.

For the first time, the RAV4 will join a formidable team of Toyota TRD Off-Road SUVs and pickups inspired by the brand’s legendary off-road and desert racers. Beneath the new-generation RAV4’s bolder design, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides an ideal base for TRD’s renowned go-anywhere capability and style. Building on the 8.6-inch ground clearance and design features of the RAV4 Adventure grade, the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road goes above and beyond with suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for trail driving.

The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, provides get-up-and-go-anywhere performance and exemplary fuel efficiency. The driver can choose from Sport, Normal and Eco modes. To take more equipment along, such as personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, as well as distribute torque to the left or right rear wheel to enhance handling on or off pavement. When AWD isn’t needed, such as on long highway stretches, Rear Driveline Disconnect optimizes fuel economy.

Using standard Multi-Terrain Select, the driver can maximize traction by matching the drive mode to the conditions — Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails, and Snow for wintery conditions, for example. The Multi-Information Display (MID) shows torque allocation and slip control data. The new-generation RAV4’s short front and rear overhangs enhance trail-driving capability. In addition, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road will include Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety.

Thoroughly TRD

The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road takes cues from Toyota’s rich off-road racing history. It shares high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, and aggressive bumper, grille designs and fog light surrounds with the RAV4 Adventure grade, but with a uniquely TRD personality.

Inspired by TRD’s successful learnings with Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4, TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Unique red coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus. The twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature new internal rebound springs to improve rebound control. New bump stops maximize compression direction wheel travel and help improve body control over large bumps and dips.

The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road exclusively rolls on lighter and more rigid flow-formed 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires mean business, with a unique tread pattern and compound developed to TRD technical requirements. A rugged square shoulder design helps protect against punctures, on or off road, and the tires are Severe Snow Rated with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud and snow.

Available in an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic w/Ice Edge Roof combination, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is accented by dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and front LED fog lights are standard. TRD Off-Road is also available in Midnight Black or Lunar Rock, both of which are available with optional Ice Edge Roof. Other available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White.

Inside, striking red stitching and red trim accent the cabin. Seat surfaces are covered in comfortable SofTex, which is lighter than leather yet highly durable, and the front seats have “TRD” stitched into the headrests. Exclusive TRD all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat capture the mud, sand and water dragged in from the outside and easily shake out for cleanup.

Next-Generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)

Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which is already standard on all 2019 RAV4 models, includes a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
Automatic High Beam (AHB)
Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
Road Sign Assist (RSA)

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system will also be standard on the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

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