2017 Toyota Sequoia 4WD Platinum

Big, bold, but not bashful
July 30, 2017 Updated: July 30, 2017

The 2017 Toyota Sequoia comes in three trims: the SR 5 ($45,560), Limited ($54,350), and Platinum ($62,090). The Platinum model will be my focus for this review.

The Sequoia is the most affordable in the full-size SUV class. It offers more cargo space and passenger room than its competitors. Having the most comfortable third-row seat makes it all the more popular.

This SUV has a powerful and well-balanced 5.7-liter performance V8, delivering 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm—highest in its class for a base engine. A standard six-speed automatic transmission moves smoothly through the shifting exercise.

Sequoia is the most affordable in the full-size SUV class.

The Sequoia gets 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, which is the poorest mileage of all large SUVs in this class. However, the strong engine ferries eight passengers and allows for lots of cargo while towing up to 7,400 pounds, on appropriately equipped trims. With a maximum four-wheel towing capacity of 7,100 pounds, this is considerably less than the GMC Yukon and Nissan Armada, both towing up to 8,500 pounds.

Quite frankly, the Sequoia has not had an upgrade overall since 2008, therefore it is placed at a disadvantage.

The vehicle is stable on the corner, easy to maneuver, strong on the straight away, but the steering is a little heavy.

When it comes to payload, however, the Sequoia is quite special when it comes to payload. You have 18.9 cu. ft. of cargo space, which expands to 66.6 cu. ft. when the fold-down third-row seats are completely down flat, and up to 120.0 cu. ft. when the second-row seats are folded too.

The generous volume gives you the flexibility to fit and arrange cargo for better weight spread and hence stability. The power liftgate is most helpful, especially with its jam protection. This SUV is very agile for its size when loaded.

Inside the 2017 Sequoia. (Courtesy of Toyota)
Inside the 2017 Sequoia. (Courtesy of Toyota)

The front seats are full-size and accommodate large-size folks like me. The great legroom should make long trips rather enjoyable. This well-built SUV is based on the excellent Tundra full-size pickup truck.

Heated and ventilated front seats plus second-row captain’s chairs, advanced cruise control, and adaptive air suspension help develop interior comfort.

There are admittedly some issues with the interior. The 6.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen for navigation, CD, AM/FM/HD Radio, and 14-speaker audio system is a little too small. It is flush with the far right of a wide center stack, making it hard to reach for the driver.

However, once the info is called up, it is easy to read. This technology is desperately in need of updating. Currently all connectivity features are not sound compared to those of competitors, especially the GMC Yukon.

The three-zone automatic climate control, on the other hand, is excellent and the rear-view camera is clear and concise.

Front headlamps with auto off-on, fog lamps, de-icer windshield, automatic wipers, and running boards are made all the more attractive sitting on 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade allows the outside to come inside and the eyes to take it all in.

3-year/36,000-mile Basic Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
5-year/Unlimited-mile Anti-Corrosion Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net