Very few vehicles have the capacity to be both a segment leader and a segment disruptor – but the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 has managed to achieve just that. Introduced in 2019, the latest RAV4 continues its bold leadership moves for 2020 by adding the TRD Off-Road model to the lineup.
The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road is the next logical step in that evolution. It’s the latest member of Toyota’s esteemed TRD family, which includes off-road-capable pickups and SUVs, along with the recently added performance-tuned Camry and Avalon TRD sport sedans.
After making the RAV4 its best-selling model and the best-selling non-pickup small SUV vehicle in America for the past two years, Toyota broke the segment mold yet again with the new generation RAV4. Designed to embody a style and persona inspired by the brand’s tough trucks, the RAV4 was also designed to amplify the desirable traits of a crossover: interior comfort, agile handling, a smooth ride and exemplary fuel efficiency.
Also new for 2020, all RAV4 models expand multimedia capability with Android Auto™ added to the Apple CarPlay® and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The LE and XLE grades, both gas and Hybrid, gain standard SiriusXM® with a three-month trial, which was already standard on the higher grades.
Reconfigured equipment and option packages enhance value in the RAV4 XLE, Adventure and Limited grades. In the XLE and XLE Hybrid, a power driver’s seat is now standard. Heated front seats are moved from the Convenience Package to the Weather Package, which also includes a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a windshield wiper de-icer. Formerly available only on the all-wheel drive model, this package is now also available for the front-wheel drive XLE to provide even more options.
The RAV4 Adventure grade gains a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and now also offers the Convenience Package, which includes the power liftgate and power moonroof.
The Limited grade models add the JBL® Audio package to the standard equipment roster. This system provides an in-vehicle concert experience with an 800-watt amplifier playing through 11 speakers across 8 channels. Among highlights are A-pillar horn tweeters and a ported subwoofer. JBL® system remains optional for other RAV4 model grades (XLE Premium, Adventure Grade, TRD Off-Road and XSE Hybrid).
Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), standard on all 2020 RAV4 models, groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system are standard on the higher grades, including the new RAV4 TRD Off-Road. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB) are also additional safety options.
Designed to tackle urban, suburban and outdoor adventures with equal aplomb, the Toyota’s fifth-generation RAV4 brought more sport and more utility to one of the auto industry’s most competitive segments. The robust Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform allows RAV4 to adopt the charisma of a bolder and tougher SUV, but in a package that is lower and wider than the previous model.
The wheelbase and front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident drive, while the front and rear overhangs aid RAV4’s trail-driving capability. The RAV4’s chiseled appearance conveys athleticism, with a strong nose leading into a dynamic profile with robust shoulders and available 19-inch wheels.
The high-strength unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the previous generation, and RAV4’s optimally-tuned front strut and rear multilink suspension systems enhance agility while also delivering a smoother ride. Toyota’s secret ingredient in chassis tuning is a group of takumi (highly-trained master craftsmen) that focused exclusively on developing the vehicle to act and react as the driver intends and expects, even in extreme weather and road conditions.
The 2020 RAV4 LE, XLE and Limited grades are available with a choice of gas or gas/electric hybrid powertrains, while the Adventure and TRD Off-Road grades only offer the gas engine. Both powertrains deliver an exceptional blend of performance and fuel efficiency. The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine is paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission with an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 30 combined MPG (LE FWD). The transmission uses direct-lock up in gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter while executing ideal, smooth shifts.
The gas engine employs high-speed combustion technology, reduced friction and a variable control system to reduce energy losses associated with cooling and exhaust systems. The result is a stunning 40-percent thermal efficiency (41- percent for hybrids).
The LE, XLE and XLE Premium grades offer optional All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Control and Rear Driveline Disconnect. The system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels. When AWD isn’t needed, such as on long highway stretches, the system disconnects, optimizing fuel efficiency.
For maximum capability and off-road prowess, Adventure and TRD Off-Road models come standard with Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect. In addition to directing up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, this system can also direct more torque to the left or right rear wheel to enhance on- or off-pavement handling. The Limited model is offered in both Front-Wheel Drive as well as an optional Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect.
In any RAV4 Hybrid, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works in sync with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the Hybrid models performance and efficiency leaders of the RAV4 family, with an EPA-estimated 41/38/40 MPG. It is truly the no-compromise compact SUV.
In the Hybrid models, a Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT) is exclusively paired with the All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i) system. AWD-i uses an independent electric motor at the rear wheels, rather than a torque-distribution system in the transmission and additional driveshaft to the rear. The new system increases the total torque to the rear wheels by 30 percent compared to the previous RAV4 Hybrid.
The RAV4 XSE Hybrid takes the mantle as the top of the RAV4 lineup, with the most striking design. Its sport-tuned suspension, with tauter springs and shock absorbers, also yields the sportiest on-road handling in the RAV4 family.
Projector-beam LED headlamps, exclusive to the Hybrid XLE grade and above, produce brighter, sharper, and ideally-angled illumination. The standard two-tone exterior paint scheme pairs a black roof with Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint body colors. Piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rocker panels set the stage for XSE Hybrid’s sporty appeal. Its exclusive interior features black Softex® material and blue accents throughout.
The TRD Off-Road echoes the persona of Toyota’s legendary off-road racers. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road model shares high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, and aggressive bumper and grille designs and fog light surrounds with the RAV4 Adventure grade, but with a TRD personality.
Building on the 8.6-inch ground clearance of the RAV4 Adventure, the TRD Off-Road goes above and beyond with suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for rugged trail driving. Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Driveline Disconnect is standard and supported by and a full complement of off-road handling technologies. To take more adventure equipment along, such as personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow a trailer up to 3,500 pounds.
Inspired by TRD’s expertise gained from Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4, the TRD Off-Road model’s suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Exclusive red-colored coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus. The twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature internal rebound springs to improve control. New bump stops maximize compression-direction wheel travel and help improve body control over large bumps and dips.
The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road exclusively rolls on lighter and more rigid flow-formed 18×7-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. The tires use a unique tread pattern and compound developed to TRD technical requirements, and their rugged, square-shoulder design helps protect against punctures. The tires are Severe Snow Rated, with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud and snow.
Using standard Multi-Terrain Select, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road driver can maximize traction by matching the drive mode to the conditions: Mud & Sand for beach driving, Rock & Dirt for trails, and Snow for wintery conditions. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is in addition equipped with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for on-road and off-road performance and safety. The Multi-Information Display (MID) shows torque allocation and slip-control data.
Available in an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ice Edge Roof combination, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is accented by dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and front LED fog lights are standard. TRD Off-Road is also available in Midnight Black or Lunar Rock, both available with the optional Ice Edge Roof. Other available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White.
Striking red stitching and red trim accent the TRD Off-Road model’s cabin. Seat surfaces are covered in comfortable Black SofTex®, which is lighter than leather yet highly durable, and the front seats have the TRD logo stitched into the headrests. Exclusive TRD all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat capture the mud, sand and water dragged in from the outside and easily shake out for cleanup.
For those who don’t need quite the high-level trail capability of the TRD Off-Road model, the RAV4 Adventure delivers much of the style and function, including 8.6-in. ground clearance and standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect and Multi-Terrain Select.
Like the TRD Off-Road, the RAV4 Adventure grade can be equipped with an Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with the Midnight Black Metallic, Blue Flame or Lunar Rock exterior colors. Inside, seat finishes come in either Black or a Mocha- colored Softex®. Orange stitching accents the interior with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard.
The RAV4 Limited brings a taste of the luxury vehicle life to this high-capability compact SUV. Its 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from the other models, though it’s inside the cabin where the Limited steals the show. Standard features include a front-row moonroof and heated 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support.
Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID). This also comes standard on XSE and is available on XLE Premium, AG and TRD Off-Road the Digital Rearview Mirror was the first in any Toyota vehicle in North America in 2019. It functions as a conventional rearview mirror, but with the flip of a switch, it displays what’s behind the vehicle, relaying the image from a high-mounted, adjustable wide-angle, high-definition camera.
Optional premium comfort content includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a larger, panoramic moonroof. The available hands-free power liftgate opens with a wave of a foot below the rear bumper.
In all RAV4 models, the interior offers elevated sophistication with a premium, modern design and uncomplicated layout. The shifter emerges from a smooth boot, and the HVAC knobs in the center panel provide outstanding tactility. The center console features a standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) for easy accessibility.
Handy storage abounds in the RAV4, including the console’s large volume, side-by-side cup holders, and an open tray capable of holding small items. In addition, an in-dash tray within easy reach of the front passenger can hold electronics, sunglasses, and other travel must-haves.
Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious cabin thanks to an increase in left and right couple distance and legroom compared to the previous-generation RAV4. The rear cargo area features a reversible liner as well as side nets for storing small items. The 60/40 folding rear seats easily expand the rear cargo area.
Every RAV4 is equipped with Toyota Multimedia including SiriusXM® and Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon and hands-free access to Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The standard Audio system uses a 7-inch touchscreen perched atop the center stack and functions as the display for the standard rear backup camera. Audio Plus adds an 8-inch touchscreen, while Premium Audio includes integrated dynamic navigation and JBL®.
Enhancing multimedia features, RAV4 can be equipped with up to five total USB ports in the front and rear rows, plus an optional Qi wireless charging tray positioned at the front of the center console. The available JBL® Audio incorporates an enhanced system architecture, new speaker design, and an improved tuning process. The result is an all-access pass to an intimate in-vehicle concert experience.
In addition to TSS 2.0, the 2020 RAV4 is equipped with Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The RAV4 also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for 2 years, unlimited mileage.