Someone we know once said they couldn't believe the massive Sequoia SUV came from the same company that makes the super-efficient Prius, and that says a lot to us about what many people know of Toyota's reputation for making trucks and SUVs, which goes back longer than you might think.
This big utility shares much of its mechanical make-up with the Tundra full-size pickup, and some of its best-known (and better-known) competitors include the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition.
New for 2018 is a TRD Sport trim that adds sport-tuned shocks and sway bars for what Toyota calls enhanced on-road handling, along with a number of appearance items that include a unique grille and front bumper insert, metallic black mirror caps, black 20-inch wheels, darkened taillights and trim-specific badging. Inside, the TRD Sport gets black fabric upholstery that can be optioned to black leather and TRD-branded shifter, floor mats and door sill protectors.
Other news for this year includes the range-wide addition of the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of active safety gear, comprising pre-collision system, automatic high beams, radar cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assist. All Sequoia grades also get LED headlights, new grille and bumper insert, new instrument cluster and multi-information display, redesigned dash speaker covers and wood-like accents for the top-trim Platinum model.
Carried over from last year is the Sequoia's powertrain, consisting of a 5.7L V8 making 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. As our friend's comment alluded to, the Sequoia is no friend to tree huggers with fuel consumption ratings of 18.4 L/100 km (city) and 13.8 L/100 km (highway).
But you can't tow more than 3,200 kg and carry up to eight people (or a bunch of stuff) without that kind of big power under the hood.
Standard features in the SR5 trim include 18-inch wheels, 10-way driver and four-way front passenger power seat adjustments with lumbar and thigh support for the driver, sunroof, leather-trimmed steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
By the time you get to the Platinum, the Sequoia boasts a rear-seat entertainment system, heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats, wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescopic adjustment, 20-inch alloy wheels and adaptive variable suspension at all wheels with a load-levelling air suspension at the rear.