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Toyota Sequoia

All the SUV you’ll ever need.

You might call the Toyota Sequoia, which is based on the Tundra full-size pickup truck, the anti-Prius. We’d prefer to call it a really good truck. The old 4.6-liter base engine has been discontinued, leaving only a muscular 5.7-liter V-8. It drinks gasoline like an old muscle car, to the tune of 13 mpg in the city, but in return, it can tow 7400 pounds and eight passengers in total comfort. The interior, always a rather cozy place, is now more entertaining, thanks to a new back-seat Blue-ray Disc player. Bluetooth and iPod connectivity are standard, and midlevel models get a backup camera as well as a power liftgate. The Sequoia drives best on the wide, fast roads that one finds in its home state of Texas. The big cozy driver’s seat, the commanding view of the road, and a bottomless well of torque are pleasant reminders of the days when bigger really meant better. At the same time, the Sequoia’s inescapable big-truck characteristics — poor body control, slow reflexes, and obscenely bad fuel economy — make clear that large crossovers are often a much better option for large families.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Tahoe

Ford Expedition

GMC Yukon

Nissan Armada

new for 2013

The 4.6-liter V-8 has been discontinued. A Blue-ray Disc rear-seat entertainment system is now offered. Partway through last year, the Sequoia received Toyota’s Entune infotainment system.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, side curtain, and front knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; trailer-sway control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. Backup sensors are optional.

MPG

CITY 13

HWY 17–18

PRO

Powerful V-8

Well-appointed interior

Tows like only a real truck can

CON

Thirsty V-8s

Doesn’t steer or handle as well as a large crossover

Base Price Range: $42,950–$63,565

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: SR5, Limited, Platinum

BODY STYLE: SUV, 8-passenger

ENGINE: 5.7L V-8, 381 hp, 401 lb-ft (E85 capable)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A

CAPACITIES: Towing 7000–7400 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 18.9/66.6/120.8 cu ft

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