Toyota has finally nailed this full-size-truck thing, just as the potential buyers are craigslisting their Cigarette boats, Boston Whalers, and Airstream campers. Surging gas-prices mean fewer folks can afford to fuel these toys, much less drag them around behind three-ton, mountain climbing, isolation-tanks like the 2009 Toyota Sequoia that can run the 60-mph dash in 6.7 seconds. Complicating things is the fact that the company dares not advertise this mega-guzzler much for fear of eroding its moral hybrid high ground.
Our all singing, all-dancing Platinum edition has an eye-watering $59K price, but show some restraint on the order sheet and a reasonable $39,245 buys equal or better functionality in an SR5 with the same brawny 5.7-liter V-8/ six-speed automatic combo, a 9600-pound tow rating (10,000 with RWD), and the same multimode 4WD system with locking center differential and advanced traction control. Introduced in mid-2008, the Tundra-based Sequoia is sized to fit between the long and short full-size 'utes from Chevy and Ford.
It boasts savvy packaging for up to eight, a choice of two smooth powerful V-8s, four-wheel independent suspension, and tempting extras like power-folding 60/40 split third-row seats, an air-assist suspension, and electronic shocks. These assets plus superior track performance helped Sequoia win an April comparison against the Tahoe, Expedition, and Nissan Armada. And in our trials for this exercise, the big Toyota acquits itself reasonably well, demonstrating terrific capability off road, and providing better ride comfort than the Lexus on rough pavement with reasonable body-motion control in the twisties, though many criticized its too-light steering.
Do you think the 2009 Toyota Sequoia has what it takes to take home the title of 2009 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year? Find out who the winner is at midnight eastern time Oct. 16th!