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Here’s Why The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is Not an Off-roader

Taking a look at the specs, here’s why the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is not an off-roader…but something better.


The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the most successful hybrid SUVs to hit the global market this year. With other hybrid SUVs costing a fortune and not being reliable, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has proved from the owner’s expressing their thoughts that it surely is one of the few cars we see that will go down as one of the greats.

Today, Toyota announced another great special edition trim that will come out for the 2023 model year Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is going to be the better off-roading trim for the RAV4 Hybrid. While the TRD does exist, it still isn’t one of those trims that you really want to throw around. The woodland edition comes packed with tons of new stuff that will make your 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid that much better on the dirt.

Toyota announced this new edition in a press release. According to that press release, it will be, “available in Midnight Black Metallic, Cavalry Blue and Ice Cap exterior colors.” Also, according to the press release, you get a TRD-tuned suspension with body control, bump isolation, off-road-tuned coil springs, and twin tubed shocks to maximize the driving experience.

With your purchase of a 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition, you get standard Falken, WILDPEAK AT tires that maximize surface area and grip on the dirt roads. Not only is the RAV4 Hybrid aesthetically off-road looking, but it also handles like one too. Don’t be fooled by the “hybrid” title. This thing is very much capable of handling a nice track of dirt.

Taking into consideration the hundreds of off-road builds on the RAV4 Hybrid that I have already seen on the forums, I think an off-road-ready RAV4 Hybrid from the factory would make much more sense. Go onto any forum and you’ll see a lifted, bull bar-added, roof rack-added RAV4 Hybrid ready to off-road.

So far, the only thing in terms of hardware that can help you better off road in the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is the TRD Tuned suspension and the tires. However, no extra ground clearance was added, no undercarriage protection, no roof rack, no differential upgrades, and almost nothing besides the shocks were changed to help you off-road.

Here’s Why The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is Not an Off-roader

Granted, you could take this to your local dirt roads, and it would perform perfectly. But if you market a trim or a model as an “off-road” vehicle, there should be some factory mods to the vehicle that help it off-road. Take Jeeps and Broncos for example. Jeep’s Wrangle comes with tons of factory toys that help you off-road. Same for the Bronco. Besides a few badges and some mud flaps, the most you’re going to be able to handle are some heavy dirt roads and maybe a small boulder. I highly doubt you could do anything more than that.

This is where its alternative name comes in. Rivian didn’t call their truck an off-road truck, rather they called it an adventure truck. An adventure vehicle is something you go exploring with rather than off-roading. Maybe you want to go to the mountains and there are a few dirt roads or some steep hills. Maybe you are going to the beach and driving on some sand. Or perhaps you are going on a long trip and see a muddy puddle next to the highway. These three scenarios constitute grounds for adventure vehicles like Rivian’s pickup. I think the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition should be called an adventure vehicle rather than an off-roader.

If you would like to read more about the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition's capabilities, check out our article written by our senior Toyota reporter John Goreham where he talks about the tires and it's capability.

While I like the overall specs of the Woodland, I think that you wouldn’t necessarily want this if you were to go heavy off-roading. I don’t even think it could handle anything more than an 8-inch boulder and some light mud puddles. However, if you are the type to go exploring and find some twisty dirt roads…this is for you. Besides, who wouldn’t want cool leaves embossed on their floormats?

What do you think? Would you go heavy off-roading with the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.


John McNeely (not verified)    June 8, 2022 - 8:08PM

My question is what the tow capacty will be of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition? The TRD Gasoline with the non-CVT transmission can tow 3,500 lbs. Here is the dilemma. I want to tow a popup tent trailer that weighs UVW 2,439 lbs. Hitch Weight 263 lbs. GVWR 3,257 lbs. (So, cargo Capacity 818 lbs.) I would try to stay under 2,800 or 80% of 3,500 lbs. and keep cargo down to 361 lbs. I only tow about 6 times a year but in the Colorado Rockies. So, most of the time I don't tow and want good mileage. If it can tow the 3,500, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland fits a niche.

Harutiun Hareyan    June 9, 2022 - 5:50AM

In reply to by John McNeely (not verified)

Hi John,
I'm pretty sure it's going to have the same towing capacity as the current 2022 4Runner has. It's mostly going to be badges and tires. The engine is the same. Thanks for the comment.

John Short (not verified)    March 31, 2023 - 5:47PM

As I sit stuck just off the paved Oregon road in our two week old Woodland Edition awaiting a tow truck, it appears to me that the screw in tow hook would have made sense. Owner’s manual says it only comes in Japanese built models, not the Canadian built ones. How off-road is that?

Steve (not verified)    July 30, 2023 - 6:57PM

Towing capacity of the woodland edition is quite low. Something like 1750 lbs. I have 9k on one I've had for 7 months. I added an after market hitch for eventual bike rack, and maybe a light trailer.

The suspension is very nice on rough roads including washboards. The system seems to apply plenty of power to the rear motor, especially when in trail mode. I have chirped the tires a few times, probably because they are poor tires with a B traction rating. I expect to replace them before the winter hits, but last winter when new I was able to get through unplowed 8 inches of wet snow. I also experimented a bit with driving over snow banks.

Mileage in town is great. I drive 22 miles to work one way. Often 40+, with 50+ a number of times, in the summer. In the winter it goes down to 19-20 mpg as the engine needs to run more to generate cabin heat. Highway milage has been 31-33 running at 75-85 mph.

No heated seats so I added a heat pad on the driver's side. There are no window defroster traces on the front window where the wiper blades sit and in heavy snow the wipers tend to clog up. Other trim levels have front windshield electric defrost and I think Toyota's excluding them on this trim is almost criminal negligence.

Radiohead is not that great. Using it with Android auto mainly. Has connectivity and bluetooth issues with apple and android devices and frequently drops connection to the phone even when plugged into the USB port. Had to replace the front speakers to get better sound. Software is a bit buggy and the default screen is a advertisement for a paid Toyota map service.

Drives great and looks sharp in black. Needs some feature upgrades. Adaptive cruise control has some issues. I do like that you can run the A/C without running the motor (it's electric.)

I'll probably sell this in a few years when a larger, offroad capable hybrid comes out. But this works for me now as most of my driving is on the highway to get to the dirt roads.