The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Gets Better Off-Road Capability with Rally-Bred Suspension Mods

Drew Dorian
Photo credit: Toyota

From Car and Driver

If the all-new 2019 RAV4's Adventure trim isn't rugged or capable enough for you, Toyota has the answer with this 2020 TRD Off-Road model, which it introduced at the Chicago auto show. Channelling its inner 4Runner, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road certainly looks the part of an adventurous SUV with black-plastic fender flares, darkened grille and bumper elements, matte black aluminum wheels, and knobby all-terrain Falken Wildpeak tires.

Despite its unique suspension thanks to Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the TRD Off-Road shares the same 8.6-inch ground clearance of the RAV4's Adventure and Limited trims, which is 0.2 inches higher than the LE and XLE models. Toyota claims that the suspension is inspired by the setup developed for the Rally RAV4 but with enough compliance to damp out bumps in the trail and soak up potholes on the street. Red coil springs surround twin-tube shocks that feature revised internal rebound springs, and the suspension also receives new bump stops for better body control.

Photo credit: Toyota

Like the Adventure trim, the TRD Off-Road will come standard with selectable drive modes for the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The rotary controller allows the driver to select Mud and Sand, Rock and Dirt, or Snow modes in addition to the Normal setting. The RAV4's hybrid powertrain will not be offered on the TRD Off-Road, which instead comes standard with the 203-hp 2.5-liter inline-four and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota also gussied up the interior–albeit only slightly–with faux-leather seating surfaces, red contrast stitching, red interior trim, and embroidered TRD logos in the headrests. The RAV4 Off-Road will offer all of the same standard driver-assistance features that are on lesser models when it goes on sale, which include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and traffic-sign recognition. Although Toyota has been mum on pricing, buyers can expect to see the RAV4 TRD Off-Road on dealer lots this fall as a 2020 model.

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