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Weidel on Wheels: Sequoia says bigger can still be better

Toyota’s full-size SUV has more power, and plenty of room
By: Jeffrey Weidel
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There are plenty of large sport utility vehicles on the road, so obviously some people still have a need for these rather large behemoths.

Either that, or people simply can’t get rid of them at a reasonable price.
A down economy and the absurd rise in gas prices a few years ago definitely hindered sales on this vehicle segment. The car business is cyclical, and right now smaller, more economical SUVs are the way to go. Currently, bigger is not better.

With that said, it doesn’t mean all car shoppers are turning toward crossover models, purchasing an affordable sedan or a small truck. Heavy-duty SUVs are still the best route for people who require a maximum-passenger vehicle or have major towing considerations.

Recognizing the need for some alterations, Toyota made some changes this year to the once-popular Sequoia, which has three rows of seating and accommodates eight people.

The standard 2010 Sequoia has a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine that managed to increase horsepower to 310 (an increase in 34 horsepower) while getting better gas mileage (now 14 to 19 miles per gallon).

The Sequoia resides near or at the top of the class with many industry-wide publications. It stacks up favorably in most of the pertinent categories with the exception of limited cargo space behind the third row and a dashboard that still needs some tweaking.

What one will discover with the Sequoia is a large SUV that handles with a refinement that few in its class can rival. It possesses a tight, 39-foot turning circle that even makes this large truck-based SUV maneuverable in parking lots.
And it’s tough to find a better SUV for convenient storage bins, cupholders, pouches and pockets.

The Sequoia provides a quiet ride, has great passing power, and the six-speed automatic transmission shifts well with each gear selection, even during towing, where the maximum capacity is 9,100 pounds. If more power is your thing, go with the platinum trim, which features a 5.7-liter, V-8 engine that delivers 381 horsepower.

The Sequoia also has a unique flexible seating that results in comfort for all eight people. The “bench seat” in the second row can slide forward, leaving more than enough room for all three passengers.

The second row is spacious for adults and even the third-row seating is ample for older folks, which is rarely the case. When both rows are folded down, the Sequoia has a huge cargo area of 121 cubic feet.

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2010 Toyota Sequoia

Price: Starting at $51,865

Mileage estimate: 14 mpg city;19 mpg highway

Power: 4.6-liter, V-8 with 310 horsepower
           
Standard features include: Antilock disc brakes; stability control; front and rear parking sensors; roof rack; sunroof; triple-zone automatic climate control; eight-way power driver seat; eight-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio, Bluetooth (with audio streaming), auxiliary audio and USB audio jacks; daytime running lights; roof rack

Where to buy

Get it here: Magnussen’s Auburn Toyota

Where: 800 Nevada St., Auburn

Call: (530) 885-8484

On the Web: Auburntoyota.com