While large sport utility vehicles have never been as popular as they are south of the border, many brands offer them here. Case in point, Toyota, which offers not one, but two large SUVs in the United States - the Land Cruiser, and the Sequoia. Here in Canada, only the Sequoia is sold, and it's a relatively uncommon vehicle at that.
It's been several years since Toyota last updated the Sequoia, and it carries over into 2017 without any changes. In fact, the Sequoia has spent most of its time on sale in its original form, which launched nearly a decade ago.
Riding on the same platform as the Tundra, the Sequoia offers buyers strength, size, and power, yet key changes make it a more refined drive. Standard V8 power, a stout frame allow, and a trailering package allow it to tow 3,220 kg (7,100 lbs) off the showroom floor, which is more than the standard amounts available in the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon, and Ford Expedition. These models equipped with towing packages can trailer more, though. Another Sequoia win is its fully independent rear suspension, which provides a smoother ride than most large SUVs. Adaptive suspension and rear air ride are available on the Platinum trim.
Against the likes of GM's large SUV twins, the Ford Expedition, and the new Nissan Armada, the Sequoia looks and feels dated. Most cabin materials are hard plastic, and while the design of the dashboard is straightforward, it's a far reach over to the stereo. Impressively, driver comfort is well taken care of with a standard 10-way power seat with adjustable thigh support and lumbar support. All Sequoias feature a 6.1-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth, USB ports, and a reverse camera, but you won't find CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless device charging, or in-car wi-fi.
What the Sequoia has in spades, however, is power. The standard engine is a whopper: a 5.7-litre V8 that develops 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. All Sequoias come with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. They also come with a mighty thirst: 18.7 L/100 km city and 13.8 L/100 km highway. The Sequoia does not benefit from fuel-saving features such as active grille shutters, or engine idle-stop.
The Sequoia is available in SR5, Limited, and Platinum trims.
Standard equipment is quite generous, including leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, 10-way power driver's seat, four-way power passenger seat, moonroof, roof rails with cross bars, and a tailgate with a power-operated sliding window for easy cargo access. 18-inch wheels are also standard.
Limited trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, 12-speaker sound system, navigation, multi-information display, electroluminescent instrument cluster, conversation mirror, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass, power tilt and telescoping steering column, tonneau cover, second and third-row retractable sunshades, driver memory, power rear tailgate, chrome exterior trim, rear spoiler, power folding heated auto-dimming exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals and reverse auto tilt, alarm, blind-spot monitoring system.
The Platinum trim adds adaptive suspension with rear air ride, 14-speaker JBL sound system with four-channel amplifier, 9.0-inch rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with dual wireless headphones, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, dynamic laser cruise control, second-row centre console, 120-volt power outlet, ventilated front seats, perforated leather upholstery, heated second-row captain?s chairs, and woodgrain trim.
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