Heels on Wheels: 2010 Toyota Sequoia Review
SEE ALSO: Toyota Buyers Guide
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE 2010 TOYOTA SEQUOIA VEHICLEHEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
The 3-row Sequoia is an upscale large SUV choice when a regular rugged 4WD just won’t do. Little luxuries can be assumed for all trims, including power seating, a moonroof and a roof rack. With three editions, passengers are lulled by modern conveniences not found on the SUVs of years ago, such as a wireless headphone DVD system, laser cruise control and leather seating for up to eight.
I drove a 2010 Toyota Sequoia in the Platinum Edition with the bigger 381-horsepower 5.7-liter i-Force V8 engine. At $49,140, this is the crème-de-la-crème ride with a power sliding rear window, backup camera with a 3.5-inch display built into the rear view mirror, the DVD system and laser cruise control.
The marketing tagline for this giant ride is that second-row passengers get first-class treatment. I would agree. Aside of the DVD player, those traveling in the back have heated captain’s chairs and access to climate control. Only the Lincoln MKT has come close to the refinement found on the Sequoia’s second row. The third row, usually best for small children, is actually a comfortable experience, too.
Stylish But Comfortable Results: In terms of old school SUVs like the 4Runner and Pathfinder, the Sequoia has definitely “cleaned up” the most by offering a plush ride more on the level of what can be found in a Lexus or a new Lincoln. The Sequoia does not swallow its passengers up; seating is secured and stable so don’t be intimidated by the vehicle size. There is also Bluetooth and climate controls on the steering wheel as well as a towing package.
Reliability & Safety Factor: Make note the Sequoia model (years 2008 through 2010) were recalled during the whole Toyota fiasco. Reliability of the new model has been cited as above average by Consumer Reports. The vehicle is covered by a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty. Standard safety items include an advanced airbag system (with new knee airbags), new daytime running lights and LATCH. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System is a very helpful feature in higher altitudes. The feature automatically adjusts air pressure for proper tire inflation. Toyota packages five main performances features in their Star Safety System: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS); Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (AB); TRAC (Traction Control) for 2WD; A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control) for 4WD.
Cost Issues: With a price than starts at $40k can reach $60k when fully loaded with life’s little necessities, the Sequoia is hardly cheap. However, as someone who tests a lot of third row for comfort and space, the Sequoia should be in your top three vehicles if this feature is vital to your family – and for towing over 10,000 pounds.
Activity & Performance Ability: The Sequoia is an ideal vacation ride for its comfort, space and performance abilities. While test driving in Yosemite National Park, the vehicle proved to have steady acceleration on icy uphill driving and satisfying grip in snow. The steering wheel was never stiff. The body showed no sway. The tire pressure system monitored our elevation changes. The transmission had ideal shifting. The interior cradled up to six very comfortably with leather seating and excellent climate control (but can hold up to eight bodies). The Sequoia proved to be both posh and rugged.
The Green Concern: Toyota points out fuel estimates have improved over highway driving, but nonetheless are still hard to look at with 13-mpg for city and 18-mpg for highway (4WD) for an average of 15-mpg for both the 4.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 engine.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
If you are looking for a posh yet rugged 3-row SUV that can tow up to 10,000 pounds and keep up to eight passengers happy and entertained with a DVD system and excellent climate control, the Toyota Sequoia will deliver.
©2010 Katrina Ramser