EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Toyota Sequoia, Day 3

Read Joe Lorio’s comments on driving the 2008 Toyota Sequoia.

Just as the market for giant SUVs and big pickups is cratering, Toyota ramps up its Tundra pickup and Tundra-based Sequoia SUV to no-kidding-folks giant size. Remember how your mom used to say, “If [insert your friend’s name here] jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it to?” For car companies, the answer is “Absolutely.”

So the new Sequoia’s timing isn’t great. And its husky-boy styling probably sends the wrong message. But it does get some things right. For one, it has a surprisingly tight turning circle, as I was happy to discover as I inched my way out of our gridlocked parking garage (which is not a happy place for big SUVs). Secondly, the optional 5.7-liter V-8 has no trouble moving three tons of Toyota. The seating space really is generous. I also love the power tailgate window.

I don’t love the cheap-looking dash, the overboosted steering, or the big climb up to get inside-don’t talk to me about ground clearance; this thing is never going off-road.

If fuel prices continue to climb and big-SUV sales continue to sink, one wonders if Toyota should axe the Sequoia and instead concentrate on the more pedigreed and profitable Land Cruiser, and leave the pickup-based big-ute market to GM and Ford.