Behind the Wheel

2024 Toyota RAV4 — A Compact SUV for All Pacific Northwest Roads

2024 Toyota RAV4 WoodlandModel tested: 2024 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder

Transmission: 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Horsepower: 203

Torque: 184 lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 25/city, 32/highway, 28/combined MPG

Base price: $38,095

As tested: $41,725

Overview: The 2024 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is the most all-terrain-capable version of the highly popular RAV4 compact SUV. Our Army green tester was equipped with the TRD Off-Road technology package and the TRD Off-Road weather package. Suspension tuning is TRD-specific, with all-terrain tires and matte black TRD 18-inch alloy wheels. All these TRD extras enhance the already capable base RAV4. The Toyota RAV4 TRD won’t summit Mount Everest, but it will take your family and outdoor adventure gear all over Pacific Northwest backroads with confidence and comfort.

Walkaround: The 2024 Toyota RAV4 TRD has all the necessary external cues to pass any parking lot “serious SUV” inspection. Most are functional, if not overkill, for freeway commuting — but fine for trail running. Toyota has some great blues and reds that we’d prefer over the “military surplus” green, but green blends well with the Pacific Northwest environment. RAV4 styling is sharp, but we like bright colors and polished wheels. Also, we’re getting tired of the whole black wheel trend — bring back some bling.

2024 Toyota RAV4 WoodlandInterior: Driver and front passenger space and comfort are more than ample, as is the adult-size backseat. Part of the TRD weather package was an excellent heated leather steering wheel (a big plus for winter) and heated and ventilated front seats, with driver power lumbar support. Small item storage could be better, as could the sunroof size. The heavy-duty TRD floor and cargo area mats were excellent for muddy post-hike shoes. Cargo space is excellent, with 37 cubic feet behind the seats and almost 70 cubic feet with the seats folded. Our tester had the power liftgate.

Behind the wheel: All Toyota RAV4 models have fine highway manners and a smooth, compliant ride. The TRD features didn’t come with a comfort penalty. Power is adequate but not exciting, and fuel economy is respectable for a gas-only SUV (the RAV4 hybrid is recommended for mileage-conscious consumers). Controls on the center console offer modes (eco, normal, sport, mud, sand, rocks, snow and hill descent) to cover the full gamut of Pacific Northwest road and weather conditions.

Bottom line: The 2024 Toyota RAV4 is a highly popular compact SUV that comes in many flavors, with the most “rugged” one being the RAV4 TRD Off-Road model. For all its extra off-road features, we found the RAV4 TRD to be an enjoyable, roomy, comfortable, safe, convenient, family-friendly, utilitarian compact SUV, with a smooth ride and reasonable fuel economy — all reasons that make the RAV4 lineup so popular.