There are two engine options offered on the 2012 Toyota Sequoia, both of them V-8s. The standard unit displaces 4.6 liters and delivers a reasonable but far from exciting 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. For those wanting more power there is a 5.7-liter V-8, which brings to the table a much healthier 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque.
The 5.7-liter unit is the recommended choice for people that tow, as most of its torque, up to 90 percent in fact, is delivered at just 2,200 rpm. To make towing easier and safer, the Sequoia offers a Tow/Haul mode that modifies transmission shift points to boost performance. There’s also a new-for-2012 Trailer Sway Control system that relies on the vehicle’s stability control to reduce the effects of trailer sway. When properly equipped, tow ratings range up to 7,400 pounds.
Both engines come matched to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, and 0-60 mph acceleration can be as quick as 6.7 seconds, which is seriously fast for a vehicle of this size. Four-wheel drive 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.
Despite sharing its underpinnings with the Tundra pickup truck, the Sequoia rides and handles reasonably well. The four-wheel independent suspension does a good job of keeping the vehicle stable during corners though traversing rough patches can upset things a little. The 38-foot turning circle, however, is one of the tightest in the full-size SUV class.