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New 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road - What Makes It Special?

Toyota's new 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road has an impressive list of new features for those heading off-road. Here's why we think it is an interesting offering.

New for 2020, the Toyota RAV4 will come in many flavors. Our favorite may be the TRD Off-Road trim. Toyota says that this trim, "...will be outfitted with a full array of special Toyota Racing Development engineering and design features for greater trail-driving capability and standout style." We like the sound of another affordable crossover choice with capabilities that might match or exceed those of the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

The RAV4 TRD Off-road starts with a new foundation. It will use the new-generation Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform. This will add stiffness, crash safety, and make the truck a more solid platform onto which Toyota can add capability.

Next, Toyota is raising the RAV4 off the ground, as Subaru and Jeep do. The new minimum ground clearance is 8.6-inches (Subaru's Forester has 8.7). The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road also has an upgraded suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for trail driving. Toyota says the TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails. Unique red coil springs are tuned for off-road use. 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 also rolls on lighter and more rigid 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires have 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 also Severe Snow Rated with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud, and snow.

Toyota's new 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, will provide more power than most brands' base engines. Towing personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer will be possible with the RAV4 TRD Off-Road's 3,500-pound towing capacity.

The Toyota RAV4 is presently the top-selling non-pickup truck model in America. The new 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road arrives this coming fall.