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2012 Toyota Sequoia

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2012 Toyota Sequoia Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/4/2011


If you just can't live without the people hauling and pulling power afforded by a big, V8-powered SUV, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV deserves a spot on your wish list. In fact, there are only a few such SUVs on the market, the most obvious being the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada. If towing ability is a top priority, the big Chevy/GMC twins win hands down, but if you think can live with a 381-horsepower Lexus-derived V8 and 7,400-pound tow rating, then purchasing a 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV makes perfect sense. The Sequoia's roomy interior and 3-row seating provide all the room a family can possibly need, plus the flat-folding seats can be lowered to create a level cargo floor. And, unlike its primary competitors, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV offers a choice of two V8 engines permitting a lower-cost alternative for those who don't need power as much as a reasonable bottom line.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the 8-passenger space and 7,400-pound towing ability of a big SUV, and you want it in a capable and reliable package that holds its value well over time, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV makes a great addition to the family.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV's styling is handsome but defiantly on the conservative side, and its interior is awash in hard gray plastics that scream "1990s." Also, if you just need seating for six or seven people, a full-size crossover such as the GMC Acadia or Honda Pilot will be easier on the wallet at both the dealer and the gas pump.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV gains standard Trailer Sway Control and on Platinum models, an available Blind-Spot Monitor.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is most appreciated when asked to haul numerous passengers and their belongings over vast distances. The available air-spring suspension delivers a ride as smooth and enjoyable as in some luxury sedans, and a healthy slathering of sound-deadening material throughout the Sequoia's cabin keeps exterior wind and road noise to a minimum. Don't get us wrong, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is still a large and heavy vehicle, but its independent rear suspension and precise power steering make the 6,000-pound hulk quite easy to command. Aids such as the available proximity-warning system and rearview video camera help diminish the difficulty encountered when attempting to park or maneuver such a large vehicle. And, we should point out that while the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV is able to successfully tackle gravel roads, wet and slippery boat ramps and steep snow-covered driveways, it is not a serious off-roader.

Favorite Features

Plentiful Rear Passenger Room
The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV 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 2012 Toyota 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

Where some SUVs have a third-row seat that is best suited only for children, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV offers adult-sized seating in all three rows. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia's second-row bench seat features three independently movable sections that travel fore and aft, as well as fold flat. For those who don't require a bench seat, Captain's-chair-style seats are available, as is a power-folding third-row seat. Access to the third-row seat is made simpler by wide and long rear doors and the sliding second-row seats. Stylistically, the Toyota Sequoia's interior may you leave bit underwhelmed. Its plastic parts feel a bit hard, and there isn't much in the way of warm color or rich wood trim. On the other hand, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV's instrument panel is simple and uncluttered, with easy-to-see-and-operate controls and a dual glovebox for maximum storage.

Exterior

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is not only the longest SUV Toyota makes, it's the widest and the tallest, too. Because the Sequoia's axles are pushed as far from each other as engineers could manage, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV looks much longer than it really is. The expanded wheelbase is the primary reason for the Sequoia's roomy interior, not to mention its admirable stability at highway speeds. The Sequoia's short front and rear overhangs give the big SUV plenty of leeway when approaching steep angles, like those encountered when off-road adventuring or serving duty on a sharply raked boat ramp.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV'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. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia has eight airbags, including full-length side-curtain head protection and front knee protection. The SR5 comes with standard 18-inch wheels. A powerful, 3-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 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV are available with either rear- or 4-wheel drive (4WD). 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, 7-passenger seating (second-row captain's chairs) and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a 9-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 rearview video camera. The Platinum trim comes fully loaded.

Under the Hood

Standard on the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is a 4.6-liter V8 good for 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. The available 5.7-liter V8 produces 401 lb-ft of torque, which helps the Sequoia tow trailers up to 7,400 pounds. Both V8s are mated to a 6-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 4-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 4-wheel drive.

4.6-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD)

5.7-liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 13/17 (4WD) 9/13 (E85, 4WD)

Pricing Notes

The 2-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Sequoia SR5 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $42,000, while the mid-level Limited starts closer to $52,000. Opting for 4-wheel drive will add a few thousand more, and the top-of-the-line Platinum edition pushes past the $60,000 mark. Overall, the Toyota Sequoia's 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 kbb.com Fair Purchase Price.

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