2018 Toyota Sequoia 4x4 TRD Sport 5.7L V8 Review by David Colman
8.5 Stars out of 10 Stars
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to The Auto Channel
The Sequoia TRD is equipped with a number of special features to insure maximum grip in iffy situations. Toyota Racing Development (TRD), which has perfected off-road suspension technology during decades of winning competition in Baja, has equipped the TRD Sequoia's fully independent, double wishbone front and rear suspension with sport tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, plus TRD-tuned front and rear anti-sway bars. They have also bolted on a quartet of 20 inch diameter, 20x8J black alloy rims carrying P275/55R20 Dunlop SP Sport 5000M tires (TW 340) rated for mud and snow. Under the rearmost compartment, Toyota provides a fully sized 255/70R18 spare tire mounted on an 18x8J rim. In TRD fettle, the Sequoia provides a surprisingly precise driving experience, albeit at the expense of some ride comfort. Feedback from the road wheels to the fat gripped steering wheel is informative enough to help you position this rig with unexpected accuracy. But when you hit a speed bump, you will be glad you're belted to your plush leather seat, because the Bilstein shocks and stiff sway bars snub ride compliance to a minimum.
The big V8 draws its fuel supply (87 octane or better) from a 26.4 gallon tank that will cost more than a hundred bucks to fill completely in California. And at best, that full tank will get you no more than 440 miles since the Sequoia posts a maximum fuel return of 17mpg on the highway. The EPA suggests that this Toyota will cost you $6,000 more in fuel costs over 5 years "compared to the average new vehicle." But on the other hand, try towing 7,000 pounds with the "average new vehicle."
To identify the TRD Sequoia from lesser models, Toyota brands its flanks with discrete satin black door side badging, replaces the normal chrome front grill and exterior mirrors with black sport versions, and installs handsome carbon fiber-like "TRD SPORT" threshold plates at each door sill. However, in some ways the Sequoia, which remains unchanged for 2019, is, like its namesake tree, starting to show its age. For example, the ignition key needs to be physically inserted into its slot on the steering column to start the vehicle. That same key lacks a proximity detector, so you need to press the button on the key to unlock the door for entry when the vehicle is locked. The rear tailgate lacks the now common auto-lift, auto-close feature, although the tailgate window can be electrically raised and lowered. Finally, the 6.1 inch Hi Res touchscreen, while nicely integrated into the face of the dash, seems rather small by current standards.
Still, it's hard to denigrate this massive trunk of a truck for a few minor indiscretions. If you need six-to-go packaging, or six and a half ton tow-to-go, the Sequoia is still the one.
2018 TOYOTA SEQUOIA 4x4 TRD SPORT
ENGINE: 5.7 liter V8, 32 valves, DOHC, Dual VVT-i
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 13MPG City/17MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $59,525
HYPES: Massive Interior Space, Super V8 Grunt
GRIPES: Interior Ancillaries Due for Upgrade
STAR RATING: 8.5 Stars out of 10