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2020 Toyota Sequoia 4x4 TRD PRO 5.7L V8 Review by David Colman +VIDEO


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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

An 8-person beast for a relatively reasonable price

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL


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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
Make no mistake about the new-for-2020 TRD PRO version of Toyota's Sequoia. This 8 passenger cargo ship is a monster truck in every way. For starters, at a curb weight of 6,025 lbs., it's even heavier than Toyota's other heavyweight off road hauler, the 5,855 lb. Land Cruiser. And with the addition of the narrow focused new TRD PRO package for 2020, it's just as adept as the Land Cruiser at taming virtually any off road challenge.

TRD goodies include a set of competition worthy FOX shocks front and rear. The 2.5 in. diameter front shocks offer 7 compression stages and 2 rebound zones. The monotube rears measure 2 in. and also increase damping both on and off road. These shocks increase static ride height by 0.7 in. The Fox shocks remain hidden from sight behind tough looking, satin black, 18 inch BBS forged alloy rims which mount beefy 275/65R18 Michelin LTX A/T tires. Also hidden from sight is a TRD front skid plate which comes into play if you exceed the Sequoia's 27 degree breakover angle.

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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
Further package enhancements include black crackle finished running boards emblazoned with the TRD logo, a blacked out front grill, and Rigid Industries LED fog lights embedded in the lower front valance. A special black roof rack caters to the baggage needs of the 8 passengers this rig is capable of transporting. The TRD PRO lists for $65,000, slightly less than the top model Sequoia's Platinum model.

This current second generation Sequoia has been in production for 12 years, virtually unheard of in an industry that swaps models on 5 year cycles. So it's understandable that some of the layout is beginning to look a bit antiquated. For example, take the dashboard, which is still festooned with numerous knobs and buttons to control the HVAC system and oversee infotainment preferences. For 2020, however, Toyota has upgraded the Sequoia with an enlarged 7.0 in. touchscreen which now manages Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. But even the newly enlarged screen looks lost in the vast environs of this dash.




That the Sequoia still depends on throwback control knobs does not degrade its operational utility. In fact, I found the array of knobs to be infinitely preferable to the current mania for converting car dashes to menu driven cell phones. As an added bonus, the TRD PRO's knobs are oversized, finely knurled, and thus easy to locate and twist. In fact, this old school Sequoia reminds you just how straightforward car design used to be before the advent of the current glass cockpit.

You have just 6 gears on tap here, with an automatic transmission that offers both uphill and downhill shift logic. A tow/haul mode is also included for the gearbox, and Toyota equips this model Sequoia with a receiver jack and 4/7 pin electrical receptacles. Tow rating for the TRD PRO is 7,100lbs, a 300 lb. reduction over the standard Sequoia due to the Fox shock installation. The reason the tow rating still exceeds 7,000 lbs. is traceable to the enormously powerful V8 engine installed in this Sequoia. This 5.7 liter powerplant, enhanced on our test truck by a $1,050 catalyst-back TRD "Performance Exhaust System," produces 381hp and 401lb.-ft. of torque. The V8 drives all four wheels through a two speed transfer case. A center differential lock helps maintain traction in all weather conditions.

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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
When you tromp the loud pedal here, there is no mistaking the primordial snarl of the 32 valve V8, which is regulated by variable intake and exhaust valve timing (dual VVT-i). The downside of moving three tons with 401hp is the fuel consumption factor. Expect no more than 14mpg in everyday use, a number that drops the TRD PRO to 1 on a scale of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas rating according to EPA/DOT.

Although the oversize Sequoia TRD PRO will never save the earth from meltdown, it will transport 8 in relative comfort over virtually any terrain on earth. It will do so with a suspension system so finely tailored, and an engine so powerful, that it's hard to believe Toyota can bring this beast in for the reasonable price of $67,029.

2020 TOYOTA SEQUOIA 4x4 TRD PRO 5.7L V8 SPECS

    ENGINE: 5.7 liter DOHC, 32 Valve V8 with Dual VVT-i
    HORSEPOWER: 381hp
    TORQUE: 401lb.-ft.
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 13MPG City/17MPG Highway
    PRICE AS TESTED: $67,029

HYPES: All Terrain Conqueror, Vast Interior, Old School Layout

GRIPES: High Step In

STAR RATING: 9 Stars out of 10