Taming Tumbleweed: I Found The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road’s Limit By Pushing It to the Edge!

The TRD Off-Road is Toyota's most capable version of its popular RAV4 crossover

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road - Tumbleweed Ranch
(Images: TFL Studios)

Tommy pushed the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road just about as hard as one dares.

As much as you may not push your RAV4 on a daily basis, it is informative to know what it can do.

We built several obstacles at Tumbleweed Ranch specifically for vehicles like the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. You see, over the past decade, automakers began adding more off-road capability to their car-based crossovers. We’ve seen these models go from total posers to what are, actually, some pretty capable off-roaders. Most are still happiest on dirt roads and snow, but many have the chops to tackle some fairly technical obstacles.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road - Tumbleweed Ranch

So, does this crossover have the right stuff?

Equipped with a mediocre 8.6-inches of ground clearance, and “rally inspired” shocks – this 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is the most off-road-worthy of all RAV4s. This TRD Off-Road gets the torque vectoring all-wheel drive system which comes with a Mud and Sand mode. There’s also a Rock and Gravel mode. More importantly, it comes with some rugged Falken Wildpeak A/Ts mounted on 18-inch wheels.

We always say the most important off-road upgrade you can add to your off-road vehicle is the right tires. Those Falken tires make a huge difference. Still, you could get even more aggressive tires for even better off-road performance.

The fairly efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent though an eight-speed automatic transmission. This setup gives you up to 28 mpg combined – which is impressive. On top of that, you can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Honestly, there’s a lot of goodness for a vehicle with a base MSRP of $36,915. It comes almost completely loaded, along with the off-road upgrades. Still, it truly needs armor, more ground clearance and a more aggressive off-road system to compete. In other words, competitors are beginning to make their crossovers even more off-road capable. If Toyota wants to have their “TRD Off-Road” badge maintain relevance, they need to step it up even further. Then again, make it too hardcore and you’re stepping into 4Runner territory.

Check out the full video below and you’ll see what I mean: