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

Matthew N. Henry

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Street is a rugged-searching smaller SUV that sits at the best of its design range. Not only does it supply modestly improved path-bashing functionality, it really is just about every bit as refined and functional as a lot more mainstream versions of the likable RAV4. With handsome strains and plenty of healthful goodness, there are number of good reasons not to take into consideration parking 1 of these equipment in your garage.


  • Common driver-assistance tech
  • Easy, great-sounding motor
  • Crisp steering experience
  • Pleasant interior

Don’t Like

  • Very low-resolution 360-diploma camera
  • Some controls are difficult to use
  • Steep as-tested price tag

TRD Off-Street ‘upgrades’

Separating the TRD Off-Street design from a lot more workaday RAV4s is a range of enhancements. Moderately broader fender flares aid give it a bulkier, a lot more planted overall look. Front and rear, the bumpers are new, and there is certainly a distinct grille up front. The over-all glimpse is cohesive and eye-catching, even if it really is pretty comparable to what you get with the a lot more affordably priced Adventure-trim model of this Toyota.

As for real, substantive upgrades, they’re fairly minor. These RAV4s roll on distinctive eighteen-inch wheels that are taken care of to a matte-black complete. Delivering improved traction in a variety of conditions are a established of 255/60R18 Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. Their sidewalls may possibly scream Rubicon Path, with their squared-off shoulders and blocky lettering, nevertheless the real tread pattern is substantially significantly less intense and superior suited for each day highway use.

At the rear of all those upgraded wheels is a distinctive suspension setup. The RAV4 Off-Street design features twin-tube shock absorbers, pink springs for a jaunty glimpse ought to you bury your confront in a wheel nicely and new bump stops that supposedly deliver superior physique command when tackling rugged terrain. With Michigan even now largely locked down, I have not been capable to put this claim to the examination by doing some good off-roading, but this auto does maintain an even keel when faced with potholes or even though tackling pockmarked dirt streets.

Working in conjunction with all those all-terrain tires is a conventional torque-vectoring all-wheel generate method. With a few of consumer-selectable configurations for distinct conditions, this arrangement can deliver up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle and it can apportion that twist from the left facet to the appropriate as desired for improved handling. The rear part of this driveline can also disconnect when not desired to aid strengthen gas economic system.

The TRD Off-Street comes with marginally beefier tires, but no included ground clearance.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Curiously, the RAV4 TRD Off-Street has no maximize in ground clearance. It truly is acquired the very same 8.6 inches you get in other models. If it really is built for path crawling as Toyota indicates, should not it have a lot more? Also, there are mainly no skid plates defending this vehicle’s fragile underbody, so if you do determine to choose 1 of these from the shopping mall to Moab, be mindful. I don’t want to see you rip out a brake line or puncture the gas tank even though traversing tough terrain, and you undoubtedly don’t want to spend for linked repairs.

A properly competitive powertrain

Although a hybrid drivetrain is available in other RAV4 models, the TRD Off-Street only comes with 1 motor: the acquainted two.5-liter Dynamic Drive 4-cylinder, which is applied in other solutions like the Toyota Camry sedan. This engine’s company identify is a bit schmaltzy, but the overall performance it provides is properly respectable.

Place that quartet of pots on the boil and you might be rewarded with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This motor surely just isn’t frightened to allow its voice be heard when doing the job difficult, but I really think it appears fairly great, emitting an assertive rumble, particularly at greater revs.

A responsive eight-speed computerized transmission is your only selection, which I guess implies it really is not definitely a selection at all. Fortunately, this gearbox is attentive, each smooth and swift to shuffle through its gears, creating the most of the engine’s available grunt. It also can help provide respectable gas economic system. Driven generally, you can be expecting 25 miles for each gallon town and 32 mpg highway. Put together, the RAV4 TRD Off-Street is rated at a not-unreasonable 27 mpg. These figures look at favorably with other smaller crossovers. According to the EPA, a Honda CR-V, 1 with all-wheel generate and the available turbocharged motor, ought to return 29 mpg in combined motoring.

On regular streets, the RAV4 TRD Off-Street is enjoyable adequate to pilot. Its steering is unexpectedly crisp, each for a crossover and a Toyota, with a mild and precise experience. Apart from a bit of tire sounds, its interior remains mostly tranquil, even at highway speeds.

Stand on the accelerator pedal and this RAV4 moves with reasonable authority. No, it won’t shove you again into your seat like getting kicked in the upper body, but the overall performance it presents is properly fine and a lot more than competitive with rival crossovers.

Ease and comfort and benefit

For the most portion, I definitely like what Toyota has finished with the RAV4’s interior. The front seats are comfortable and there are plenty of gentle plastics and storage cubbies, plus I enjoy the pink stitching you get in TRD Off-Street models.

In lieu of animal hides, my tester’s seats are coated in SofTex, a faux-leather-based materials that not only appears to be like great, it feels nice, neither low cost nor plasticky. To guard the carpet from wintertime slop or muddy boot prints, TRD Off-Street models also function rubber floor mats. The initial and 2nd rows are secured by these all-temperature floorcoverings, as is the cargo place.

Rear-seat passengers have plenty of area. At 6 feet tall, I have no issues about this vehicle’s lodging since there is certainly plenty of place for each my knees and noggin. As for cargo area, there is certainly no lack, either. With the aft backrest up, you get a claimed 37.5 cubic feet of junk-hauling capacity. Fold that ’em flat and you get 69.8 cubes. As an included bonus, the RAV4’s floor is pretty small, which can make it a lot easier to load significant or bulky cargo.

The interior supplies are nice, but the infotainment tech is just Ok.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Up front, this vehicle’s climate-command and audio knobs function a grippy rubber texture and have a swirl pattern lower into them, which sort of provides to intellect the blades of a turbine motor. They’re effortless to use and experience chunky. Unfortunately, they’re flanked by a sequence of little, rectangular buttons. Not only do these switches glimpse out of place, they can be difficult to hit, particularly even though driving. Changing the admirer speed or bringing up a menu can be like trying to thread a needle even though whitewater rafting.

Maintaining all people content and their gadgets entirely juiced, 5 USB ports are sprinkled throughout this Toyota’s interior. These are conventional fare on just about every RAV4, ditto for Android Car, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. My tester also features an up-degree infotainment method with navigation and an 8-inch touchscreen. Passengers are also taken care of to an eleven-speaker JBL audio method.

That infotainment method is fine, no a lot more, no significantly less. Toyota’s multimedia choices are likely to be underwhelming, with unattractive graphics and obtuse consumer interfaces. This 1 is fairly responsive and it undoubtedly gets the occupation finished, but it really is far from my favorite.

Other optional goodies contain a helpful wireless charging plate, parking sensors and a 360-diploma camera, nevertheless this very last product is rarely some thing to crow about. The resolution of the image it generates is appallingly small and the screen would seem to flicker when it really is on, and which is a total ton of not great.

On the plus facet, Toyota Protection Sense two. is conventional on all 2020 RAV4 models. This features a slew of driver aids like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise command and computerized superior beams. Blind-location monitoring with rear cross-targeted traffic alert is bundled throughout the range as nicely, save for the most simple RAV4 LE design. All this kit is easy to use and extremely efficient.

Neat as the TRD Off-Street design is, significantly less costly RAV4s are surely the superior buy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Is it really worth the price tag?

Irrespective of whether in a lot more-each day trim or range-topping TRD Off-Street kind, I are unable to say the RAV4 is my favorite smaller crossover. It competes in a section rife with great alternate options. The Honda CR-V is superb, Subaru’s Forester is really nicely finished and the Mazda CX-5 pretty much feels like a luxurious car or truck. Continue to, even nevertheless it may possibly not excel in any unique place, this Toyota is great at just about anything. It truly is nicely created, it really is spacious within and it presents plenty of tech, plus it really is refined, affordable and attractively priced.

Together with desired destination service fees, an entry-degree RAV4 LE begins at just about $27,000, which is a lot more than reasonable these times nevertheless, my generously optioned TRD Off-Street examination design rings up for around $forty one,500, a price tag which is substantially more difficult to swallow. Yes, that outlay does get you some supplemental functionality, but reality be told, it really is possibly not really worth what Toyota is charging.

Rather, this is my suggestion: Sidestep the TRD Off-Street design and seize a a lot more middle-of-the-highway RAV4 variant, like the just-as-rugged-searching Adventure. You will save a massive chunk of modify and the inherent all-around goodness ought to make you fairly content.

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