2018 Toyota Sequoia Review

2018 Toyota Sequoia - Refreshed Sequoia is big, bold and powerful


For the 2018 model year, the Toyota Sequoia full-size sport
utility vehicle receives refreshed exterior and interior features. Outside, the
Sequoia has a more contemporary appearance with a new front grille and lower
bumper, LED headlights, DRLs and fog lights. Cabin upgrades adds TFT
Multi-information Display screen, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Optitron

Sequoia is not the largest SUV on the
road.  In fact, Sequoia has a bigger brother called Land Cruiser,
which is Toyota's upgrade and luxury SUV. The big brother's prices begin at
$85,000. Sequoia prices are in the $48,000 to $64,000 range. Both huge vehicles
offer seating for eight and both are powered by a 5.7-liter, 381-horsepower V8
engine. Due to mechanical underpinnings, the Sequoia's towing capacity is a
7,000- to 7,400-pound trailer and the Land Cruiser's is an 8,100-pound trailer.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the two-wheel-drive Sequoia is 13 mpg city and
18 mpg highway, while the all-wheel-drive configuration is listed at 13 mpg
city and 17 mpg highway.

Choices in the four Sequoia trim
levels (SR5, Limited, Platinum, and a new TRD Sport) are rear- or
four-wheel-drive and seating for seven or eight. If seven is chosen ($300 option),
the middle row is furnished with two captain's chairs. In either case, access
to the third row is easy. The split middle row seats fold and move forward on a
track. If captain's chairs, they fold too. The tracks for the middle row allow
seats to move forward and backward.

At 35.1 inches, the
third row excels at leg room. As noted above, middle row seats with 40.9
standard inches of leg room can move forward to offer even more roominess for
those in the third row. The standard middle row leg room is equivalent to that
of front seats in midsize sedans.

Although the Sequoia does
not have real wood to complement interior leather trim, nor does it have Land
Cruiser's off-roading prowess (for example, disconnecting sway bar to improve
wheel travel in a tough environment such as a steep hill), this addition to
Toyota's SUV lineup does have qualities to appreciate.

four-wheel, $60,020 tested Limited model had running boards for ease of entry,
overhead roof rack with crossbars, tow/haul modes, tow-hitch receiver with 4/7
hitch receiver, uphill and downhill automatic shifting logic, skid plates for
engine and transfer case protection, tow hooks and wide 275 tires mounted on
20-inch wheels. The spare tire, which is stored underbody, is full-size.

are leather trim, heated front seats, power liftgate and, notably, power
folding third row seats. Storage space behind the upright third row is 19 cubic
feet. When both rear rows are folded flat, the cargo area expands to 120 cubic
feet. In a sense, Sequoia resembles a work truck as the minimum width in the
cargo area is 50 inches. This means that even a four-by-four-foot skid fits in
flat. If shopping at a home furnishings store, if purchased a sofa should fit
into an expanded cargo bay.

The cargo area is carpeted and
lighted and comes with a 12-volt power outlet.

Among many
safety features is a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, radar
cruise control with full stop technology, automatic high beams, and lane

Competitors include Chevrolet's Suburban, Ford's
Expedition, GMC's Yukon and Nissan's Armada. For cargo space, a roomy third row
and cargo capacity, Sequoia is hard to beat. Sequoia falls short in an outdated
infotainment system and in ergonomics.  Sequoia does have its own
smartphone app, but does not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

annoying, and this is really a silly quibble, is the location of the exterior
mirror (heated, foldable) controls. They are on the dashboard to the left of
the leather-clad and power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Why not put
those controls on the flat surface of the driver's door armrest? Other
manufacturers do. Toyota even puts those controls there on its Sienna minivan.
If on the door, controls are at fingertip reach. On the dashboard, it takes an
extended arm to reach them.

For the history books, Toyota
bigwigs had little difficulty in choosing a name for its new full-size sport
utility vehicle to be introduced in 2000 for public consumption. They chose
Sequoia and why not? California's redwood is the largest living tree in the


Vehicle: Limited model
of 2018 Toyota Sequoia

Type: full-size, four-wheel-drive,
eight-passenger sport utility vehicle

Price: $60,020.00

5.7-liter, 381-horsepower V8

six-speed automatic

Fuel: regular

tank: 26.4 gallons

Fuel usage: 13 to 17 miles per gallon

7,400 pounds

Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground
clearance in inches: 122, 205.1, 79.9, 77, 10

Leg room in
inches for three rows, front, middle, rear in inches: 42.5, 40.9, 35.3

5,985 pounds

Suspension: independent, coil spring double
wishbone, gas-filled shock absorbers, stabilizer bars front and rear

(275), alloy wheels: 20-inch

Brakes: discs

tire: full-size mounted underbody

Warranty: three years or
36,000 miles with roadside assistance, five years or 60,000 miles powertrain

Princeton, IN

Information: www.toyota.com/sequoia

M.J. Frumkin and J.E. Kuyper

M. J. Frumkin and J. E. Kuyper covered the auto industry for decades. Frumkin was with Consumer Guide for 14 years, has authored four books and co-authored three more. He is also the historian/archivist for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association/Chicago Auto Show. Kuyper has been an automotive writer, editor and columnist for newspapers in the Chicago area the past 25 years. His reviews currently appear in the daily Northwest Herald newspaper. Frumkin and Kuyper are founding members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association.