Why the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD is the best economy off-roader in the United States


Toyota’s RAV4 seems to have grown over generations into a reliable and sophisticated all-round family SUV. The latest fifth generation adopts a more muscular silhouette and is packed with technology. The family RAV4 is already the best-selling SUV in North Americaand to appeal to new audiences, the RAV4 now comes with the TRD Off-Road version.

With exclusive TRD enhancements, Toyota aims to distinguish the RAV4 as a more rugged off-road machine. Unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the highly anticipated fifth-generation RAV4 has become the most radical model yet. The TRD version, however, became available in 2020.

It is important to point out that TRD, which stands for Toyota Racing Development, is a completely different entity from the GR (Gazoo Racing) brand. TRD is Toyota’s in-house tuning division which focuses on improving the performance of existing Toyota vehicles.

The GR models, on the other hand, are bespoke machines specially built on Toyota’s production line to deliver high performance., like the brilliant GR Yaris. As for the rest of 2022 Toyota RAV4 range, the automaker has made subtle improvements to the TRD model. Priced at $36,500, the Toyota RAV4 represents good value for money in this competitive segment.

Related: Here’s why the Toyota RAV4 is better than the new 2023 Nissan Rogue

2022 RAV4 Features TRD Improvements

Aesthetically, the RAV4 has a more aggressive design than its predecessor. Its rugged appearance and clean lines have all the hallmarks of a serious SUV. To distinguish itself from other RAV4s, the TRD model features subtle styling differences.

These include a TRD-stamped stainless steel front skid plate, hefty roof rails, black TRD badges, black exterior accents and dark gray front and rear valance. In addition, the 18-inch matte alloy wheels are unique to the model and are equipped with large off-road tires. Additionally, the rear also gained a meaner look with the incorporation of dual-tip exhausts, spoiler and LED taillights.

Related: These are the coolest Toyota TRD models ever made

The Toyota RAV4’s luxury cabin is packed with technology

The modern interior of the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is spacious with state-of-the-art technology and top-level standard equipment. Plus, the fit and finish are excellent, as you’d expect from the Japanese brand. It also feels more luxurious than its predecessor.

Additionally, the TRD model features Softex-trimmed seats with the lettering TRD emblazoned on the head restraints. Both front seats now feature eight-way power adjustment. Additionally, red accents are apparent throughout the cabin.

The 8-inch infotainment touchscreen dominates the center dash and showcases navigation and audio settings, though it’s not the best in the business. Another 7-inch screen behind the steering wheel displays driver information.

The RAV4 gets high scores for refinement and driving environment. What’s more, it also comes with eight airbags and a range of driver aids as part of Toyota’s Safety Sense package, which includes radar cruise control, lane-keep assist and crash detection. pedestrians and cyclists.

The intelligent Birds Eye View parking camera remains an additional option, however. The RAV4 also offers 580 liters of cargo space behind the rear seats. That’s more space than its Lexus NX cousin, although a bit less than a VW Tiguan.

Related: Here’s Why We Think The 2023 Toyota Sequoia Interior Is Super Cool

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD is a decent performer

Despite the TRD moniker, the RAV4’s engine remains unchanged. It comes with the same powerful naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as the other variants, developing 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front or all four wheels, allowing the RAV4 TRD to hit 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds.

Without a doubt, its off-road capability is what separates the RAV4 TRD from the rest of the pack. Indeed, the TRD variant is the only model in the range to be fitted with independent McPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. Add to that an 8.6-inch ground clearance and Dynamic Torque-Vectoring All-Wheel Drive to give the TRD optimized handling and traction.

The RAV4 TRD handles surprisingly well on tarmac. Steering is precise and handling is pretty decent with good ride quality. It’s true that most RAV4 TRD buyers will rarely venture off-road. Those who do will find the RAV4 a fairly capable SUV on dirt and gravel tracks. However, it is by no means as tough a mud plugger as the Toyota 4Runner.

For fuel economy, the RAV4 TRD averages 25 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.

Related: Get Ready for Adventure with the 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport

2022 Toyota RAV4: the best-selling SUV, even better

The hugely popular RAV4 may be one of the best-selling SUVs, however, the TRD badge doesn’t make it an all-terrain performance machine. Instead, it adds kudos as well as more confident off-road ability.

For many, the RAV4 TRD will offer the perfect balance between transporting a small family and off-road adventures. Backed by Toyota’s reputation for quality, reliability and a five-star safety rating, the TRD RAV4 is sure to attract many new customers to this segment and maintain its leadership position for years to come.

Source: Toyota


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