Sequoia

March 1, 2001
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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Available in four-wheel drive (4WD) or just two, the Sequoia is said to be Toyota’s first
mainstream, full-size SUV. Developed to fill the slot between the midsize 4Runner and
large-size Land Cruiser, Sequoia is built on the Tundra platform in the Toyota plant in
Princeton, Indiana. Sequoia’s overall dimensions are nearly identical to the Ford
Expedition; however, its standard third seat and rear cargo area are more spacious,
according to Toyota, and it has a ground clearance of more than 10-1/2 inches. Although
based on the Tundra platform, extensive changes were made to the chassis to produce a
performance level better suited to a full-size sport-utility vehicle. From the B-pillar
forward, the Sequoia chassis is basically the same as that of the Tundra. It utilizes the
same cross-member design and fully boxed ladder-type frame with the same mounting points
for the independent double wishbone suspension. The major difference is in front suspension
tuning, which aims for a higher level of comfort than Tundra. From the B-pillar back, the
frame rails, unlike Tundra, are fully boxed, contributing to a reduction in road vibration
and harshness. Most notable is the five-link coil spring rear suspension with a stabilizer
bar. The new design provides a smoother, quieter and more comfortable ride with a
noticeable improvement in overall handling, according to the company. Within its four-door
cabin are 10 cup holders — it only seats eight, so two passengers can be two-fisted
beverage sippers — and all four doors feature deep storage pockets. Sequoia’s three-row
seating arrangement features front bucket seats with armrests and an eight-way power driver
seat is standard on the Limited and optional on the SR5. The second-row seats are
60/40-split, they fold, recline and tumble. The third-row 50/50-split seats also fold,
recline and tumble. They can also slide forward-and-back to adjust either passenger leg
room or rear cargo area. Each third-row seat-half weighs only 52 pounds and can be easily
removed. Topping off the Sequoia — so to speak — are an optional power-sliding glass
moonroof and a standard full-length overhead console. Featured in the console are five
storage compartments, front and rear personal lights, and a cabin light. The interior also
features four 12-volt DC power outlets scattered about the cabin; power windows, mirrors
and door locks; cruise control; AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with six speakers; anti-theft
system with immobilizer and automatic climate control.

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