The 2021 Toyota Sequoia Gives You the Power of a Truck With the Room of an SUV
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Sport utility vehicles are a great choice for families and adventurers alike. They offer space and flexibility, and often include comfortable features and amenities. For those who love large SUVs, the Toyota Sequoia is certainly a worthy option.
This is, in part, because the Toyota Sequoia’s platform is based on that of the Tundra pickup truck–a design choice that delivers power, space, and comfort, but also a few drawbacks. Here’s everything you need to know about this highly-rated SUV.
The Toyota Sequoia combines the best of a truck and an SUV
The 2021 Toyota Sequoia, pictured in the “Nightshade” edition, combines a truck and an SUV.
It has long been a tradition to use pickup truck platforms as foundations for SUVs. For the Toyota Sequoia, its Tundra platform affords it great towing capacity, improved off-roading capabilities, and a lively-yet-smooth powertrain.
Consumer Reports calls the Toyota Sequoia “a big brute of a truck-based SUV.” Its interior boasts comfortable, adjustable power seats and plenty of cargo and cabin space.
The pros of a truck platform for the Toyota Sequoia
According to Consumer Reports, the six-speed automatic transmission delivers impressive acceleration. The Sequoia packs a 381 hp, 5.7-liter V8 engine that goes from 0-60 in just 14.1 seconds.
Off-roaders will appreciate that the four-wheel-drive system can be locked when traversing particularly challenging terrain. Despite its size and power, the cabin isn’t noisy, which is a definite plus.
With leather-upholstered seats and improved detailing, the Sequoia’s upgraded interior features and finishings are plush compared to its Tundra relative. Depending on the trim, the Sequoia can seat seven or eight and its big doors provide roomy access for passengers.
Some of the cons of the Toyota Sequoia’s truck platform
Unfortunately, some aspects of the Sequoia are not as attractive. While it’s great for carrying lots of people and cargo, the SUV’s spaciousness introduces some drawbacks.
Occupants may notice that the outer edges of the large leather seats are slippery. The Sequoia has a high step-in and the cargo floor is high enough that it could be tough to lift items into the trunk.
Since the cabin is wide and the dashboard setup large, some gauges and displays may be hard to reach or easily blocked by a driver’s hands on the steering wheel.
Some drivers may also have difficulty reaching the pedals, and adjustable ones apparently aren’t available.
In terms of the performance expected of a large SUV, Consumer Reports takes points off for a somewhat clunky, truck-like ride on both smooth highways and rougher terrains. At just 15 mpg, the Sequoia’s fuel economy isn’t ideal, but expected for its class.
The handling isn’t bad, but it’s long braking distances and lack of agility aren’t what earn them credits on Consumer Reports’ rankings.
Consumer Reports ranks the Toyota Sequoia in the top two best large SUVs for 2021
Despite some of its flaws, the Sequoia earned runner-up for Consumer Reports’ Best Large SUV of 2021. It was a close race for the number one spot, though. The Sequoia was rated just one overall point lower than the 2021 Ford Expedition.
With its 4/5 designation for predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction based on Consumer Reports’ metrics, it’s not surprising that the Sequoia has earned a top honor.
Also factoring into this score is the near-full suite of safety features, including Toyota’s Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) coming standard in all Sequoias. This includes automatic braking, lane departure alerts, blind spot warnings, and forward collision warning, among others.
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