REVIEW: 2018 Toyota Sequoia – Big, Bold, Capable

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The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV with room for up to 8 passengers and bold, aggressive lines. This isn’t a timid, refined vehicle trying to fit in with the slew of crossovers on the road today. The Sequoia is big with the power, capability, and cargo capacity to match.

It’s been awhile since Toyota gave the Sequoia an update, so this year they introduced the new TRD Sport trim and new standard safety features to keep this SUV competitive. There’s also updated styling that includes a new front grille and bumper outside and a new leather-wrapped steering wheel inside.

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The big news, however, is the TRD Sport which is one step up from the base SR5. This new trim gives the already bold Sequoia even more presence with a metallic black grille surround and mirror caps, 20-inch black sport wheels, 7-passenger seating and black leather seats with contrast stitching, and unique TRD Sport badging.

It’s not just about looks, however. The TRD Sport also has sport-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers both front and rear and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars that improve the Sequoia’s handling. It helps make the TRD Sport a surprisingly well-mannered SUV that’s easier to drive than its size would make you think.

Power for every Sequoia comes from a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It easily powers the Sequoia into traffic with smooth shifts, but the 6-speed is dated compared to the 10-speeds found in competitors. A V8 isn’t a quiet creature, but the Sequoia sounds strong rather than strained despite the dated powertrain.

Where this engine shines is when you’re towing. That high torque number comes in low in the rev range, which makes it better when it comes time to tow heavy loads. Rear-wheel drive models can tow 7,200-7,400 pounds and four-wheel drive models are rated for 7,000-7,100 pounds. The Sequoia is a great choice if towing is in your future.

There are four trims with increasing levels of luxury and features. The TRD Sport we tested has an attractive interior, but it’s not luxurious. The most plush versions of the Sequoia are the Limited and Platinum. We like the TRD Sport, however, for its unique styling elements and more modest price that starts at $54,240.

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That price includes Toyota Safety Sense-P(TSS-P), which is now standard across the lineup and includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert with sway warning, dynamic radar cruise control with full stop, and automatic high beams. Also standard are blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

There’s room for eight passengers or seven if you opt for captain’s chairs. The Sequoia also has lots of room for cargo with 18.9 cubic feet behind the third row, 66.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and 120.1 cubic feet behind the first tow.

The 2018 Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that’s ready to work. A powerful engine, good towing and cargo capacity, and a range of trims from basic to plush make the Sequoia an SUV that will get the job done.