Toyota Sequoia

The all-new 2008 Toyota Sequoia boasts plenty of space, power, and amenities for everyone. It comes in three different trim levels--SR5, Limited, and Platinum--and each is available in either rear- or four-wheel drive. A 276-horsepower 4.7L V8 with 314 lb-ft of torque is standard in the SR5 and mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 381-horsepower 5.7L V8 is optional in that model and standard in both the Limited and Platinum. It produces a hefty 401 lb-ft of torque and puts its power through a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel-drive models feature a two-speed transfer case with a lockable Torsen limited-slip differential.

The Sequoia SR5 comes with plenty of standard equipment, including a CD stereo with an auxiliary jack, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a 60/40 folding third-row seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, and power windows, locks, and mirrors.

Limited models add a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, as well as leather-trimmed, heated front seats with power driver adjustability, Optitron gauges, a 14-speaker JBL six-disc stereo with Bluetooth capability, running boards, a roof rack, and an electrochromic rearview mirror.

Step up to the top-line Platinum, and you'll find 20-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof, DVD navigation with a backup camera, power rear door, special leather seating with heated second-row seats, and load-leveling suspension.

Several options and packages are available across the Sequoia range. Most of the standard equipment from the Platinum is optional on the lower trims. Other available equipment includes fog lamps, laser cruise control, and daytime running lights. A Tow Package includes a tow hitch receiver, trailer brake controller wiring, a 4.30 rear axle ratio, a wiring harness, and a supplemental transmission cooler.

Sequoias feature up to 120 cubic feet of cargo room with second- and third-row seats folded flat, and when equipped with the Tow Package, the SUV is capable of towing 10,000 pounds.

Editors' Review

Truck-based SUVs allow for far more capability when it comes to towing or traversing certain kinds of terrain, but their construction also introduces some detriments to ride quality, economy and other things. Hot on the heels of a new Tundra pickup, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a great reminder that life is full of tradeoffs, and it's up to you to figure out whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

The Sequoia was almost 10 years old when it was finally overhauled, and the quantum leap in styling certainly makes that known. Just like its Tundra sibling, the 2023 Sequoia carries some beefy new aesthetics that I really like. Interesting angles and curves abound, like the strong indentations at the fenders, or the cool shape of the headlights. It has a real presence -- and not just because it completely fills every single parking spot it occupies.

The interior looks cool, too, but it's far from perfect. While I understand the need for durable materials in something geared to be a little more rugged, I am surprised at the sheer amount of rock-hard plastic in my $70,000 Sequoia Platinum tester. Everything that looks like metal isn't, although this trim's extensive use of leather across the most common touch points does elevate things a bit. The third row's smooth plastic surroundings can leave way-back passengers feeling more like suitcases than people.

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The Good ~ Surprisingly thrifty ~ Beefy new aesthetic ~ Plenty of V6 power

The Bad ~ Mediocre ride quality ~ No fold-flat third row ~ Plastic-fantastic interior

The Bottom Line Body-on-frame SUVs incur more than a few penalties that less-rugged models don't experience.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 7
  • Media 8.5

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