Let’s face it: Toyota’s mid-range SUV has garnered a “soft” image over the decades. Some even call it the soccer mom truck. But have you checked out the 2015 edition? We got behind the wheel to a sigh of relief that our man parts were still intact. Here’s what we learned ripping through the Mojave Desert’s Valley of Fire in the burly new model. Jump in!
By no stretch of the imagination is it a Tacoma or Tundra, but it’s got enough pull to subdue off-road conditions.
The fact that Toyota changed absolutely nothing and performed no tune-ups is cray!
Even riding on a donut makes for a smooth drive, as we experienced firsthand when blowing out a tire.
No mirage here… the 2015 model looks just as good as it performs.
The sound system bumps loud thanks to 11 JBL GreenEdge speakers paired with amplifier and subwoofer.
Calling it a terrain conqueror seems oddly fitting.
The Diff-Lock button feature is a lifesaver and made riding a spare more chill getting through the Valley of Fire.
Any compact SUV starting at $24,000 with the capability of doubling as a solid off-road vehicle is worth the greenbacks.
Once you’ve activated the aggressive Sport Mode, you’ll never go back.
Be it stuffing Bud-filled coolers or beach bunnies in the rear, there’s plenty of cargo space.
Nine colors are available. Still there’s no denying that Red Hot Lava shade gives it such radiant swag.
The Limited version is the real way to go.
Its racing counterpart—the RAV4 Rally—is even hotter.
And it runs on the same stock components (engine, brakes, etc.) as the standard model. Pretty sick.
Expect it to take home a few chips at the Rally America National Championship with Ryan Millen, son of off-road legend Rod Millen sitting behind the wheel.