The Sequoia is Toyota's largest SUV, and the full-size model has been redesigned for 2008. The new model is larger than its predecessor and is available with a choice of two V-8 engines, including a 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 381 horsepower. When properly equipped, the Sequoia can pull 10,000 pounds. Competitors include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada.
Like its predecessor, the Sequoia still sports a two-box shape, but the new model is sleeker thanks to the elimination of bump strips on the side doors and more subtle fender flares. Like the Toyota Tundra pickup truck, the Sequoia wears a large chrome grille. Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels are standard and 20-inch rims are optional.
In a change from the previous Sequoia, the new model has a four-wheel independent suspension. An air suspension system with various modes and a load-leveling feature is available.
Shoppers familiar with the new Tundra will find the Sequoia's dashboard familiar, with its recessed gauges and sweeping silver-colored trim stretching from the instrument cluster down to the center console gear selector. Large air conditioning knobs dominate the middle of the dash.
The Sequoia can seat up to eight people in its three rows of seats, which can be covered in either fabric or leather. In place of the second-row bench seat, buyers can choose second-row captain's chairs. The second row slides out of the way when you lift a lever, which makes it easy to get to the third-row seats.
The third row is one of the more comfortable ones available in a full-size SUV. The flat-folding third row's backrest reclines, and the seat can have power operation.
Standard features include tri-zone automatic air conditioning, power windows and locks, keyless entry, a CD stereo, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and cruise control. Options include a navigation system with a 7-inch screen and a backup camera, a DVD entertainment system with a 9-inch screen, climate-controlled front seats, heated second-row seats, a power liftgate and a sunroof.
Under the Hood
The Sequoia's base engine is a 4.7-liter V-8 that produces 276 hp and 314 pounds-feet of torque. It drives a five-speed automatic transmission. The optional 5.7-liter V-8 makes 381 hp and 401 pounds-feet of torque. This V-8 works with a six-speed automatic. Both engines run on regular gasoline.
Rear-wheel-drive Sequoias get an EPA-estimated 14/17 mpg city/highway with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 14/19 mpg with the 5.7-liter V-8. Four-wheel-drive Sequoias, meanwhile, achieve 13/16 mpg with the smaller V-8 and 13/18 mpg with the larger one, showing that more powerful powertrains don't always get worse gas mileage.
Standard features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats, an electronic stability system and antilock brakes that incorporate brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
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