2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road – Re-Driven, Knobby Shod

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: first off pavement tune for America's most popular passenger vehicle. As tested in Lunar Rock priced at under $43k

KNOBBY NUMBER ONE: Repeating championships season after season is no stranger to  Japanese automaker Toyota’s RAV4. Last year the popular sales compact crossover utility vehicle surpassed ten million units sold globally in the model’s 15 year history. The current more “truck like” rendered XA50 fifth generation Recreational Active Vehicle 4 wheel drive has helped achieve a four-peat on the American passenger vehicle sales chart. Recently tuned for the transition to trail, Roadblazing.com on-road -ed a Toyota Racing Division tuned 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road in a Re-Drive upfitted with post pavement aspirations.

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Driving Hits:

  • 2.5L DOHC gas I-4 = 203 horsepower, 184 pound-feet torque @ 1300 rpm
  • 8-speed automatic torque converter planetary transmission
  • Goes with the highway flow acceleration
  • Drive modes x 3; ♦ TRD OFF ROAD specific: Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt (ASC disengaged) off road modes; ABS downhill assist control
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: center console selected drive & Multi Terrain modes
  • 28 combined miles per gallon, 413 miles highway range
  • Fully independent suspension; TRD OR specific: TRD “Red’ progressive rate coil springs; Stiffer bump stops;  Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 01A tire all-terrain knobby tread tires
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: independent suspension rides on knobby tread all-terrain tires

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: TRD specific red coil springs, bump stops and damper valving
  • Urban weighted electric assist power steering, Smooth slowing disc brake rotors + 1- sliding piston calipers x 4
  • TRD OR specific: “TRD” stamped stainless steel front skid plate, 8.6″ ground clearance; 3500 pounds tow rated
  • Rigid hot stamped high tensile steel body
  • Generous cabin sound insulation for segment

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Driving Misses:

  • This automatic allows engine revs to hang before upshifting, much like a CVT
  • Knobby all-terrain tire tread is noisier, short of howling, and issues coarse road sensation

What the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Has Got:

  • Pricing: from $27,425 (incl. destination) for an 8-speed automatic 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE front wheel drive.
    • As tested top 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road all-wheel drive trim priced at $42,622
  • Number 1 selling passenger vehicle in America
  • “Taco” ma nosed, creased body panel, flared plastic clad fender, rising beltline compact crossover utility vehicle
  • TRD OR specific: Darkened grille, bumper covers, body cladding and window, door trim & “Rock” insignia door sills
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: abundant darker lower cladding, running boards & mudflaps
  • 5 generously sized adult, 2-Row seating
  • 37.0 to 70 cubic feet cargo capacity via 60/40% split folding 2nd Row seatbacks
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: 37 cubic foot cargo bay expands to 70 cubic feet.
  • Tiered contrast stitch padded upper and middle dash; Lower mid dash shelves; Satin metallic mid dash, door panel & center console banding; Dual analog dials flanking 7.0″ color TFT multi-function display gauge cluster; Wide center stack and lower wireless device storage shelf; Tightly grained soft plastics; Even & smooth finished switchgear
  • Comprehensive standard feature set
    • Remote keyless entry; 1-zone (optional 2-zone automatic) air-conditioned climate control
    • LED headlights & taillights; Rain sensing windshield wipers
    • Full express power windows x 4; Cup holders x4, Bottle holders x 4
    • Ballistic fabric 6-way driver & 4-way passenger manual adjust seats; Tilt & telescoping leatherette steering wheel
    • Upper mid dash, pod mount, dual knob controlled 7.0″ landscape split pane touch touch LCD audio & media display w/ wireless voice control / alert navigation; USB-C x 1; 12V x 1; Bluetooth phone connectivity and smart phone SMS
    • Standard 6-speaker, 240 W streaming audio with HD-radio
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play phone projection; Sirius XM satellite radio (90 days trial);
  • Excellent safety features & ratings
    • +1 IIHS Top Safety Pick; 8 airbags
  • Driver assist tech (standard)
    • Rear camera + predictive grid; Pedestrian & vehicle collision avoidance braking; Blind Spot View monitor; Full adaptive cruise control; Lane departure warning, trace assist; Post collision brake lock; Road sign recognition; Row 2 occupant reminder; Auto high beam LED headlamps
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: available 8.0″ tri-pane infotainment touch LCD display w/ cloud native navigation
  • 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years / 60,000 miles powertrain warranty, includes 2 years maintenance

What the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • It’s ubiquitous in traffic, but the TRD Off-Road will be less so
  • Cargo load floor lacks raising tether or latching

Standout Feature(s) on 2021 TOYOTA RAV4 TRD OFF-ROAD AWD:

  • 8.0″ tri-pane touch LCD infotainment display; HDD cloud GPS voice command, voice guidance navigation
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: red accented cockpit
  • 11 speaker, 660 W JBL Clarify premium system; Voice to text reply SMS
  • Surround view camera monitor;  Blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert; Front + rear park assist warning
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror; Comfort access; Push button ignition; Approach activated adjustable height power liftgate
  • Softex leatherette seats + red piping, “TRD” stitched emblem headrest heated front, 8-way power driver, 4-way manual passenger adjust; Heated leather steering wheel; Red dash, door & center console piping accents
2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road: heated front softex leatherette seating
  • USB-A x 5; 12V x 2; 110V AC outlet (Row 2)
  • 2 GB WiFi trial subscription by Verizon
  • Toyota Safety Connect, Service Connect, Remote Connect, Navigation assist

Roadblazing.com Says: Number one selling passenger vehicle in America dips new knobby shoes off road.

Contributing Editor: G. Straton


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WHAT: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD 2-Row, compact family crossover sport utility vehicle.

Standard Power: 2487 cc, dual VVT-i DOHC 16V inline-4 cylinder gasoline engine: 206 horsepower / 184 lb-ft torque

8-speed torque converter, planetary automatic transaxle

(Available): PTU to viscous multi-clutch differential, rear prop shaft disconnect, torque vectoring, Muti-Terrain select All-Wheel Drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: 5th Generation XA50 variant of modular TNGA K-platform, shared with Toyota Avalon; replacing 4th Generation Corolla-based MC platform XA40. Wheelbase = 10″+ > 1st Generation XA10 series.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD: New truck-like apparel and new platform for America’s No. 1 selling non-truck derived passenger vehicle.

Car-based RAV4 demands truck-like recognition with vertically right-angle, layered wide hexagonal slatted grille & trapezoid grated mid-fascia, with vestiges of a lower hood snorkel.

Front fenders and dual creased rear quarter panels flare for prominent wheel arches. Swept-back LED headlamp housings commence beveled cheat line, rising tangentially to the C-pillar.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD: Less rakish and more aggressively cubed than its predecessor makes more more versatility.

Thin, then flared D-pillar inlined by lower piano black fangs to upper body-color matching roof spoiler. Kammback rear liftgate split by sub-window chrome bar, spanning to underline inner arrow shaped taillight. Directionals wrap around quarter panels. Beveled and recessed lower center liftgate license plate field.

Front and rear simulated matte metallic skid plates w/ dark cladding stripes, and dark lower full body, lower liftgate & wheel arch cladding; Dual oval chrome tipped exhaust outlets.

Roadblazing.com spies elements of a Toyota Tacoma pick-up front, and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV rear.

WHY: America’s No. 1 selling non -truck derived passenger vehicle now looks all truck-like

An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

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