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Presenting The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

Off-Road / Comments

Whoever said a crossover can't have fun in the dirt?

For the first time ever, Toyota has given its best-selling RAV4 crossover the TRD treatment. Presenting the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road, which is making its official debut at this year's Chicago Auto Show alongside the updated Tacoma lineup, Land Cruiser Heritage Edition, and also new Sequoia TRD Pro.

The RAV4 TRD Off-Road begins life as the RAV4 Adventure trim, only with several serious upgrades. First up are standard high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, a more aggressive bumper and grille designs. But underneath that more rugged-looking body is a TRD-developed off-road suspension inspired by the Rally RAV4 racing team led by Ryan Millen.

Engineered to specifically improve body control and small bump isolation, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road receives red coil springs tuned for going off-pavement, re-valved twin-tube shocks featuring internal rebound springs for better control, and new bump stops to improve body control when going over large bumps and dips. Also new and exclusive to this crossover are lighter yet more rigid 18-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels wearing Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. Under the hood is the familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Another standard item is a torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system that can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels and even distribute that torque to the left or right rear wheel when necessary, on or off-road. Drivers can select from three driving modes to accommodate various road conditions: Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow. Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control, and Downhill Assist Control are all standard fare.

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Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 consisting of active-safety technologies is also standard. Buyers can choose from several exterior colors, among them an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic with an Ice Edge Roof combo. Regardless of color, all RAV4 TRD Off-Roads come with dark gray front and rear lower fascias. Front LED fog lights are also standard.

The interior is adorned with red stitching and trim while the seats are covered in SofTex, a faux leather that Toyota claims is not only lighter than animal skin, but also just as durable. The "TRD" logo is stitched into the headrests and TRD all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat are also included.

On paper, the new 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road has the goods, but only some wheel time can confirm that. Official pricing and an on-sale date were not announced.