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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chicago 2019: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

      It's not just for looks


    Toyota is putting on quite the show today in Chicago with the debuts of the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition , Sequoia TRD Pro, and refreshed 2020 Tacoma. But they had one more surprise up their sleeve in the form of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

    Building upon the Adventure model, the TRD Off-Road begins with an updated suspension that takes some ideas from Ryan Millen's RAV4 rally car campaigned in the Rally America championship a few years ago - new coil springs and revised twin-tube shocks. A set of Falken A/T tires come wrapped with 18-inch matte black wheels.

    Other changes for the TRD Off-Road include a new front grille, red stitching, and the TRD logo on the seats and floormats. Power remains a 2.5L four-cylinder with 203 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic.

    No mention of price, but Toyota says the RAV4 TRD Off-Road arrives at dealers this fall.

    Gallery: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

    Source: Toyota


    Toyota RAV4 Drivers Earn Trail Cred’ Thanks to New TRD Off-Road Treatment

    • 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road Suspension Inspired by Rally RAV4 Race Team
    • Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive
    • Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail All-Terrain Tires
    • TRD 18-inch Flow-Formed Matte Black Aluminum Wheels
    • Exclusive TRD Exterior and Interior Features
    • Standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)

    CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – The all-new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, which launched just two months ago, is already looking ahead with the unveiling of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the Chicago Auto Show. Arriving in the fall, the newest addition to the RAV4 family will be outfitted with a full array of special Toyota Racing Development engineering and design features for greater trail-driving capability and standout style.
     
    The vehicle that started the segment 22 years ago is now the best-selling non-pickup truck in the U.S. With the latest generation, it is bringing even more sport and more utility. For 2020, the new TRD Off-Road is designed for customers who make the great outdoors a second home.
     
    For the first time, the RAV4 will join a formidable team of Toyota TRD Off-Road SUVs and pickups inspired by the brand’s legendary off-road and desert racers. Beneath the new-generation RAV4’s bolder design, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides an ideal base for TRD’s renowned go-anywhere capability and style. Building on the 8.6-inch ground clearance and design features of the RAV4 Adventure grade, the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road goes above and beyond with suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for trail driving.
     
    The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, provides get-up-and-go-anywhere performance and exemplary fuel efficiency. The driver can choose from Sport, Normal and Eco modes. To take more equipment along, such as personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
     
    Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, as well as distribute torque to the left or right rear wheel to enhance handling on or off pavement. When AWD isn’t needed, such as on long highway stretches, Rear Driveline Disconnect optimizes fuel economy.
     
    Using standard Multi-Terrain Select, the driver can maximize traction by matching the drive mode to the conditions -- Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails, and Snow for wintery conditions, for example. The Multi-Information Display (MID) shows torque allocation and slip control data. The new-generation RAV4’s short front and rear overhangs enhance trail-driving capability. In addition, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road will include Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety.
     
    Thoroughly TRD
     
    The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road takes cues from Toyota’s rich off-road racing history. It shares high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, and aggressive bumper, grille designs and fog light surrounds with the RAV4 Adventure grade, but with a uniquely TRD personality.

    Inspired by TRD’s successful learnings with Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4, TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Unique red coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus. The twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature new internal rebound springs to improve rebound 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 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires mean business, with a unique tread pattern and compound developed to TRD technical requirements. A rugged square shoulder design helps protect against punctures, on or off road, and the tires are Severe Snow Rated with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud and snow.
     
    Available in an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic w/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 of which are available with optional Ice Edge Roof. Other available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White.
     
    Inside, striking red stitching and red trim accent the cabin. Seat surfaces are covered in comfortable SofTex, which is lighter than leather yet highly durable, and the front seats have “TRD” 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.
     
    Next-Generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)

    Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which is already standard on all 2019 RAV4 models, includes a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:

    • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
    • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
    • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
    • Automatic High Beam (AHB)
    • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
    • Road Sign Assist (RSA)

    Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system will also be standard on the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

    Edited by William Maley

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    2 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    I like the styling...maybe the next 4Runner will look like a larger version..the current 4Runner is so ugly.. 

    Agreed, this one is actually nice looking which is rare for Toyota and me.

    I wish GM would plan stuff like this where they bring out a Z71 or SS set of all models at a show. GM needs to get their planning together to better maximize long term loyalty and sales by offering speed across the whole product line and then offer off road performance across their whole product line.

    The one here, one there is just so tiring and not well planned.

    What ever happened to GM Performance? 🤔

    Toyota TRD is Killing them!

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    Well the TuRD model snatches the Adventure's man card, like all of a sudden the Adventure has turned a bit metro, with its cute orange interior trim.  The gray/white roof, dark trim and black wheels with slightly more aggressive tire, plus red interior accents transform it a bit.  The 4Runner is still their genuine off-road capable wagon, but this, for daily driving plus the occasional weekend play, might do it for a few folks.

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    I wonder how much they will charge for beefed up suspension, knobby tires (that will be crap on road) and some body cladding?  And who is going off roading in a RAV4?  But if they can sell a couple thousand of these option packages a month it is probably a pretty easy profit grab.

    The 2.5 liter 4 in this makes 40 more horsepower than the 2.7 liter in the Tacoma.  Why isn’t this engine in the Tacoma?  Does Toyota not know what engines they have in house?

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    15 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The 2.5 liter 4 in this makes 40 more horsepower than the 2.7 liter in the Tacoma.  Why isn’t this engine in the Tacoma?  Does Toyota not know what engines they have in house?

    100% agreed. That 2.7 is like 20 years old at this point. It's such a worthless engine. 

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    48 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I wonder how much they will charge for beefed up suspension, knobby tires (that will be crap on road) and some body cladding?  And who is going off roading in a RAV4?  But if they can sell a couple thousand of these option packages a month it is probably a pretty easy profit grab.

    Because it is a TRD Off-Road and not a TRD Pro, it likely won't be too pricey. 

    Personally, I would just want the rear to be able to be locked. I don't know how fancy this new AWD system is but I would just want it to not allow me to get stuck in snow because I wouldn't be off-roading it.

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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Because it is a TRD Off-Road and not a TRD Pro, it likely won't be too pricey. 

    Personally, I would just want the rear to be able to be locked. I don't know how fancy this new AWD system is but I would just want it to not allow me to get stuck in snow because I wouldn't be off-roading it.

    I wonder if any OEM will ever install electric lockers by default. I know electric hubs have become standard, but it seems having a beefy electric locker which has proven itself by the masses would be awesome so you can just flick a switch and lock up. I would love that.

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    33 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I wonder if any OEM will ever install electric lockers by default. I know electric hubs have become standard, but it seems having a beefy electric locker which has proven itself by the masses would be awesome so you can just flick a switch and lock up. I would love that.

    Like what's in some trucks? Or do you mean on a transverse engine mounted AWD CUV? 

    Locking hubs have been gone for a long time now. 

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    Like what's in some trucks? Or do you mean on a transverse engine mounted AWD CUV? 

    Locking hubs have been gone for a long time now. 

    I was thinking both, Electric locking Diff on trucks as well as AWD CUV / SUVs. 

    It would be really nice and beneficial to folks that due use it allot especially in snow states or off road to have them as part of an off-road package.

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    10 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I was thinking both, Electric locking Diff on trucks as well as AWD CUV / SUVs. 

    It would be really nice and beneficial to folks that due use it allot especially in snow states or off road to have them as part of an off-road package.

    Electronic locking diffs on trucks is available on every truck outside of the Ridgeline, that I can think of. 

    Jeep's system might be the only in a FWD-based CUV that can lock the rear end. 

    Yeah, the Cherokee Trailhawk is the first CUV that I see that has a locking rear diff.

    All of the others have various traction controlled systems for mimic 4-wheel drive. 

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    29 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Electronic locking diffs on trucks is available on every truck outside of the Ridgeline, that I can think of. 

    Jeep's system might be the only in a FWD-based CUV that can lock the rear end. 

    Yeah, the Cherokee Trailhawk is the first CUV that I see that has a locking rear diff.

    All of the others have various traction controlled systems for mimic 4-wheel drive. 

    Thanks for the info, for some reason I thought that most posi lock diffs out there were a manual centrifugal force kind, not the electric switch where you can lock up the diff any time you wanted.

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    57 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Thanks for the info, for some reason I thought that most posi lock diffs out there were a manual centrifugal force kind, not the electric switch where you can lock up the diff any time you wanted.

    Oh no, they've been electronic for quite a while now. The Hummer H2 had an electronic locking rear end when you selected 4L. 

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    On 2/7/2019 at 3:17 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    I want to like these, but they drive just so poorly.

    Everyone says this, repeatedly, but doesn't seem to affect sales. I think the Hybrid is likely better (as in most Toyotas). Just a mix match of "meh", in your opinion?

    They're everywhere. Goes to show, this size, this price, this look, this capability, etc. is far and away a better, more comfortable and functional daily for most people, than a cramped low sedan...even if the driving dynamics (interestingly) don't get fully baked.

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    I have a co-worker who was looking for a crossover and test drove like 5-6 of them.  Liked CX-5 the most but ended up buying RAV4 because he had Camry before and felt "safe" buying Toyota (even though his Camry had transmission problems)

    I think a lot of people buy RAV4 only because of the badge, similar to many people who buy BMWs.

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    6 minutes ago, ykX said:

    I have a co-worker who was looking for a crossover and test drove like 5-6 of them.  Liked CX-5 the most but ended up buying RAV4 because he had Camry before and felt "safe" buying Toyota (even though his Camry had transmission problems)

    I think a lot of people buy RAV4 only because of the badge, similar to many people who buy BMWs.

    Yeah, Toyota is the 'no-brainer' choice for many mainstream consumers.  I've worked with people that have only bought Toyota for decades.   My cousin Mike has only bought Toyotas the last 20+ years (but he worked for them for 20 years after retiring from the Navy, so he got discounts).   And it's generational, his 3 adult children drive Toyotas, and their adult children drive Toyotas...

    Kind of like how in olden days there were Ford-only families or Chevy-only families. 

    Toyota's most off-road capable SUVs (4Runner and Land Cruiser) are so old now and in need of an update.. 

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    2 hours ago, ykX said:

    I have a co-worker who was looking for a crossover and test drove like 5-6 of them.  Liked CX-5 the most but ended up buying RAV4 because he had Camry before and felt "safe" buying Toyota (even though his Camry had transmission problems)

    I think a lot of people buy RAV4 only because of the badge, similar to many people who buy BMWs.

    They do also offer a pretty good overall package for those who just want space, fuel economy, and a solid overall vehicle. There's absolutely nothing special about them(save for maybe the TRD) but there's also nothing glaringly wrong with them. 

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    23 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    They do also offer a pretty good overall package for those who just want space, fuel economy, and a solid overall vehicle. There's absolutely nothing special about them(save for maybe the TRD) but there's also nothing glaringly wrong with them. 

    That's true.  But he obviously liked CX-5 much more, but went with a "safe" choice, at least in his perception.

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    2 minutes ago, ykX said:

    That's true.  But he obviously liked CX-5 much more, but went with a "safe" choice, at least in his perception.

    Might be a good move considering how little Mazda produces and the cash flow issues they seem to be having. I suspect in the next 10 years they either get bought or go away.

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    27 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Might be a good move considering how little Mazda produces and the cash flow issues they seem to be having. I suspect in the next 10 years they either get bought or go away.

    Mazda never was a big company.  If you look 10 years back they sold in US almost 230k cars.  2014-2015 were best years for them with over 300k cars.  Last year they sold 279k cars. Globally they sell a decent amount of cars too, with last five years showing a healthy growth.  I don't think they go anywhere, the overall trend is still up.  

    Personally, I have a lot of respect for Mazda, for such a small company they have more character and more interesting cars than Toyota and Honda combined.

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    • By William Maley
      Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
      Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
      Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
      Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
      Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $67,300
      As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Metallic Paint - $645.00
    • By William Maley
      This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system.
      Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with an as-tested price of $63,540 with a $1,025 destination charge.
      Here are some quick thoughts,
      Acceleration isn't the RX's strong suit. The V6 moves the crossover at an adequate speed. The touchscreen makes a huge difference in overall usability with Enform. I find myself not screaming at it - both internally and externally. Third-row does eat up a lot of cargo space when up. I'll be trying to squeeze myself into the third-row along with other items throughout my week in the RX. In the meantime, drop off any questions you have.


      View full article
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