2013 Toyota Sequoia Platinum SUV (5.7L V8 4x4 6-speed Automatic)
Driven On 11/20/2012
The Sequoia is one of the few truck-based SUVs left in production. If you want a large people-hauler with legitimate off-road cred (low-range transfer case, plenty of suspension travel) that's also supremely comfortable, the Sequoia will do you right. Just don't expect it to be efficient.
PerformanceAll-out performance is not the Sequoia's game. But how can you not love that potent V8? The braking power is uninspiring, as is the handling, but this truck-based SUV can truly tackle the rough and dirty stuff.
No slouch for a 6,104-lb. SUV. The 5.7-liter V8 is willing, clocking 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. There's always power in reserve, and the 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth.
Well-controlled panic stops with reasonably short distances, considering its weight. But the brake pedal felt long and soft in normal driving around town.
Better than your average big SUV, but still not what we'd call tight or precise. It could use a bit more feel.
Even in its sportiest setting, the Sequoia felt soft and sloppy during aggressive maneuvers, though it's not so noticeable on a mountain road. There's quite a bit body roll, too.
For the most part the Sequoia is easy to drive, with light steering and a smooth automatic. But it has more of an abrupt throttle than we would like.
ComfortThe Sequoia is an exceptionally comfortable and surprisingly quiet big SUV. The suspension is height adjustable and has plenty of travel. The tires are quiet. The seats offer good all day comfort without being overly squishy.
What's the sign of a good seat? You don't think about its comfort while driving. The leather is slippery though, and there's zero lateral support. Could use softer door armrests.
Generally plush ride, especially with the three-mode suspension set to Comfort. While soft, it's not so pillowy that you're completely isolated as a driver from the road.
Very quiet, especially considering this is a truck-based SUV. Only a whisper of wind noise. You can hear the V8 lumbering on the highway, but almost no tire noise. Impressive.
InteriorThe Sequoia has tons of room inside, for people and things. Lots of headroom and cubbies galore. Plus, 16 cupholders! But because the Sequoia is so wide, both the center console cupholders and the stereo controls are hard to reach.
An abundance of buttons and knobs, but most are easy to decipher. The cupholders (which don't hold cups well) are too far of a reach on the center console, as is the stereo.
Front seats require a step up, but A-pillar grab handles help. Second-row seats are even easier. Third-row entry made fairly simple due to second-row seat tilt/slide function.
Tons of head- and elbow/shoulder room up front. Captain's chairs for second row give mega space all around. The three seats in the third row may squish adult passengers together.
The windshield is not actually all that tall for a big SUV. Large B-pillars block back/side view, especially on driver side. Does have backup camera with a large screen, though.
Plenty of handy storage bins throughout the cabin, even way back in the third row. Large center console bin and 16 cupholders sprinkled throughout.
ValueValue has been a Toyota virtue since, well, as long as we can remember. While a smart man would place a bet this Sequoia will outlive its competition, the steep initial price and poor fuel mileage will steer many buyers toward others.
Build Quality (vs. $)
The quality, and the feel, of materials could be better. The cabin is filled with hard-touch plastics, and it was disheartening that the shifter knob spun freely. Weird.
Considerable money, considerable features. Adaptive suspension, radar cruise control, a rear-seat entertainment system and blind-spot monitor all come standard on the Platinum.
The Sequoia Platinum 4WD comes with pretty much every option available for the Sequoia, including the adaptive suspension. Even so, $63,565 is still a large chunk of change.
The EPA estimates the Sequoia will get 13 city/17 highway/14 mpg combined. We averaged 14.8 mpg, with a best tank of 15.9. Crossover SUVs like the Ford Flex are far thriftier.
3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty, 5 years/60,000 miles drivetrain warranty. The Chevy Tahoe betters the Sequoia with a 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
Roadside assistance for 2 years/25,000 miles. The Ford Expedition offers 5 years/60,000 miles, although it doesn't provide 2 years/25,000-mile free maintenance like the Toyota.
Fun To DriveAlthough it would be fun to experience the prowess of the Sequoia off-road, few will tell you it's actually fun to drive. What it is, instead, is very purposeful. It's gutsy V8 does make blowing the doors off souped-up Civics fun.
This is a big, lumbering but also extremely plush driving experience. The Sequoia isolates occupants from the outside world, and the V8 moves it down the road with ease.
There's not much personality here, not that an SUV is really supposed to have much. It's designed to carry a lot of people and stuff, with the ability to go almost anywhere.