Does The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Live Up To Its Name? We Find Out!

How much capability do you get for nearly $43,000?

If you’re in the market for a new Toyota RAV4, you currently have seven different models to choose from. Depending on your budget, you could shoot for anything from the base LE all the way up to what we have in our latest TFLcar video: the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. This is the most expensive model (at its base price) you can buy, and it promises to be the most capable model of Toyota’s compact crossover. But does the car actually live up to that “TRD Off-Road” name?

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
Toyota built the RAV4 TRD Off-Road as a more purpose-built adventure vehicle, but how well does it actually perform off-road?

When it first debuted in October 2019, Toyota called this the “next logical step” in the evolution of the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) brand. From the TRD-modified versions of its sports cars, trucks and SUVs, Toyota has since branched out the moniker to vehicles like the Camry, and now crossovers as well. Under the hood, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road still has the same 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine making 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as a standard all-wheel drive system with Multi-Terrain Select.

At $42,800, you’d expect the TRD Off-Road to come packed with features no other RAV4 has. There is a lower-trimmed RAV4 Adventure, and this builds on that vehicle with new tires, wheels, revised suspension and bespoke TRD livery. For example, the TRD Off-Road gets Falken Wildpeaks as a more aggressive off-road worthy tire. Those are wrapped in 18-inch black six-spoke TRD wheels, and sits in front of TRD-tuned struts and red painted coil springs, struts and shocks. However, the TRD Off-Road does not have better ground clearance than the XLE Premium, Limited or Adventure. That remains the same, at 8.6 inches.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

The challenge

Of course, we’re going to put the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road to the test in the Rocky Mountains. How well can it handle the trail? It starts off $2,225 more expensive than the Adventure trim, and you do get more bespoke off-road changes than even the more rugged Adventure trim.

Unlike the 4Runner TRD Off-Road, though, the RAV4 does suffer from approach and departure angle issues on the trail. Here, we have just a 19 degree approach angle and 21 degree departure angle, which does affect the TRD-Offroad almost immediately. But can it manage to get up the trail to make its case as an alternative to a purpose-built off-road SUV? Watch the video above to find out!

If you’re interested in the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, we also have a deeper dive into what you get for your money below: