Amazing Video Footage Shows What 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Can Really Do
Some would call it the best-selling SUV in the country. Others might label it as an ideal family road trip vehicle. Comfortable and smooth could be what some may say about it as well.
If we are talking about Toyota RAV4, I would say all of these people could make a strong case to support their arguments.
But can it drive off the pavement when conditions get more severe and treacherous?
I found out the hard way. On the Off-Highway Vehicle trails of Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina. You have to see the video to believe it.
2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road
There are many different grades of Toyota RAV4. You can choose anywhere between LE all the way up to the Limited model. There are also four different trim levels of RAV4 Hybrid as well.
And then there are the heavy duty, more adventurous grades. RAV4 Adventure is one of them. I have written about this one in the past.
The other is 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. I recently had the opportunity to evaluate RAV4 TRD for a week, and what I found were a number of surprising features and capabilities I was unaware of.
VIDEO: Hit the trails with RAV4 TRD Off-Road
The most recent addition to the Toyota Racing Development family is RAV4 TRD Off-Road. It looks even tougher and more rugged than other RAV4 trims. And it can tow 3,500 pounds.
Look for taller than normal roof rails, larger black overfenders and unique upper and lower front bumper. This particular one I drove was Magnetic Gray with a cool whitish-gray ice edge two-tone roof.
The 18-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken WILDPEAK all-terrain tires both look good and serve an important purpose should you take it on the trails. The tires are designed to withstand punctures (within reason, I am sure).
I found this out for myself just how beneficial these all-terrain tires are.
2020 RAV4 TRD Performance
The powertrain combination of 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission is the same for every 2020 Toyota RAV4 gasoline-powered trim across the board. This produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. torque.
I found the car to be, if I can take liberties with the word, zippy both on city streets and highways at top cruising speeds. It worked well getting up to speed on highway on-ramps, passing vehicles when needed, and pulling out into heavier traffic.
Minor wind noise coming from the driver’s side mirror would be the only area for improvement I could suggest. While the mirrors have been lowered and extended outward to improve visibility, I feel this is probably the culprit for the extra wind noise.
TRD Off-Road upgrades are a TRD-tuned suspension, red-painted coil springs, a full assortment of LED headlights and daytime running lights and fog lights, power moonroof and power liftgate.
2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road Interior
First impressions are everything. If you like black and red color schemes, you will definitely find the interior cabin appealing.
I found the black Softex embossed seats to be quite comfortable during my two-hour road trip with my wife to Uwharrie National Forest. Red accents include stitching, headrests and all weather floor mats.
My review vehicle was loaded with additional option packages there were practical, convenient and pretty darn cool.
Normally I use my Apple CarPlay in my 2018 Camry, but I needed the built-in Dynamic Navigation when signal strength went out as we got closer to the trails. JBL sound system was great and featured 11 speakers in 9 locations, subwoofer and 800-watt amplifier.
I suggest upgrading with Weather Package and Technology Packages as well if they fit your budget. You will be treated to heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, rain-sensing wipers with de-icer, Bird’s Eye View Camera, front and rear parking assist with automated braking, digital rearview mirror and a wireless charging pad.
RAV4 TRD Off-Road trail drive
My video will probably say it all. My wife and I successfully navigated the Wolf Den trail, one of the easiest trails on the course. It was recommended to us by our fleet company as well as locals who knew we were driving a stock small SUV.
I know what I was working with and I realize it was not a Toyota Tacoma or Toyota 4Runner. The biggest limitation was the 8.6-inch ground clearance. While this is a strength of RAV4 in normal situtations, it is also a limitation on certain trails that drivers must be aware of. There were just some obstacles that I could not attempt.
However, with that being said, I was thoroughly impressed by what the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road COULD do.
We went up against mud and puddles and smaller rocks all the way up to smaller boulders. My vehicle successfully traversed several dirt mounds and moguls of all sizes and awkward angles.
I could not believe how well it did climbing a hill filled with larger stones and boulders. I hope if you have one of these models you get to try it on some off-road trails to see for yourself.
Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive helped me tremendously. This innovative system can send up to 50% of its available torque to the rear wheels when it detects wheel slippage. It can further distribute extra power to the individual wheel that needs it most.
Time for your thoughts on RAV4 TRD
Thanks for reading everyone. I encourage you to watch my video to see my off-roading adventures.
I think the highlight was a JEEP driver who was following me saying how impressed he was watching my RAV4 TRD from behind. Now that is some street cred right there.
One other adventurer watching me commented, “Is that a car on the trail? I told them to get their camera because that’s a first!”
What do you think of RAV4 TRD Off-Road? Is this a vehicle you would consider driving?
See you next story when I compare all models of 2021 Toyota TRD Pro in Lunar Rock.
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