Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Off-roading in Sedona in the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD. Photo: Bill Rapai/Axios

Last week in Sedona, Arizona, we spent time trail-driving in Toyota's new 2020 RAV4 TRD off-road model.

Why it matters: I don't always get to try out a vehicle's full capability during a short press loan. This was a rare opportunity to get off the beaten highway.

The big picture: The RAV4, America's top-selling crossover, is the latest Toyota model to get its TRD (Toyota Racing Development) package inspired by the brand's off-road and desert racing history.

Details: With an 8.6-inch ground clearance, its suspension, wheels and tires are engineered specifically for trail driving.

  • A knob on the center console lets the driver choose between terrains: Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, or Snow.
  • But even in normal highway driving, the RAV4 was comfortable and smooth — a great family hauler with tons of cargo space.
  • The TRD package includes a helpful 360° bird's-eye view camera in low-speed drive and reverse to ensure you don't clip a rock — or a curb.
  • And I adored the RAV4's two-tone "Lunar Rock/Ice Edge" matte paint job.
  • The TRD off-road model starts at $35,180; our test model was priced at $42,902.

In Sedona, we explored several trails, carefully crawling over red rock shelf on Schnebly Road until the trail got more challenging.

  • Later we kicked up some dirt on the dusty trails in the Coconino National Forest, terrain that seemed more suited to the RAV4's capability.

The bottom line: I spent $12 on an "ultimate" car wash at the end of the week, but it was worth every penny. Sometimes, it's still fun to drive.

Go deeper: The climate war over cars intensifies

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.