After invading one domestic stronghold last year with the Tundra full-size pickup, Toyota aims at another this year with the Sequoia, a full-size sport utility vehicle. Sequoia is built from the same design as the Tundra and at the same Toyota plant in Princeton, Ind.
Sequoia is priced lower than the luxurious Land Cruiser previously Toyotas largest SUV which starts at more than $51,000 and higher than the midsize 4Runner, which is in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.
Toyota will introduce a redesigned RAV4 compact SUV this fall and the midsize Highlander next spring to give it five SUVs.
Sequoia is 204 inches long, which is 5 inches longer than the Chevrolet Tahoe, about the same as the Ford Expedition and a foot longer than the Land Cruiser. Toyota shortened the Tundras wheelbase by 10 inches to 118 for the Sequoia, which has four side doors and a rear liftgate.
The horizontal-bar grille and front styling are like those on the Tundra. Four-wheel-drive models will have 11 inches of ground clearance more than most rivals.
Sequoia seats eight with a pair of front buckets and two three-place bench seats, and Toyota says interior dimensions match the Expeditions and exceed the Tahoes. The three-place rear bench is optional. The contemporary dashboard design and control layout are like that of the Tundra. Standard equipment includes power windows, locks and mirrors.
Under the Hood
Like the Tundra, the Sequoia uses the same 240-horsepower 4.7-liter V-8 engine. Two- and four-wheel-drive models are available, both with a four-speed automatic transmission. On the 4x4s, dashboard controls allow changing in or out of 4WD High on the fly.
Antilock brakes are standard and curtain-type airbags to protect the heads of occupants are available, as well as Toyotas Vehicle Stability Control, a lateral antiskid system. All eight seating positions have three-point seat belts.