Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Not to take away from Toyota’s standard family of vehicles, but if I had to choose, then I’m rolling with the TRD variant of any of those models. Representing Toyota Racing Design, the TRD label enhances your vehicle with a rugged appearance package, gritty wheels, and more aggressive accessories. Such is the case with the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, which is dominant over its base stablemate.

Our crossover arrived in a Lunar Rock hue with a contrasting white roof, black roof rails, black mirrors, black body cladding, and matte black TRD alloy rims wrapped in knobby Falken WildPeak A/T tires (225/60R18). The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is primed for adventure whenever you seek it. All I endeavored to do was take my bikes for epics rides knowing that the RAV4 TRD Off-Road had no visible limitations. It sits high for proper ground clearance and features Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Multi-Terrain Select, and a TRD-tuned suspension when hitting muddy, snowy, sandy, or rocky trails. Quad pipes are a nice touch as well. Like an animal in the wild, the TRD Off-Road is always ready for action.

When a friend from back home came across my IG post on the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, I received a DM immediately. Currently, he drives a Tundra pickup for his construction business but is looking for a second vehicle with maneuverability. Jonathan asked about both the sizing for a 4-member family and its overall satisfaction. The RAV4 is perfect I suggested, and when you lie down the second row, an adult bike can be stored without removing the front wheel or seat post. If selected, he will also enjoy the $1,620 JBL premium audio and dynamic navigation. The system incorporates 11 speakers in nine locations and a subwoofer. This package also comes with an 8″ touchscreen, WiFi, and Dynamic POI search. He would have to spend another $1,950 for the TRD Off-Road Technology Package with parking assist, digital rearview mirror, wireless smartphone charge pad, and the Bird’s Eye View Camera with a 360-degree view. But I would pass on this one and put that money elsewhere; especially since you can pay at least $41,780 when MSRP is $35,180.

Through town, the vehicle is agile and simple to park. It is well-suited in the city and achieves 25 MPG here and 32 MPG when you leave and hit the highway. The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road is motivated by Toyota’s 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 203-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The performance appeases at higher speeds but struggles at lower RPMS when needed for acceleration, as I discovered in several traffic scenarios. Though, drivers can set the vehicle’s mannerism in Eco, Normal, or Sport modes.

The interior is comfortable and dynamic with sporty bolstered seats, red contrast stitching on the seats, doors, and dash, large rubber knobs, rubber mats and cargo cover with red TRD badging, and the rubberish leather door and dash trim. A sunroof for the front occupants brings in the sunshine, and tie-down hooks are omnipresent in the cargo area. Toyota also gave the RAV4 a power liftgate. Safety is abounding with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Brake Assist & Smart Stop Technology, and much more.

On most days during my week-long test drive, I rose at 5 am, stretched, and then loaded the Toyota with either my Specialized Sirrus 4.0 hybrid or Ghost Kato 7 mountain bike. Then I met up with my bredrens for 7 am naturalistic rides along Sligo Creek Trail in Silver Spring, MD. Interestingly enough, one of our Fit Fathers had just picked up a Specialized Diverge in the same grey hue, and my dad had just scooped up a used 2018 Specialized Sirrus model. We typically ride 20 to 30 miles while chatting about health, positive lifestyle habits, adventure sports, and the joy of riding. Exercise is fun and engaging when you partner up with individuals with like interests.  Active lifestyles also appear to be one of the pillars of the TRD consumer’s psychographics.

Our rides have been meditative and energetic thus far, and the goal is to establish the sessions as an indefinite weekend meetup until the end of the season. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road would be ideally suited for the task. Are you listening Toyota? Because we want to go places?