Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Industry | By Dora Warner

#CAS19: Toyota Goes Hard Core With Fifth-Generation RAV4 TRD Off-Road

#CAS19: Toyota Goes Hard Core With Fifth-Generation RAV4 TRD Off-Road

Toyota has whipped the covers off a new RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the Chicago Auto Show in the United States, giving its fresh-faced, fifth-generation SUV an updated suspension set-up, new wheels and bespoke tyres "engineered specifically for trail driving".

Despite its unique suspension thanks to Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the TRD Off-Road shares the same 8.6-inch ground clearance of the RAV4's Adventure and Limited trims, which is 0.2 inches higher than the LE and XLE models. SR will feature a larger 7-inch touchscreen with new multimedia system that features Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM capability, and more.

The RAV4 TRD Off Road's engine is untouched; it remains a 2.5L four-cylinder rated at 203 horsepower. Compliant with the SAE J2807 towing standard, the Sequoia TRD Pro can tow up to 7,100 pounds and features an integrated tow hitch, Driver-selectable Tow/Haul transmission mode and Trailer Sway Control.

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On the hardware front the RAV4 TRD Off Road has been upgraded with twin-tube shocks that have been re-valved and fitted with new rebound springs for better off-road performance.

Other add-ons include new bump stops to maximize compression direction wheel travel, as well as help improve body control over large bumps and dips. TRD Off-Road also comes standard with TRD-tuned Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, Hill Assist Control (HAC), Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control.

Now the brand's most popular model is getting the TRD treatment.

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A perennial award victor for segment-leading value, the Tacoma line boosts its appeal for 2020 with revised styling, expanded multimedia tech, added comfort and convenience features and, for the TRD Pro, additional off-road tech. There's also a set of aluminum running boards and a roof rack. Seat surfaces are covered in "SofTex", a material Toyota says is "lighter than leather yet highly durable", while the front pews have "TRD" lettering stitched onto the headrests. As for the V6, it is shared among a wide variety of Toyota and Lexus products. The base engine only comes with a six-speed automatic.

Of course, since it's a family hauler, the new Sequoia gets Toyota's Safety Sense P, but not just on the TRD Pro model, but as standard equipment on every trim level. Given that manuals aren't exactly big sellers in America, it's a bold move from Toyota.

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