2007 LOS ANGELES: 2008 Toyota Sequoia

November 7, 2007
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0711 Z+2008 Toyota Sequoia+exterior Front
Never mind the march of hybrids, the fear of global warming, and the push for a 35-mpg standard, big is still in. Acknowledging that fact, Toyota is making the biggest product it sells - the Sequoia full-size SUV - a size larger for 2008.
The Sequoia's resemblance to the Tundra pickup is intentional - from the B-pillar forward, the Sequoia is a Tundra. Donor parts include a control-arm front suspension, an optional 5.7-liter V-8, and a six-speed automatic. Exclusive to the Sequoia are a stouter, fully boxed frame, an independent rear suspension with optional air-spring load leveling, and available variable damping. A stretched wheelbase and rear doors that open wider improve access to the back seats and increase leg and shoulder room. Cargo capacity actually suffers a bit, in part because the third row can no longer be jettisoned. To compensate, both benches and the front passenger seat fold flat.
0711 Z+2008 Toyota Sequoia+exterior Rear
Upping power from 273 hp to 381 hp does wonders for the Sequoia's alacrity, and a tighter turning circle improves maneuverability. Thanks mainly to the six-speed automatic's tall top gear, highway mileage with the new 5.7-liter is 1 or 2 mpg better than last year's 4.7-liter V-8-powered Sequoia.
Alas, there's no BMW temperament hidden under the Sequoia's size-48L jacket. The seats are soft, the power steering is calibrated to preempt soccer-mom complaints, and the brake pedal feels like a Nerf ball. That's a shame, because the massive four-piston front calipers squeezing 13.9-inch ventilated rotors look as if they were engineered by Brembo.
Perhaps the way to regard the Sequoia isn't as a grander SUV but rather as an alternative to a motorhome, with space for eight family members and every convenience but beds.
0711 Z+2008 Toyota Sequoia+interior And Dashboard

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2008 Toyota Sequoia

SR5 RWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V8
starting at (MSRP)
$34,150
Engine
4.7L V8
Fuel Economy
14 City 17 Hwy
2008 Toyota Sequoia