Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Beckons Mountain Drives 

The RAV4 has always been one of my favorite SUVs.  I especially was fond of the older models with the chrome wrapped spare tire outside on the rear trunk.  This feature was unfortunately eliminated from later models but many of these dependable and fashionable RAV4s are still on the highways.

The latest RAV4 is a TRD off-road trail model made for Colorado recreation enthusiasts.  Adding to the outdoor theme the paint is  “Army Green” with black interior.  The final assembly of this model is in Woodstock, Canada and the suggested manufacturer’s retail price is $38,095.  There is some desirable optional equipment that includes a weather package of heated and cooled front seats, leather trimmed and heated steering wheel, and rain and snow sensing windshield wipers for $1,l015.  An offroad technology package is offered for $640 that is worth adding to the overall cost, considering the long-lasting value and life of this excellent choice.

This is an all-gasoline 2.5 engine with 203 hp., averaging 28 mpg. with three drive modes, eco, normal and sport.  Eco does make a difference but has  a little chatter protest from the engine. Normal performs very well,  and sport adds more pep to the drive; all three modes power the RAV4 admirably. 

This RAV4 has been awarded a perfect overall five-star safety rating.  Safety is always first and foremost, featuring the Toyota Safety Sense system, and the very desirable pre-collision protection. Drivers can become very fond of backing from busy parking lots with cross-traffic and pedestrian  warnings.  The lane tracing assist eases highway driving  as long as there is a painted lane, beware of exits where the lane ends, so does the tracking system. Lane departure alerts add to driving attention as it is  easy to weave when adjusting the center console controls, especially the radio.  Drivers need to  make adjustments for radio, outside mirrors, and seating prior to traveling.

A center-console 10.5-inch audio multimedia screen controls all vehicle functions, including the 6-speaker sound system.  In the rear cargo area there is a 120V/100W power outlet to add to the off-road  theme, along with rugged tires and a front skid plate a nd TRD tuned suspension.

The powerful engine is stingy on fuel consumption, solid suspension, ventilated front seats, strong design, this is just an all-around versatile selection as a family and outdoor sports vehicle well-suited to outdoor Colorado.