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2011 Toyota Sequoia

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2011 Toyota Sequoia Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


The 2011 Toyota Sequoia was designed with long road trips in mind. Substantial width and length provide ample rear passenger room, and adults can ride comfortably in the third-row seats. This full-size sport utility vehicle can be quickly reconfigured into a flat-floored cargo hauler that will swallow lengthy items, and a strengthened frame with trailer hitch receiver allows it to tow trailers up to 10,000 pounds. A refined front suspension teamed with an independent rear suspension and improved shock absorber valving help produce a smooth highway ride. The optional 5.7-liter V8 makes 381 horsepower, which is 71 more than the standard V8. In size, the Sequoia slots between the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, which, along with the Ford Expedition, are its prime competitors.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those who regularly carry up to eight people, haul a lot of gear and tow heavy trailers will find that the 2011 Toyota Sequoia can do all that with ease and comfort.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Sequoia's slab-sided flanks and aggressive front styling make an odd combination that may not appeal to some. Also, this is a large, heavy vehicle that is a challenge to maneuver in tight situations and does not deliver great fuel economy.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Sequoia receives some minor interior upgrades, such as an off switch for the daytime running lights. The Sequoia's trailer hitch connector is now the same as on the full-size Tundra pickup.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2011 Toyota Sequoia is at its best when hauling a lot of people and cargo over long distances. When equipped with the air-spring rear suspension, its ride comfort rivals some luxury sedans, and increased sound-deadening material helps keep cabin noise to a minimum. Still, the Sequoia is a big, heavy vehicle: It tops out at almost 6,000 pounds. The steering feel is precise and confidence-inspiring, but, when cornering harder, body roll will be noticeable and somewhat pronounced. Even with the available proximity warning system and back-up video camera, parking and tight maneuvering is challenging. While the Sequoia is more than adequately able to successfully tackle dirt logging trails, wet and slippery boat ramps and steep snow-covered driveways, it is not a serious off-roader.

Favorite Features

Plentiful Rear Passenger Room
The 2011 Toyota Sequoia provides expansive passenger room in the two rear rows thanks to its redesigned independent rear suspension, long wheelbase and wide track. Fore-and-aft sliding second-row seats allow maximization of rear legroom, and rear doors open wide for easy access.

Variable Steering Ratio
To ease maneuvering in tight situations, such as parking or off-roading, the Sequoia's steering ratio increases just before the steering wheel is turned to its limit, which helps to significantly reduce the turning circle.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

While the third-row seats in some SUVS are best reserved for children, the roomy 2011 Toyota Sequoia comfortably accommodates adults in all rows. The standard second-row bench seat is split into three segments that slide fore-and-aft independently. Captain's-chair-style second-row seats are available. The third row is split 60/40, both the second and third rows fold forward for hauling cargo and access to the third-row seats is made easier by rear doors that open wider. The instrument panel is simple and clean with easy-to-read gauges, and the steering column telescopes and tilts for driver comfort.

Exterior   photo

The 2011 Toyota Sequoia is the longest, widest and tallest Sequoia to date. From the side, it looks bigger than it really is because the axles are pushed far apart, increasing the wheelbase and, therefore, expanding the passenger room. Another benefit of the longer wheelbase is enhanced off-road capability by virtue of short front and rear overhangs. The aggressively styled front end features large headlamps, and massive outside review mirrors prove invaluable when towing a trailer. Stylish 20-inch-diameter wheels are standard on the Limited and Platinum Editions.

Notable Standard Equipment

For 2011, the Toyota Sequoia's standard safety features include anti-lock brakes and electronic traction and stability control. Larger disc brakes all around and the brake-assist system help to minimize emergency stopping distances. It has eight airbags, including full-length side-curtain head protection and front knee protection. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the SR5. A powerful, three-zone climate control helps keep all passengers comfortable. Sliding, 40/20/40-split second row seats maximize rear passenger legroom, and rear bench seats fold forward to create a large, flat cargo area. The steering column has both tilt and fore-and-aft adjustments.

Notable Optional Equipment

All three trim levels of the 2011 Toyota Sequoia are available with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The optional air-spring rear suspension not only automatically adjusts to changing cargo, passenger and trailer-tongue weight, but also contributes to a smoother ride when the vehicle is unloaded. The Limited trim offers only three stand alone options: navigation, seven-passenger seating (second-row captain's chairs) and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a nine-inch LCD display and a 115-volt AC outlet. The sonar-based proximity warning system reduces strain when parking and backing out, and the satellite navigation system also includes a back-up video camera.

Under the Hood

Standard on the 2011 Toyota Sequoia is a 4.6-liter V8 good for 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. The available 5.7-liter V8 produces 401 pound-feet of torque, which helps the Sequoia tow trailers up to 10,000-pounds. Both V8s are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which employs a very low first gear for strong acceleration and two overdrive gears for better fuel economy. Unlike older truck-based four-wheel-drive systems, the Sequoia's can be employed on dry or wet paved roads, and can be operated in rear-wheel drive or low-range four-wheel drive.

4.6-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
327 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)

5.7-liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD) 9/12 (E85, 4WD)

Pricing Notes

The two-wheel-drive 2011 Toyota Sequoia SR5 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $40,500, while the mid-level Limited starts just over $50,500. Four-wheel drive will add a few thousand more, and the top-of-the-line Platinum edition pushes past the $60,000 mark. Overall, the Sequoia price range overlaps that of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban 1500. And when it comes to residuals, the Sequoia has proven to hold its resale value better than any other large SUV. To find out what consumers in your area are really paying for this vehicle, check the New Car Blue Book Values.

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