2008 Toyota Sequoia SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Sequoia SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Sequoia Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 276 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Toyota Sequoia

  • Arguably the most useful, most refined and easiest to drive of the full-size SUVs, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia is an attractive option for large families with a boat in tow.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Massive interior with flexible seating, serene ride, graceful handling for its size, brisk acceleration and high towing capacity with 5.7-liter V8.

  • Cons

    Audio and navigation controls are nearly impossible to reach while driving, gets very pricey when loaded up with options.

  • What's New for 2008

    Toyota's large SUV is completely redesigned. The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is significantly larger than last year's model and boasts a powerful 5.7-liter V8 and a fold-flat third-row seat. A new high-line Platinum trim level brings Lexus-like luxury to the Sequoia lineup.

Full 2008 Toyota Sequoia Review

What's New for 2008

Toyota's large SUV is completely redesigned. The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is significantly larger than last year's model and boasts a powerful 5.7-liter V8 and a fold-flat third-row seat. A new high-line Platinum trim level brings Lexus-like luxury to the Sequoia lineup.


When it comes to full-size SUV ownership, well, you really have to want it these days. Driving a large and imposing vehicle isn't as much of an image enhancement as it was a decade ago, and depending on where you live, spending $70 to fill the tank is a distinct possibility. That said, the current population of large, truck-based sport-utilities is as impressive as it has ever been. Incremental improvements in driving dynamics and interior packaging have made these heavyweights quite easy to live with on a daily basis. For families who can justify a vehicle of such size and capability, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia is worth special consideration in this field. It's completely redesigned this year, and in addition to being larger and roomier than before, it sets new standards for performance, road manners and seating flexibility.

This transformation was made possible by the Sequoia's move to the current Tundra platform. Toyota's full-size sport-utility has grown longer and wider, and this is most evident inside the cabin. The second-row seats, which come in the form of a 40/20/40 bench or captain's chairs, offer a large range of fore/aft adjustment, allowing passengers to divvy up the available legroom. For now, the Sequoia is the only large SUV to offer this convenience, which should give it considerable appeal for growing families. Unlike its pickup truck relative, the Sequoia has an independent rear suspension, and this enabled Toyota to package in the all-important fold-flat third-row seat. This rearmost seat has a convenient 60/40 split, and with the second-row seats folded flat as well, this full-size SUV offers an impressive 120 cubic feet of cargo space.

Although last year's 4.7-liter V8 returns as the base engine, most 2008 Toyota Sequoias will be sold with the new 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, which pairs up with a sharp-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Thusly equipped, the Sequoia is easily the quickest of the large SUVs. It rides well, too. The precisely tuned chassis strikes a near perfect balance between highway comfort and back-road agility, while a relatively tight 39-foot turning circle makes the big truck easy to guide through parking lots. Available rear air springs help level out your load during heavier towing and hauling tasks, while Toyota's optional Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides a level of ride composure formerly associated with luxury sport-utilities.

Buying a full-size SUV is not something families should take lightly, as large crossovers offer almost as much people- and cargo-hauling abilities while getting better fuel economy. However, for those whose situations necessitate one, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia is a strong candidate. You should certainly try the solidly qualified Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon twins and Ford Expedition as well, but when it comes to passenger accommodations, acceleration and handling dynamics, the redesigned Sequoia is tough to beat.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that seats seven or eight, depending on the configuration. There are three trim levels -- SR5, Limited and Platinum -- each of which is available with two- or four-wheel drive.

Base SR5 models have 18-inch alloy wheels, full body-color exterior trim, a 40/20/40 second-row bench seat, triple-zone automatic climate control, a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and full power accessories. The Limited adds running boards, leather upholstery, power front seats, upgraded instrumentation, an upgraded JBL sound system, Bluetooth and heated mirrors. The ritzy Sequoia Platinum sizes up to 20-inch wheels while adding load-leveling rear air springs, the AVS adaptive shock absorbers, a power liftgate, a sunroof, heated/cooled front seats, second-row captain's chairs (dropping capacity to seven), a navigation system/back-up camera combo and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Leather upholstery and JBL sound are optional on the SR5, while the rear air springs, sunroof and nav system are available on both the SR5 and Limited. Towing preparation and a rear entertainment system are optional across the board. Adaptive cruise control is an exclusive option on the Platinum.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on the Sequoia SR5 is last year's 4.7-liter V8, which is rated at 276 horsepower and 314 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine. Optional on the SR5 and standard on all other Sequoias is a 5.7-liter V8 good for 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. The bigger V8 takes a six-speed automatic. Toyota says a 2WD Sequoia with the 5.7-liter V8 will hit 60 mph in an impressive 6.7 seconds. Properly equipped, this SUV can tow up to 10,000 pounds. The Sequoia is typical for this segment of vehicle in that it's available with four-wheel drive. An unusual feature, however, is that, like past Sequoias, drivers can lock the center differential in both 4 Hi and 4 Lo, thereby providing greater flexibility when driving in snowy conditions.

In terms of fuel economy, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia has a slight edge over most rivals. The 5.7-liter is actually the more efficient option, thanks to its dual variable valve timing (the 4.7-liter only has variable intake valves) and the more efficient six-speed. A 2WD Sequoia 5.7 rates 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway, while a 4x4 rates 13/18 mpg. With the 4.7-liter, you're looking at 14/17 (2WD) and 13/16 (4WD).


Every 2008 Sequoia comes with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags. Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the Sequoia Platinum and Limited, and optional on the SR5. A back-up camera is also included on the Platinum and optional on the SR5 and Limited. In Sequoias with a second-row bench, upper and lower anchor points for car-seat installation are provided in all three seating positions. In the third row, the center position has an upper anchor point.

Interior Design and Special Features

There's only one significant shortcoming in the 2008 Toyota Sequoia's cabin: It has the same impossible-to-reach audio and navigation controls as the Tundra pickup. Otherwise, this interior is a triumph of ergonomics, storage bins and family-friendly conveniences. You'll find a minimum of 16 cupholders in every Sequoia.

Not only do the second-row seats adjust fore/aft regardless of whether your Sequoia has the bench or the captain's chairs, the seats will lock down into no fewer than 10 detents. This allows you to get pretty specific about the amount of legroom allotted to each of the rear rows. In addition, the bench seat's center "20" section slides farther forward to provide easier access to a baby. There's also a conversation mirror so you can monitor potential hostilities in the third row. The 60/40 third-row seat in Limited and Platinum models has both a power recline and a power fold feature.

Luggage capacity behind the third row measures 19 cubic feet. With that seat folded, there are nearly 67 cubic feet. With both rear rows folded down, the Sequoia tops out at 121 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Even if you don't ordinarily like large SUVs, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia will chip away at your resolve, as the driving experience is quite pleasant. With the 5.7-liter V8 underhood, low-end torque is abundant, and passing maneuvers come and go in an instant. Plus, the six-speed automatic is always on its game with gear selection, even when towing. Ride comfort ranges from smooth and composed in an SR5 model with optional air springs to downright plush in a Sequoia Platinum with the adaptive suspension. Around corners, the suspension does a fine job of managing 3 tons' worth of SUV. The steering is well-weighted and precise, but doesn't quite provide the feedback of GM's Tahoe/Yukon twins.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Loving the sequoia's power, comfort

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

Need a big SUV to haul people, gear or tow. It's the best. Had a Yukon XL and it was plagued with problems. Didn't tow really well either. So we purchased the Toyota and spent a little more on it than other similar SUV's, it's my third Toyota and I think a few extra bucks is worth it. I do miss the Yukon XL's rear storage. But we just fold one side of the third row down and we have lots of storage. I also have 3 kids almost 6 foot or over 6 foot and they can fit really comfortably in the 3rd row because it is so roomy. Love all the power too, it tows so much better than the 2003 GMC. Pulls right up the hills with no problems

Engine failure at 138k miles

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

I bought brand new. Always kept up with oil changes. Mostly highway miles. A valve spring broke, hit the cylinder head which broke and destroyed the engine block and everything. For the dealership to build me a new engine is $15k in parts, not including labor. You can't buy new engines like ford and GM. I bought a used engine for $6k and the labor cost ended up in a bill for $9850. The new engine is not working properly but the dealership is working with me. I am disappointed. I wanted to keep this truck forever. Now I'm faced with a tough decision. I also lost 3mpg's. Now around 13.4 mpg's when I used to average 16.4.

Great & powerful suv

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

I love this SUV .Have had 3 4runners, Acura mdx among many other vehicles. Last year We sold our dodge mega cab 2500 diesel and bought a crv. Last year we bought a boat and with several vehicles in our family already with kids driving we decided a used Tahoe or Yukon might be a option. We checked out the older sequoias however the power & towing stats on the 08 sequoia were impressive. We found a used sr5 with nearly all the options we wanted and fell in love with the car. Dream to drive..be realistic about the mileage ..it is what you would expect with the size and power..if mileage is your hang up you will want to pass. If you want power,space reliability and pure fun then give it a shot!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great but a couple problems

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

We like this truck. I am encountering some issues. I added the running boards with LED's underneath that light up when the door is opened. The dealership is fixing them for the third time because the wires got corroded at the connection. It is not a water proof connector, bad design. I now also have a leaking oil pan. It appears to be the valve seal that is faulty because the hose and pan are oily. Hopefully the dealership will fix both issues under the extended warranty. So far they told me the light bulbs are not covered. LED's are not light bulbs, they are diodes that rarely fail. This is an electrical issue. Is anyone else having problems. Albeit, these seem to be minor.

Good family vehicle

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

Bought this to replace a Buick Enclave. There is a ton of room in second row, and third row (with second row seats moved forward). I love being able to independently move each seat in the second row. It handles much better than other vehicles its size. We are very happy with this purchase.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Love our sequoia!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A)

So, let me start by saying we have a 2004 Toyota 4Runner, with 130,000 miles. We have NEVER had any issues with it and it drives like the day we drove it off the new car lot. Since then, we've had 3 girls and grown to a family of 5 and needed something new. So, we made a mistake. We bought a Acura MDX. Sold it. Bought a Cadillac Escalade. Sold it. Finally came back to our first love Toyota and found the Sequoia used with 44k. In short, this thing is now a member of the family. Yes, Toyota hit a rough spot, but they are still Toyota. They will recover and the 2008 Toyota Sequoia has exceeded ALL expectations. Not enough time to list all the things we love. Find one used, buy it.

Talk About The 2008 Sequoia

2008 Toyota Sequoia Discussions See all Started By

Does anyone know if the new version will have stowaway rear seats like several other manufacturers?...

Check out our 2008 Sequoia first drive and post your impressions here....

That's a big plus for me, esp. if I'm going to be getting a $60k plus SUV. On the edmunds full test drive of the 2008 Sequoia, it lists as "not available" when comparing with other SUV's in...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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