This week I bring you the 2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. It delivers bold style with rugged looks and some off-road capability to match. Plus it adds Toyota's available new multimedia system for 2023.
In terms of looks, I couldn't help but see some of the iconic FJ Cruiser's bold design cues in the RAV4 TRD Off-Road, thanks largely to the two-tone paint, Cavalry Blue with an Ice Edge roof and high profile black roof rails. The color combo stands out and I also really like the looks of its unique 18-inch 6-spoke matte black flow-form TRD alloy wheels with black lug nuts. The TRD Off-Road's red-painted shock absorbers are easy to spot, too, thanks to the SUV's 8.6-inches of ground clearance.
The front facia sports a unique split-bar front upper grille along with LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, LED fog lights and daytime running lights. A TRD-stamped stainless steel front skid plate, along with black RAV4 and TRD Off-Road badging, also give its status away.
The tail end sports LED taillights, an integrated rear spoiler and dual chrome-tipped exhaust.
Unique TRD Off-Road style elements include a color-keyed upper and black lower front bumper, larger black overfenders, and a black rear bumper with Magnetic Gray Metallic insert.
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 203-horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to an 8-speed transmission and also equipped with Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel drive.
The RAV4's Off-Road's interior is well laid out with a design that's geared towards the rugged side. My test model's black SofTex cabin features red accents, including stitching on the dash, red trim around the console cupholders and a good amount in the wireless charger area. Underneath the two-tiered soft-touch dash you'll find a storage space for the passenger.
SofTex-trimmed black seats with red TRD logos on the headrests keep you comfortable as does the 8-way power driver's seat.
I really like what Toyota's done in terms of graphics on the driver information display. They look really terrific, as you can see in the pics below (scroll to see all the images). The display looks terrific in general - it's bright, colorful and seemed easier to read than some Toyota models with smaller font sizes.
New for 2023, the TRD Off-Road is among select models that come standard with Toyota's new 10.5-inch multimedia display. It looks terrific with great resolution and graphics. Note you'll need a subscription to access Toyota Drive Connect for location and route guidance with Cloud Navigation. I also like the "Hey Toyota" voice command feature. The system is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen also has great real estate for the back up camera, 360 view and multi-terrain monitor.
An upgraded TRD Off-Road Premium Audio package swaps out the 6-speaker sound system for an 11-speaker JBL system which is a must for me.
Beneath the multimedia screen, the center stack hosts dual zone climate controls - that include large easy-to-grip rubber dials. Thanks to a weather package - you'll also find heated and ventilated front seats controls there. The package also nets a heated steering wheel and rain sensing wipers with a de-icer.
TRD Off-Road-badged rubber floor mats in the front and second row add to the rugged appeal.
A V-shaped center console is rugged in design and features the gear shift, electric parking brake, automatic brake hold and buttons for the drive modes along with a dial for the Multi-Select Terrain modes. The dial looks ordinary by day, but lights up at night.
Rear seat passengers get a drop-down center console with cupholders. It's also easy to fold down the 60/40 rear split seats to access the cargo area from inside.
Speaking of which, you open to the height-adjustable power liftgate to a terrific amount of cargo space. A thick, rubber TRD Off-Road cargo mat looks great and provides a lot of utility. A cargo cover hides your valuables and the cargo space also has a 120V/110W power outlet.
Ride and Drive
The RAV4 delivers a great ride and drive. I enjoyed the ride quality thanks to the multi-link suspension and enhanced TRD-tuned suspension, which by the way isn't just made for off-roading, but for handling treacherous city potholes. The RAV4 is easy to maneuver and best of all easy to park. Fuel economy is 28 mpg combined.
This model isn't yet equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, like the 2023 Corolla. But 2.5 TSS offer a lot of advanced driver safety that includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, full speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams and road sign assist.
It's also equipped with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
Options on this model include the TRD Off-Road Weather Package ($1,015), the TRD Off-Road Technology package ($640), digital rearview mirror ($625), a TRD Off-Road Premium 11-speaker JBL audio system with the 10.5-inch touchscreen ($1,390) and the two-tone special paint ($500.) This bring the total MSRP as equipped to just shy of $43,000, which I consider to be a great price point.
Toyota's made the RAV4 Off-Road even more enticing for 2023 with a multimedia upgrade. It's the RAV4 to consider if you're looking for more capability and bold style.
- What I liked most: Two-toned looks, TRD-tuned suspension and new Toyota Multimedia System
- What I would change: Add front door interior handle grips.
- MSRP: Base price: $37,195; as equipped $42,700.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 25 City/32 highway/28 Combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 230 miles.
- Weight: 3,615 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 181.5” long/73.4" wide/68.6” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 with filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Cavalry Blue with Ice Edge Roof.
- Towing Capacity: maximum 3,500 pounds.
2023 RAV4 TRD Off-Road in a few words: The RAV4 in the lineup to get if you're looking for FJ Cruiser like style and added capability.
Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles Basic; 60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain; 60 months/unlimited miles corrosion perforation warranty.
- Final Assembly Location: Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.
- Manufacturer's website: Toyota