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2011 Toyota Sequoia Performance

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If you want the Sequoia, you'll have no choice but to get a big gasoline V-8 engine. And between the two that are available, a 310-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 and five-speed automatic, or a 381-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 and six-speed auto (both with either rear- or four-wheel drive), it makes sense to go with the larger one. The fuel economy difference is negligible, and the 5.7-liter's much greater torque output makes sense for what this truck's intended: towing. When properly equipped, tow ratings range up to 7,400 pounds.

For those who don't mind these figures and need a big ute for towing, the Sequoia drives with the best of them; either powertrain is quite smooth and responsive. And it's very quick with the larger engine—dashing to 60 in a rather perverse 6.7 seconds, according to at least one trusted source. You'll never forget you're behind the wheel of a three-ton truck, though—you won't enjoy the Sequoia in any way on a tight, curvy road, and there's plenty of excess body motion and nosedive during braking. The turning radius is a sedanlike 39 feet, which helps it maneuver quite well at low speed. Brakes are big and strong, but as is common among larger utes, pedal feel can be mushy and imprecise.

Back on the subject of truck sensibilities, a towing-friendly adjustable suspension is optional. 4WD models have a knob-operated electronic two-speed transfer case containing a Torsen limited-slip differential that transmits power to front and rear axles and can be locked with the push of a button.

The 2011 Toyota Sequoia is a well-rounded performer—if you can look past its thirst.

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