The notoriously bland Toyota RAV4 has undergone a makeover fit for the trails.
Debuting at the Chicago Auto Show, the fifth-generation 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-road sprints off the gates with a revamped suspension system, showcasing its all-terrain Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive, which redistributes 50 percent of the vehicle’s torque to either left or right rear wheels, depending on traction. Other additions include twin-tube shocks, new bump stops hill stop, Trailer Sway control, and internal rebound springs to create a smoother ride.
There is also the choice of four driving modes: mud/sand, rock/dirt, and snow, which adjusts torque and slip control accordingly. All changes in torque can be seen using the driver’s dashboard display.
The powertrain remains unchanged from the main RAV4 with an eight-speed automatic transmission, 2.5-liter inline-four delivering 203 horsepower with a 3,500-pound towing capacity. This is more than enough capacity to transport larger off-road cargo and items such as motorcycles or a small trailer.
The Toyota RAV4 also combines its off-road capabilities with active safety features using pre-collision and pedestrian detection systems, lane departure alerts, emergency braking, automatic high beams, road assign assist, blind spot monitoring, and more.
On the design side, the RAV4 appears more built for off-road activities, with larger fog lights, over-fenders, and more rugged looking bumpers. 18-inch TRED matte black alloy wheels are combined with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires to create a jarring effect. Its interior is flush with red stitching and accents on black, giving it a sporty look.
Let’s see if Toyota can continue its torrid run as the best selling non-pickup in the U.S. with a renewed focus on a growing legion of off-roaders.