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Look the Sequoia dead-on and you’ll see Tundra. Look the Sequoia square in the profile and you’ll see 4Runner. Look the Sequoia in the back and you’ll see Land Cruiser. Not that it’s a bad thing. The new ute is based on the Tundra platfrom, and from the B-pillar forward that’s what you get. But crawl underneath, and differences include the tuned IFS, fully boxed framerails, and a five-link coil spring rear suspension featuring a stabilizer bar.
The four-bys get slightly bigger tires than the two-wheel drives, and both the Limited and SR5 models come with 16x7-inch rims.
The SR5 is the only model forced into optional running boards, while the Limited gets a big, fat N/A. Those running boards are all part of an upgrade, the Alloy Wheel Package, which includes a tow hitch, painted overfenders, and rear back-door privacy glass. The tow hitch is standard on the Limited. While were on the subject of towing, the 4x4 has a gross combined weight rating of 11,800 pounds.
On loan from the Tundra is the smooth 4.7L i-Force V-8. It was modified to put out 240 horses at 4,800 rpm and 315 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm (5 fewer ponies than the Tundra but equal in torque, if you care). The Expedition’s stuffed with a 4.6L Triton V-8 that makes 215 horsepower at 4,400 and 290 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm.
Standard for the four-wheel-drive Sequoia are electronically controlled highlights: the Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) and Active Traction Control (A-Trac). The VSC knows when you’re about to spin out, then cuts engine output and adds brake as much as needed to keep you in control. It’s feels downright scary when it kicks in if you actually know how to prevent yourself from doing a 360, but for the soccer moms, the system is flawless and a blessing. The A-Trac maintains traction by giving some brake pressure to each wheel independently when slipping and sliding are going on. On top of all this technology is four-wheel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution. So, if you still manage to ram this thing into a wall with all these bells and whistles sounding, driving probably isn’t your forte.
Probably our biggest gripe about the interior was the column shifter. It felt so...well, Tundra. It was the one thing that snapped us back to reality in the otherwise cushy, roomy, sorta new, and clean floor plan. The dash controls were all easy to read and use, but not exactly within arms reach. And while we appreciated the armrest for our right arm, there was nothing level with it on the driver-side door, forcing a posture that got old and uncomfortable super fast. If you end up sans moonroof, your roof will feature about 13 different eyeglass holders. We imagine the third-row passengers will appreciate gaining the additional elbow room now that they have a place to store their eyewear.
If a Sequoia falls in the woods, would anyone hear it? Yeah, were thinking Ford might.
Its true--Toyota has done gone and built another SUV, increasing its ute family to five (that includes the new Highlander, which features a single-speed t-case). Now, at a glance, it might seem like the Toyota folks are having a senior moment and have forgotten that they already have an eight-seater, V-8 SUV called Land Cruiser. But they havent. Its just that theres this little thing called the Expedition that seems to be in a class by itself and is making a pretty uninterrupted penny. Toyota is ready to change all that.
Heres the easiest way to separate the Sequoia from the Land Cruiser in your mind. No, it aint the looks, because its got quite a hint of that Cruiser spice to it. Rather, its in the pants area, otherwise known as the pocket. The Sequoia is competing with the Expedition and its pricing will reflect that, with the base model at $31,295 and a fully loaded Limited 4x4 coming in at forty two and change. If you’re not doing Expedition-to-Sequoia comparo shopping but rather Toyota to Toyota, then know that that latter figure is kinda close to invoice on a Land Cruiser.
The Sequoia will be dumped between the Land Cruiser and the 4Runner in the lineup, so its primed to be the best of both worlds. And with Tundra pickup thrown in for good measure, it seems like a pretty bulletproof sales plan.
Yet is it really necessary to have another giant SUV on the highway (it truly is Toyotas biggest SUV)? Were getting sick of the ever-growing list of road turds, but we cant blame Toyota for looking to make some easy green. But we have to admit, if they did have to go build another truck, theyve got quite a package on their hands with the Sequoia--its entry is going to be heard well beyond the woods.