The 2018 Toyota Sequoia’s design is nearly old enough to start preparing for its bar mitzvah. The second-generation Sequoia full-size SUV bowed in 2007, so long ago that its rivals have all been redesigned.
That’s not to say the Sequoia hasn’t been updated, but it’s as old as the trees it’s named after. The Sequoia received a raft of active safety last year, but its ancient bones and features are impossible to ignore.
Its Detroit rivals—the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon twins—are far fresher and make the Sequoia feel like it’s from the land before time.
With a TCC Rating of 5.0 out of 10, the 2018 Sequoia scores for its reliable V-8 power and proper four-wheel-drive system, but it’s a guzzler and its interior lacks the classy trim and flexible seating of its competitors.
I recently spent a week hauling the kids around town, taking a family road trip to northern Minnesota, and running errands in a 2018 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4×4. Here’s where the Sequoia hit, and where it missed:
2018 Toyota Sequoia
Hit: Big, comfy front seats. The leather-covered front thrones are supportive and vast. They’re like couch cushions with seat belts, and my behind decided that they were more comfortable on a long road trip than those in the latest Ford Expedition.
Miss: Guzzles fuel like it’s on a bender. To say the Sequoia is wildly inefficient seems like an understatement. The EPA ratings of 13 mpg city, 17 highway, and 14 combined proved accurate in my test. The onboard trip computer indicated an average of 17.4 mpg over the course of a 500-mile road trip, which is truly terrible.
2018 Toyota Sequoia
Hit: Big, powerful V-8 provides plenty of motivation. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine swilling all that fuel has plenty of grunt with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear or all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission that’s down at least two gears on its competition. It sounds burly and can push the brick of an SUV 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, however.
Miss: Soft suspension induces lots of body roll. Going around a sharp corner or long, sweeping ramp at an interchange makes one want to use comedian Ron White’s line, “Lean the way I lean.” The rocking sensation from the soft, cushy independent suspension is excessive.
Hit: Active safety tech comes standard. All Sequoias now feature blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. Thankfully I didn’t put them to the test.
Miss: Cheap interior plastics are cringe worthy. What might have passed as quality materials more than a decade ago aren’t competitive in today’s marketplace. The door handles, plastic switch gear, knobs, and dash plastics are all hard, some are scratchy, and most feel and look cheap. A
At $62,900 as tested, the Sequoia is far from cheap, and my test truck wasn’t fully optioned. It did have LED headlights, a 6.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment, JBL speakers, navigation, 20-inch alloy wheels, and three-zone automatic climate control. It wasn’t short on features, but the competition offers more for modern vehicles for the same price.
2018 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4×4
Base price: $49,995
Price as tested: $62,900
Drivetrain: 5.7-liter V-8, 6-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
EPA fuel economy: 13/17/14 mpg
The hits: Reliable V-8 power, proper four-wheel-drive system, composed ride
The misses: Wildly inefficient, cheap interior materials, price escalates quickly
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