We’ve already told you that the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, which made its Philippine debut this week, won’t be offered locally with a four-wheel drivetrain. That has sparked a discussion on our Facebook page as to whether or not compact crossovers need 4x4, anyway, and you guys have a lot to say on the matter.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Chicago Auto Show is currently happening—and what did Toyota just happen to unveil there for the US market? The RAV4 TRD Off-Road, with a trail-ready suspension, wheels, and tires. This marks the first time the RAV4 is joining the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) lineup.
The vehicle is based on the RAV4 Adventure grade, which already boasts a ground clearance of 218mm (8.6 inches). In tuning the suspension, TRD has drawn from its experience of running the Rally RAV4 in various American series. The setup comprises retuned coil springs, re-valved twin-tube shocks with new internal rebound springs, and new bump stops. The 18-inch matte-black TRD alloys are shod with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires with a unique tread pattern and compound specially developed for TRD.
Multi-Terrain Select allows the driver to choose from different modes like Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, or Snow. Driving aids include hill-start and hill-descent assistance, Trailer Sway Control, and dynamic torque vectoring. On the highway, Rear Driveline Disconnect may be activated to send drive only to the front wheels for better fuel economy.
Power still comes from the 203hp 2.5-liter gasoline engine, which is also still paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Toyota claims a towing capacity of up to 1,588kg (3,500lb). For added safety, the RAV 4 TRD Off-Road also gets a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, as well as rear cross-traffic braking system. This is on top of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of features, which is standard across the entire RAV4 range in the US.
As for TRD-specific design cues, a two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic paint job with Ice Edge Roof trim is exclusive to this model, but there are other color options available. The interior gets red accents, durable SofTex upholstery, and the TRD logos on the headrests and all-weather floor mats.
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road will officially go on sale in the US later this year. It’s unlikely to find its way to our shores, so for those who are interested in the new RAV4, you can check out more photos of the local version here, or maybe read about the specs and features of the base variant here.