The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that premiered in 2000 for the 2001 model year. With the ability to fit up to eight passengers, the Sequoia has presented a challenge to the more traditional American-made full-size SUVs that previously dominated the segment. At introduction, it was outfitted with a 4.7L V8 good for 240 horsepower mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The Sequoia was also available as both, two or four-wheel drive model. Two trim levels were offered for the Sequoia - the SR5 and Limited, with the Limited designated as the luxury version of the vehicle. In 2005, the engine was given a boost, upping the horsepower to 282 and showing off 325 pounds-per-foot of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission replaced the previous four-speed, as well. On the inside of the Toyota Sequoia, a 50/50 third-row seat was one of the main attractions the model was known for. 2007 ushered in a series of changes, most notably with the addition of front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags.
Toyota introduced the second generation of the Sequoia at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in preparation for the 2008 model year. A rear-independent suspension was the most major update, but a new optional 5.7L V8 was also a highlight. Safety features are also abound in the Sequoia, including Vehicle Stability Control, brake assist, antilock brakes, front-side torso airbags, roll-sensing airbags, and traction control. In 2010, knee airbags were implemented as a standard safety feature, as well. Three trim levels are available for the Sequoia: SR5, Limited, and new for 2008, Platinum. On the base SR5 is a wide array of standard equipment, such as tri-zone automatic climate control, a CD stereo system with iPod and Bluetooth capability, and full power accessories. The base engine for the vehicle is a 4.7L V8 that generates up to 276 horsepower, similar to the first generation. Four-wheel drive is on an option on all trim levels.
The Limited trim level takes it a step further with leather upholstery and power front seats. The Platinum takes over as the luxury trim, showcasing 20" wheels, adaptive shock absorbers, a power liftgate, second-row captain's chairs, DVD navigation, Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, and a backup camera. A rear entertainment system is optional on all versions of the Toyota Sequoia. Both the Limited and Platinum models get the more powerful 5.7L V8 engine capable of 381 horsepower and 401 pounds-per-foot of torque directed though a six-speed automatic transmission. The Toyota Sequoia has proven to be a success in terms of both sales and overall recognition. Since 2001, the model has averaged over 46,000 units sold per year, an impressive number given the class. It has also received praise from around the industry. In 2001, it was nominated as AutoWeek's North American Truck of the Year as well and to Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best List. The Toyota Sequoia has also named Best Full-Size SUV by Intellichoice (2006) along with being recognized as a Consumer Guide Recommended Buy (2005, 2006).
With any SUV, there are certain things that grab your attention right from the start. Cargo capacity, well-performing parts, versatility, and efficiency usually make up most of the boxes on any driver's checklist. The Sequoia puts a mark next to all of them, doing so with a commanding presence. The Toyota Sequoia delivers a remarkable number of qualities and has maintained its place as a glittering reminder of what capable off-road performance can mean. Streamlined, flexible, and featuring functional auto parts, the Sequoia is a fashionably-dressed full-size that gets the job done.
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