Toyota has had a very active 2019. In addition to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Toyota Racing Development Brand (TRD) the Japanese auto giant also had a very solid showing at the 2019 Texas truck Rodeo, with the brand winning four awards at the prestigious event.
The recently launched 2020 Toyota RAV4 Off-Road won the Compact SUV of Texas award while the full-size Toyota Sequoia was named the Full-Size SUV of Texas. Both of these models were either redesigned or updated for the new model year, with the RAV4 in particular bringing a formal off-road focused package to the marque for the first time ever. The Sequoia received a more modest round of updates, but the TRD version marked the first time that the off-road focused suite of upgrades made their way to the big family hauler, with goodies such as Fox sourced off-road shocks, exterior and mechanical tweaks, as well as a suite of off-road focused equipment selected by TRD engineers.
“The TRD vision is something we continue to foster and evolve to help meet the wants and needs of our customers, and these latest offerings are everything they could ask for and more,” said Toyota Vehicle Marketing and Communications General Manager Joe Moses. “TAWA’s recognition of our 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road and Sequoia TRD Pro further cements our position as a trusted leader in the capability and performance landscape, and it brings a great deal of pride to be able to accept these awards as fellow Texans.”
In addition to the RAV4 and Sequoia winning awards, Toyota also won awards in the technology category with the brand winning two awards for two particular features. The first was the Best Safety Feature honor, with the Toyota Safety Sense system (TSS) winning the award for best safety feature of the year, while the firm’s Panoramic View and Multi Terrain Monitor was named the Best Driver Assistance Feature. TSS in particular stands out because it is a very comprehensive suite of safety features that are included onto many new Toyota vehicles at no additional cost. They include welcome goodies such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic high beams and other handy aides.
This strong arsenal of safety features further highlights just how important safety has become in the world of pickup and SUV offerings, with more buyers having occupant safety as a key requirement for their new vehicle needs. This is also a stark contrast to over 20 years ago when many of these systems were in their infancy and had not readily made it to both pickup trucks and SUVs so we will give automakers credit for making rapid progress in this very important area.