I have found a way to feel better about things. I have found that if I am driving a large pearly white SUV I get the return wave almost every time. Because there are so many of them where I live, people figure their odds of knowing who's waving at them are pretty good if the waver has the same car as 45% of their friends. Another interesting observation is that since I don't usually drive a large SUV, when I'm parking the '07 Sequoia in an oversized and nearly empty suburban lot, I actually feel normal-sized. I typically feel Lilliputian in my smaller SUV, but not in the 2007 Toyota Sequoia. In it, I just feel like one of the moms.
As I begin my test drive of the Sequoia, a few of the same generic issues I have with other large SUVs pop up. It's very long (failing my drive-through test when I skim the curb with my back tire), tall (tough time for the little ones to get in), and not very gas-friendly (unless you happen to own Shell Oil, in which case it's quite friendly and everyone should own four). Plenty of positive qualities exist, too. There's the ample space (kids have loads of personal space and TEN cup holders too), versatility (I can haul my family and all our stuff everywhere I go), and the feeling of invincibility out on the road. Beyond those things, I have just a comment or two.
First of all, the Sequoia drives quite nicely for its size. It's not too cushy or soft with its ride. The steering is quite responsive unlike most other large SUV's I've driven. The interior is well appointed and nice without being garish, or too sparse. It is very comfortable and also very functional with lots of thoughtful, organized storage. A neat option is that the storage console between the second-row captain's chairs is removable, enabling easy entry and exit. Smooth!
On the other hand, the DVD player is a freakin' nightmare to operate. Turns out I'm trying to make it work on one of those days where nothing is going smoothly anyway and I'm on the brink of insanity before I even get in the car. It took me 30 minutes and extensive perusing of the manual to find out that I have to have a CD in the CD player before the system looks to the DVD player in the back. I also have to use the remote to turn the screen on in the back every time I start the car, and I have to be pointing the remote at the screen in the backseat. My kids are just 2 and 4, and while I'm sure my older one could figure out how to make it work more easily than I'd like to admit, I'm certain that when I finally get cruising some weird button would be pushed eliciting trauma and chaos from the backseat or from the third row (the Way Back as it's referred to once again by this generation of kids). That is their new favorite place to sit and with a set of LATCH connectors and 2 tether anchors I can let them sit back there without concern.
The other thumbs-down issue with the Sequoia is the lack of a backup camera. It is impossible to see anything under four and a half feet tall out the back window. Need I say more?
Outside of these issues, the Toyota Sequoia is a nice option for those who are considering a large SUV. It feels more manageable than some of the other options out there and the lengthy list of features is great. I also enjoy receiving reciprocating waves too, and hope that I still get them once the Sequoia is returned.
*For more information on the 2007 Toyota Sequoia and its safety features visit Cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 3
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 7/8
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample-Galore
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times