The top-selling crossover in the U.S. is gaining a wild side.
Toyota unveiled the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road, an adventurous version of its compact SUV, at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday.
The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road is the latest addition to Toyota’s stable of vehicles enhanced by its performance division known as TRD, or Toyota Racing Development. The automaker also introduced the Sequoia TRD Pro SUV and an updated Tacoma TRD Pro pickup in Chicago.
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is powered by the same powertrain as the standard RAV4 that debuted in 2018. It features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The RAV4 Off-Road will feature standard all-wheel drive, all-terrain tires and off-road suspension.
It also shares an assortment of parts with the RAV4 Adventure trim, such as standard roof rails and oversized fenders. The bumpers, front grille and fog lights are similar as well. Both the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road have several driving modes to choose from, depending on terrain.
A vehicle apart
The TRD Off-Road sets itself apart with its suspension. It has red coil springs and updated shocks prepped to venture onto dirt trails. It is also tuned to maximize wheel travel and improve control when the roads get rough.
Toyota included the same Multi-Terrain Select system currently in the RAV4 that allows drivers to choose between several modes such as Snow, Mud and Sand, or Rock and Dirt.
But the TRD Off-Road also comes with hill-start assist and hill-descent control for steep grades. Trailer Sway Control is included for enhanced safety while towing. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Inside, the new model features red trim and stitching to set it apart from standard RAV4 models. Seating surfaces are made of a light, durable material called SofTex. TRD branding is included on the headrests, floor mats and rear cargo mat.
The exterior of the vehicle is marked by matte black 18-inch wheels that are lighter and more rigid than those on other RAV4s. The wheels are wrapped with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail tires for an aggressive look. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road comes in five colors, including a two-tone metallic gray with a white roof that is exclusive to the model.
Toyota Safety Sense
The automaker’s suite of advanced safety technology known as Toyota Safety Sense, or TSS 2.0, is included as standard.
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road arrives as consumer demand for light trucks – a category that includes crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks – continues to grow. Light trucks accounted for 68 percent of all vehicle sales in 2018, up from 63 percent in 2017.
Sales of the RAV4 increased by 4.8 percent from 408,000 units in 2017 to 427,000 last year, making it the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. that is not a full-size pickup truck.
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road will go on sale this fall.