Your weekend excursions now have a partner; it’s your favorite 2021 Toyota RAV4. Zoom it through the trails in this highly developed, muscular compact Toyota RAV4 crossover. You love traveling to different terrains, high up amidst the hills; however, not every crossover fulfills your desires of exploring outdoors.
Most of those heavy-weight SUVs are perfect to be driven in rough terrains; some are too big for your own good, some are way too out of your budget, and some are extremely impractical. That’s why the Toyota RAV4 brings you immense happiness. It’s like the car comes as a blessing for the gearheads out there.
Some other stellars to consider in the same segment are Jeep Compass Trailhawk, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, Ford Bronco Sport, Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, and both the versions of Toyota RAV4 (TRD Off-Road as well as Adventure Trim). It’s true; you get not one but two gifts: two trims of the RAV4.
Toyota has based its RAV4 on its extremely popular small-sized SUV and made it perfectly ready for the trails. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road has a similar appearance, ride height, AWD powertrain, clearance angles, as well as many other characteristics as that of the Adventure. So then, what’s different?
Well, it also comes with off-road worthy tires, rally-inspired suspension setup, intention-signaling badges, and much more. So, is the TRD better than the Adventure when it comes to off-roading? Well, only Toyota can tell. However, we’d be able to provide you with some insights that would give you a better idea about it.
According to our research findings, if you travel in a 2021 Toyota RAV4 along with a trekking location or an off-road worthy terrain you’ll notice a lot of changes in the way the car will begin to behave.
Now imagine a terrain with steep pitches, muddy roads, and a lane that has been drenched till deep due to the heavy rainfall. Drive your RAV4 amidst the dusty pitch and start observing what your car can actually do.
How does the RAV4 behave off-road?
The RAV, as we know, has a muscular body but does that help it off-roads? No, not at all. The unaltered long chin of the car leads to a 19.0-degree approach angle and the low-hanging exhaust setup leads to a 21.0-degree departure angle in the entire RAV4 lineup.
As per what Toyota has revealed, the car has 8.6 inches of ground clearance which isn’t a good number. Going by this, we can assume that the break-over angle, which Toyota hasn’t revealed yet, won’t be great as well.
However, if you place the RAV alongside the Cherokee, the extra 10th inch of the ground clearance of the RAV along with 22.9-degree break-over, 32.2-degree departure angle, and 29.9-degree approach will give it an edge over its competitor.
So what else did Toyota embellish its RAV4?
Toyota surprised its consumers by giving the RAV4 new valves for the shocks, elite red coil springs, and improved rebound control. However, the car doesn’t have the right equipment that could help it lead on uneven roads or take itself out from unexpected dips. The bump stops are upgraded in the new TRD.
Besides this, you don’t get an enhanced ride quality even though the car is rally-inspired. Compared to the RAV4 XLE, the RAV4 TRD will make you feel a bit nervous on these rough terrains probably because it doesn’t give out much smoothness in its drive and handling ergonomics. If you talk of the suspension’s tuning, it can handle the sandy roads better and even under high-impact riding the suspension controls itself and yourself best.
Toyota’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD System is great but the amount of torque available in the car is perhaps required more with the rear axle. You’ll observe that as soon as you start the power slides, the electronic guards will nix them immediately.
At times, you might feel that the AWD setup isn’t much stellar, but when you check out the cueing done by the mode buttons that are also available in XLE RAV4, you’ll be satisfied. It helps you move to other terrains as well. And amidst muddy roads, you can switch on the mud mode and watch the spectacle of this car churn through shuffling power between each wheel and coming out victoriously.
Toyota joined hands with the Falken to develop the Wildpeak all-terrain tire for the TRD which is crossover friendly. The 18-inch wheel’s small sidewall lets it dig right out. And if you’re stuck in a situation, you’d be aided by the tire’s Severe Snow-rated abilities. The pavement has the finest grip possible. The RAV4 has a cabin that lets the noise inside, you won’t get the tire’s sound troubling you even a bit.
If you go for the Adventure model, you can get excellent upgrades like the sunroof, all-weather floor mats, and power liftgates. It also has a 360-degree view parking camera; however, its proximity sensors are perfectly active. The sensors make a screeching cry when there’s no risk of impact.
If you add on 43 grands extra to your budget, you can get the cooled and heated front seats along with the heated steering wheel in the RAV4 TRD itself. But if you’re forking out $43,000, you are literally getting the perfectly equipped Toyota 4Runner which has better credentials and a stronger outlook.
If you keep the rigid suspension aside, you’ll feel that the TRD is just your normal RAV4. Wondering what it means? Well, the smooth gear changes and the coarse engine makes it feel usual. Let’s talk about some more pros. We love Toyota’s decision to include Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 as standard on the RAV4.
However, that’s also beaten by the car’s competitors with respect to the driver-assist suites that offer smooth assistance as well as better calibration. The RAV has a front crash prevention system that has bagged it the highest score on the IIHS scorecard. Another plus point was its immensely big side mirrors that gave better visibility to the driver as well as the occupants.
Ever since the RAV4 has come into a shape similar to that of the Highlander, finding appropriate parking areas have become a headache for the owners. Nevertheless, you get a lot of interior space including 69.8 cubic feet of cargo volume; a number that’s far better than what’s offered by the Cherokee Trailhawk. The car also beats the Jeep in terms of its fuel economy; it offers 27 mpg combined ratings as opposed to the Cherokees 21/22 mpg combined. The Jeep does come with a AWD setup with low-range capability, which is something the RAV lacks in.
Should you get the 2021 Toyota RAV4?
For those of you who just love adventures till eternity, the RAV4 is a must-have. It’s easy-to-drive, has great driving capabilities along with off-roading capabilities, and can roll around in the dirt most graciously.
Toyota has offered its consumers two choices here. But we can say that the TRD Off-Road offers you better off-roading abilities than its Adventure. There is a difference in suspension, not the tires. Plus, the TRD’s floor mats are easier to clean up too.
However, the TRD will need more stiffness if it wants those applauds and some amount of distinctiveness from the Adventure.