- Smooth powertrains
- Cavernous interior room
- Big towing capacity
- Extreme size
- Fuel economy
- Try parking one
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is a capable example of the full-size SUV--in a day where the full-size SUV makes less and less sense.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is based on Toyota’s big, new full-size Tundra pickup. And true to form, the Sequoia’s a gigantic vehicle. It’s 17 feet long and 500 pounds heavier than before--putting it squarely in the leagues of the Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban, and Nissan Armada.
There are two engines available with the 2008 Toyota Sequoia. A standard 4.7-liter V-8 and five-speed automatic gets 14/17 mpg when outfitted with rear-wheel drive. It’s rated at 13/16 mpg with four-wheel drive. The larger 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, with its more efficient six-speed automatic, gets 14/19 mpg with two-wheel drive and 13/18 mpg with four-wheel-drive. The numbers are a little better than those of the Expedition, Suburban, and Armada by a mile or so, but still dismal in a day of expensive gas.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia’s cabin room is tremendous. The front and second-row seats are shaped for big humans, and even the third-row seat has reasonably adult-sized space--not to mention a power-folding option. Even when the third-row seat is raised, there’s good storage room behind it, too. For 2008, Toyota’s Sequoia borrows some of the strong interior lines and gadgety look of the new Tundra, and it’s not an eye-pleasing cabin as a result. The finishes are less rich-looking than before, too, though plenty of features--from navigation systems to satellite radio--are offered.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia sports available four-wheel drive and an adjustable suspension. The 4WD models have a two-speed transfer case--shifted electronically through an easy-to-reach rotary knob--containing a lockable Torsen limited-slip differential that transmits power to front and rear axles and can be locked with the push of a button. The new, fully independent suspension has an available Active Variable (rear air) Suspension (AVS) package that has settings for comfort, normal, and sport modes. Despite its larger tires and wheels (18-inch alloys standard, 20-inchers optional), the new Sequoia's turning radius is a tight 39 feet, and handling is surprisingly capable for a vehicle of its size. Steering is light but reasonably precise, and braking is solid and powerful even when towing a heavy load.
It’s luxurious inside with all the big SUV bells and whistles, from copious cup holders and storage to available middle-row captain's chairs, premium audio, DVD rear entertainment, and a reclining/power folding 60/40 split third-row bench.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia also has comprehensive safety equipment, and gets a five-star rating for driver-side front-impact protection, along with four stars for the front passenger, from the NHTSA.