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2006 Toyota Sequoia V8 Limited Road Test
By Kevin "Crash" Corrigan
The Sequoia was introduced to the Toyota lineup in 2001, positioned above the 4Runner as its top-of-the-line SUV. Its name is a tricky one to pronounce, but that aside, when I walked around the Sequoia, I liked what I saw.
It looks big. It looks formidable. From the front, its stance is impressive, similar to the Ford Expedition, but a little more stylish. The 17-in. alloys are beautifully designed, and I loved the practical third brake light in the spoiler at roof level; cars travelling several vehicles behind will clearly see this light.
Under the hood sits a 4.7-litre, 32-valve DOHC V8, giving 282 hp and 325 lb-ft of ground-grabbing torque. A few other vehicles in this class offer more pulling power, but the Sequoia is adequate at 6,200 lb.
Looking around the engine bay is a joy. Everything is very easily accessible and designed to be replaced with little fuss, should you be mechanically inclined.
Sitting in the driver's seat, I immediately noted the large, practical side mirrors. The dash is well designed and I particularly liked the highly visible dials. Controls are easy to use, and there is a good feeling of space inside.
Although this model has seating for seven, I managed to find 12 cup holders, very useful if you are travelling with another vehicle that doesn't have cup holders, as you can carry their coffee for them! I used this vehicle to carry six adults to an event, and all were very comfortable in the sumptuous leather seating, and suitably impressed with the ride and feel of the vehicle.
There is a respectable JBL cassette and six-disc, in-dash CD changer with 10 speakers and steering wheel audio controls, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and all the bells and whistles you'd expect for a vehicle in this price range (about $60,000), including a good-sized moon roof.
The only issue we had with the interior was with the copious amounts of burled wood trim. It was obviously grown from Plasticus Cheapus, not a Giant Redwood (the vehicle's namesake).
I took the 2006 Sequoia for a spin around the side roads of Caledon, Ont., which provide a good mix of paved highways through to unimproved dirt roads. They were wet, muddy in places, with snow and ice on the occasional shady lane. Perfect.
As I set off, I immediately noticed the impressive pulling power. This vehicle, for its size, is certainly no slouch. The ride is solid, assuring, quiet and comfortable, although I did experience noticeable wind buffeting at speed.
Rough terrain and potholes were soaked up by the well-tuned suspension and barely noticeable. Its high seating position offers a commanding view, and all round visibility is reassuring.
This is the perfect vehicle for harsh winters, and it is more than capable for towing smaller horse boxes and utility trailers. The Sequoia is not a permanent 4WD vehicle, and when manoeuvring on gravel and dirt, I noticed wheelspin occurs easily from the power the V8 kicks out. At a press of a button this is solved as 4WD is activated. There is also rear air ride to compensate for heavy payloads.
VERDICT: 7+ out of 10
A solid vehicle that offers comfort and capability. Overall the driving experience was pure pleasure. My only issue was I felt that some interior improvements could be made, particularly for a vehicle in this price range. So is this vehicle overpriced? With Toyota's renowned reputation for reliability, and many Toyota previous owners having experienced years of trouble-free driving, probably not.
MSRP for the 2006 Sequoia SR5 V8 is $58,210, while the Sequoia Limited V8 has an MSRP of $66,100.
Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan, an automotive writer based in Caledon, Ont., specializes in SUVs.