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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Massive interior with flexible seating, serene ride, graceful handling for its size, brisk acceleration and high towing capacity with 5.7-liter V8.
  • Audio and navigation controls are nearly impossible to reach while driving, gets very pricey when loaded up with options.

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Toyota Sequoia models

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.

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2008 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
This vehicle saved my family's life!
SR5 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
We were driving home from a ski vacation in Whistler, BC when a group of young snowboarders going too fast, lost control of their truck and crossed the center line, hitting us head on at over 50 miles per hour. We rolled and all 6 airbags deployed. It was a 2008 Sequoia... And it saved our lives! Yes, we already thought it was the best vehicle we had ever owned because it was comfortable, powerful, looked great and we could even fit a twin matters in the back for road trips. It wasn't a until I pulled my precious children from this crushed vehicle that I thanked God that I made the choice to buy it. I've since been told there are no know fatalities in the Sequoia.. I don't know if that's a fact or not... But I know for sure that we are not fatalities because of our Sequoia. Honestly, I didn't know it had a built-in roll bar or 6 airbags or such a good safety rating before this crash. I just knew it was comfortable, could tow the boat and fit the kids and all their friends. Now I know... And want everyone else to know too. Just thought I would share this if your are considering buying a Sequoia.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Love our Sequoia!
Sequoia Rocks,09/03/2010
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Great & powerful SUV
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 realistic about the mileage 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!
5 out of 5 stars
Second Sequoia
SR5 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
Great vehicle. This is second one for us. We buy them with 60-70k miles. As long as they are local trade ins with clean car fax and documented service history I have no qualms about driving them to 200k miles and expect few repairs. Fuel economy is only downside,

More about the 2008 Toyota Sequoia
More About This Model

During a day in the 2008 Toyota Sequoia, we end up visiting every small town within 100 miles of Raleigh, North Carolina. We're shooting a video of Toyota's redesigned full-size SUV as it motors along in suburban America. But it's easier said than done on roads dotted with housing subdivisions, school buses and even logging trucks.

Finally, with dusk falling, we point the Sequoia back toward the city. We're tired of each other's company after a long day, but as we look around at the cavernous interior of this new full-size Toyota, we remain in agreement on one thing.

The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is still as quiet, comfortable and pleasant to drive as it was eight hours ago. As large, truck-based, eight-passenger SUVs go, this is a good one.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. As Motohara Araya, the Sequoia's chief engineer, told us when he described this SUV's mission, "Americans pack everything they need, and usually a little bit more. Within the cabin, they want to be comfortable, safe and well-fed, and require personalized entertainment for all aboard. Most importantly, they are fearless in their attempts to cover as much ground as possible in a single day — and a thousand miles translates to about 14 hours behind the wheel."

This Is Getting Serious
Sold from 2001-'07, the first-generation Toyota Sequoia was a good one, too. But since it was based on the platform of Toyota's downsized Tundra pickup of that time, it wasn't as roomy or powerful as its chief rivals, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition.

Now that there's a full-size platform available from the all-new 2007 Toyota Tundra, the Sequoia has grown to comfier proportions while picking up Tundra's torque-rich 5.7-liter V8, too.

With a wheelbase that's 4.0 inches longer and a track front and rear that's 2.0 inches wider, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia is a bit larger than the Tahoe and about the same size as the Expedition. The Sequoia's cabin has grown noticeably larger, as there's a huge increase in shoulder room and significantly more third-row legroom.

Maximum cargo capacity has declined slightly compared to the previous generation, although this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, because the redesigned Sequoia has a fold-flat third-row seat made possible by a new, independent double-wishbone rear suspension. The second-row seats fold flat, too, so there are now 120 cubic feet for non-human cargo — more than 11 cubic feet more than the Chevy or Ford.

From SR5 to Platinum
There are presently no plans for a Lexus-badged twin of the Sequoia (the upcoming LX 570 is derived from the Land Cruiser), so Toyota has been free to expand the Sequoia range upward. In addition to familiar SR5 and Limited trim levels, there's a new Platinum model loaded with kit you might find on a Lexus.

The company expects 55 percent of buyers to choose the sensible Sequoia SR5, which is outfitted with cloth upholstery and seats for eight, triple-zone automatic climate control, a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, stability control and front and rear side airbags as well as three-row curtain airbags. Another 35 percent will opt for the Limited, which adds front and rear parking sonar, leather upholstery, power seats, upgraded instrumentation and a JBL sound system.

Ten percent will take the Sequoia Platinum like the one we're driving, which has 20-inch alloy wheels instead of 18s, Toyota's driver-adjustable suspension, a power rear liftgate, heated/cooled front seats, second-row captain's chairs (dropping capacity to seven) and a navigation system and backup camera. A rear DVD player is optional across the board, and adaptive cruise control is available on the Platinum.

Fast, Yet Fuel-Efficient — for a Big Truck
Although the Sequoia SR5's standard engine is the familiar 4.7-liter V8 rated at 276 horsepower and 314 pound-feet of torque, it's expected that 90 percent of buyers will choose the 5.7-liter V8 introduced by the new Tundra pickup. The new V8 is optional for the SR5 and standard for other 2008 Toyota Sequoias.

We can't argue with that choice. Not only does the 5.7-liter have impressive specs — 381 hp at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm — it manages to help disguise the second-generation Sequoia's massive weight gain, some 500-600 pounds (depending on the trim level). This big V8 and its six-speed automatic transmission add only 50 more pounds over the 4.7-liter and its five-speed auto.

Toyota claims a two-wheel-drive Sequoia 5.7 will hit 60 mph in 7 seconds flat. After driving around in a fully loaded, four-wheel-drive Platinum model, we believe it. Low-end engine torque is abundant, and passing maneuvers come and go in an instant. Exhaust tuning is quieter for the Sequoia than the Tundra, and it leaves you with the impression that the big V8 isn't even breaking a sweat.

Plus, the six-speed automatic always seems to be on its game with gear selection, something we noticed even while towing a 24-foot boat. We scarcely noticed the load, though with a gross combined weight of 12,565 pounds (against a 17,280-pound GCWR) and flat roads with a speed limit of 55 mph, this wasn't an extreme test.

Buyers have a choice between 2WD and 4WD on every trim. Engaging all four wheels is as simple as twisting a dial. The default torque split sends 60 percent to the rear wheels, but depending on traction, the ratio varies between 30/70 and 50/50. Four-wheel-drive Sequoias again have Toyota's four-wheel traction control system, but we're told it has been reprogrammed to allow more wheelspin in off-road situations.

Fuel economy is not as terrible as you'd think. The 5.7-liter V8 is the more efficient option, thanks to its dual variable valve timing (the 4.7-liter only has variable intake valves) and extra overdrive gear. In 2WD form, the Sequoia has a rating of 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway — second only to the Tahoe (14 mpg/20 mpg). The 4x4 Sequoia's 13 mpg/18 mpg rating is better than all its SUV rivals except the Tahoe (14 mpg city/19 mpg highway) and GM's two-mode hybrids (20 mpg city/20 mpg highway).

Capable Chassis
Like all SUVs in this class, the Toyota Sequoia uses body-on-frame construction, and just as on the first-gen truck, the 2008 model's frame is fully boxed. It's stiffer, though, and Toyota says it's 70 percent more resistant to bending flex, while lateral and torsional rigidity increase 20 and 30 percent, respectively.

The Sequoia's front suspension remains a double-wishbone design, but the mounts and bushings are new, and wheel travel has been increased. In addition, Toyota has repositioned the antiroll bar and steering rack in front of the wishbones to shrink the Sequoia's turning circle to 39 feet, a reduction of 3 feet. It's a difference we felt immediately on the country roads outside Raleigh, and what could have been three-point turns were simple U-turns.

Even in the firmest (Sport) setting of the three driver-selectable suspension modes, the ride quality of this Sequoia Platinum felt downright luxurious, regardless of its P275/55R20 tires. North Carolina highways are wickedly smooth, though, so we'll reserve final judgment until we conduct a full test.

Our verdict on the Sequoia's handling abilities will also have to wait, but the Platinum we drove was extremely well mannered. The suspension did a beautiful job of managing this SUV's weight around turns, so much so that this 3-ton Toyota reminded us a bit of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Functional, With Few Flaws
There's only one significant shortcoming in the 2008 Toyota Sequoia's cabin. It has Tundra-style audio and navigation controls that are impossible to reach when you're behind the wheel, which forced us to indulge our driving companion's fondness for 1980s hair bands.

Not only do the second-row seats adjust fore/aft regardless of whether your Sequoia has the 40/20/40 bench or the captain's chairs, we counted 11 separate detents. This allows you to get pretty specific about the amount of legroom allotted to each of the rear rows.

The cupholder count in the Sequoia just might cross the line to insanity. We counted 19 in our Sequoia Platinum. The thought of that much liquid in the vehicle at once makes us shudder.

A Sequoia Instead of a Douglas Fir
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia meets the Tahoe and Expedition on their own terms for interior room and engine size, while setting new standards for performance, handling dynamics and seating flexibility.

Toyota expects to sell 65,000-66,000 Sequoias in 2008. "This puts it back with its best sales year in the past in a segment that's declined quite a bit since then," Brian Smith, Toyota's corporate manager of truck and SUV operations, tells us. For comparison, GM is on pace to sell about three times as many Tahoes and GMC Yukons before 2007 is over.

Pricing won't be released until early December 2007, but Toyota says '08 Sequoias will show up at dealerships in time for Christmas. For people whose needs can only be met by a full-size sport-utility, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia should make a great (big) gift.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia Overview

The Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia is offered in the following submodels: Sequoia SUV. Available styles include SR5 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A), SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A), SR5 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A), SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Platinum 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A), and Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned Toyota Sequoia models are available with a 4.7 L-liter gas engine or a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 381 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited is priced between $16,999 and$16,999 with odometer readings between 160440 and160440 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Toyota Sequoias are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Toyota Sequoia for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2008 Sequoias listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,999 and mileage as low as 160440 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Toyota Sequoia.

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Find a used Toyota Sequoia for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,909.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Toyota Sequoia?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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