The Toyota Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle moves into 2011 with minor interior trim changes. The trailer hitch connector is now the same as on the Tundra full-size pickup truck, and there is a new off switch for the standard Daytime Running Lights. The Sequoia is available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades. In select areas, the Sequoia features as standard E85 Flex Fuel capability on 4×4 5.7-liter V8 models.
Sequoia is available with a choice of two V8 engines, a 4.6-liter that was introduced for the 2010 model year and the 5.7-liter unit it debuted with. Both engines run on recommended regular-grade fuel. The standard engine for the 2011 Sequoia SR5 is the new 310 horsepower 4.6-liter i-Force V8, a 32-valve DOHC unit that features aluminum alloy cylinder heads with dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). Peak torque is 327 lb.-ft. at 3,400 rpm.
The 4.6-liter V8 is teamed to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, benefitting both performance and fuel economy. The Sequoia Limited and Platinum grades feature a standard iForce DOHC 5.7-liter V8, also teamed to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic. This powertrain is optional for the SR5.
The 5.7-liter engine produces 381 hp at 5,600 RPM and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM, among the highest outputs in this vehicle class. The 5.7-liter V8 enables the Sequoia to tow up to 7,400 lbs. (depending on model grade and equipment). Critical to customers who tow, the 5.7-liter V8 produces 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,200 RPM. A Tow/Haul mode modifies transmission shift points for optimal performance. The Sequoia’s towing hitch is integrated into the frame as a single unit.
The 5.7-liter V8 is also equipped with dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). An Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) switches the intake tract length in two stages, based on engine RPM and throttle angle, to optimize torque across the engine speed range.
In the six-speed automatic transmission for all models, Toyota’s flexible torque converter lock-up control enhances efficiency, with lock-up occurring in fourth, fifth and sixth gears. The Multi Mode four wheel drive system available for all grades uses a two-speed transfer case with a lockable TORSEN® limited-slip center differential to power the front and rear wheels. The transfer case is shifted electronically via a rotary knob, and it locks with the push of a button.
Handling and Ride
The second-generation Sequoia is built on a special platform that features four-wheel independent suspension to help provide exemplary ride quality, handling and straight-line control. The suspension uses upper and lower A-arms at each wheel, shock absorbers, coil springs and a tubular anti-roll bar. The 39-foot turning circle is one of the tightest in Sequoia’s class.
The Sequoia Platinum model is equipped with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which adjusts damper response with settings for Comfort, Normal and Sport. The Platinum grades Electronically Modulated Air Suspension also augments the Sequoia’s ability to tow and haul heavy loads while maintaining an appropriate ride height and chassis attitude. The SR5’s standard 18-inch aluminum wheels have 275/65 R18 tires; 20-inch aluminum wheels and 275/55 R20 tires are standard for Limited and Platinum, with the wheels on the Platinum getting a diamond-cut finish.
Sequoia uses 13.9-inch ventilated disc brakes up front and 13.6-inch ventilated disc brakes at the rear. Four opposed pistons – two per side – ensure optimal braking performance and fade resistance.
The 2011 Sequoia is equipped with Toyota’s STAR Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), plus Traction Control (TRAC). On 4WD models, TRAC is replaced by A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control). The 2011 Sequoia is equipped with dual stage advanced front air bag system, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three seating rows, plus driver and front passenger knee airbags.
Comfort and Convenience
The Sequoia SR5 is one of the best-equipped vehicles in its class, featuring standard: eight-passenger seating; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; engine immobilizer with alarm; direct tire pressure monitoring system; automatic tri-zone air conditioning; illuminated entry system; power windows, locks and sliding back window; keyless entry; rear wiper and defogger; cruise control, and mud guards. Standard audio on the SR5 is an AM/FM/MP3/CD with eight speakers, integrated XM Satellite Radio with a 90-day trial subscription, and an auxiliary audio jack/USB port.
The SR5 in addition comes ready to work and play with a standard towing package, an eight-way power driver’s seat, fog lamps, running boards, power tilt/slide moonroof, a roof rack and rear spoiler and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and climate controls.
The Sequoia Limited adds functionality with front and rear parking sonar; power rear liftgate with a sliding window; power folding and reclining 60:40 split third-row seat and 20-inch alloy wheels. Luxury takes a big step up with standard power tilt/slide moonroof; heated front leather-trimmed seats, second- and third-row retractable sunshades and a steering wheel that integrates controls for the air conditioning system, Bluetooth®-capable phones and other functions. The Limited grade also features standard 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat; a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift knob; Optitron gauges; and a multi-information display. A standard-equipped auto-dimming electrochromic rear-view mirror integrates a compass and a map lamp, plus a 3.3-inch monitor in the rear-view mirror for the backup camera (when not equipped with a navigation system).
The Sequoia Limited is equipped with a JBL Synthesis AM/FM six-disc CD changer system with 14 speakers, XM Satellite Radio with a 90-day trial subscription, Bluetooth and an auxiliary audio jack/USB port.
At the top of the Sequoia line, the Platinum grade has standard Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, which can help maintain a set distance from vehicles ahead. A standard rear seat DVD entertainment system combines a nine-inch LCD screen with a separate rear seat audio system, including dual wireless headphones.
Additional standard features exclusive to the Sequoia Platinum grade include a 12-way adjustable power driver’s seat and simulated wood-trim; 20-inch diamond cut-finish alloy wheels; rear load-leveling air suspension; power seat memory package; second-row heated seats, and steering wheel with simulated wood trim.
The Platinum grade also features a standard DVD navigation system with a backup camera and JBL Synthesis AM/FM four-disc CD changer audio system with 14 speakers, integrated XM Satellite Radio and NavTraffic with 90-day trial subscription, Bluetooth and an auxiliary audio jack/USB port.
With its vast array of standard features, the 2011 Sequoia has just a small menu of factory options. The lone option on all SR5 grades is a Sport Appearance Package that includes seven passenger seating, 20-inch super chrome alloy wheels, color-keyed grille, and black seat fabric. Exterior colors for the Sport Appearance Package are limited to Black, White and Silver.
The Limited grade offers three options: a Rear Seat Entertainment System that includes a DVD player with rear audio controls and a 115V outlet; a DVD navigation system with a backup camera and JBL Synthesis AM/FM four-disc CD changer audio system with a 90-day trial subscription to XM Satellite Radio and NavTraffic. Optional captain’s chairs can replace the standard second row bench seat.
The lone option on the Platinum grade is a rich White Pearl exterior paint.
The Sequoia’s 0.36 drag coefficient is comparable to smaller crossover-type vehicles. The vehicle’s mirrors, wipers, A-pillar and roof header are shaped to help maximize aerodynamic efficiency and minimize wind noise. The vehicle underside airflow is optimized to reduce drag and wind noise and to help improve directional control.
Headlamp washers are standard on all grades for improved visibility. On the Limited grade, the large side-view mirrors feature power retraction, automatic glare-resistance, and turn-signal lamps. In addition to these features, the Platinum grade mirrors also include puddle lamps, position memory and reverse-linked tilt functions.
The wide rear door-opening angle provides easy passenger ingress/egress and child seat installation. Standard on the Limited and Platinum models are front and rear parking sonar sensors that emit an audible warning to alert the driver of the position of solid objects and their distance from the vehicle.
The Sequoia dash incorporates a modular instrument panel structure and, like other interior surfaces, features a finish similar to fine luxury cars. Each of Sequoia’s eight seating positions provides space sufficient to comfortably accommodate people well above normal height. The same efficient packaging that allows exceptional interior comfort also allows carrying items up to 11 feet long. Folding the second and third row seats flat opens the cargo area to 120.1 cubic feet of carrying capacity.
The second-row bench-type seat is split 40:20:40 and is equipped with a seat-slide mechanism that offers an adjustment range of 5.9 inches. This seat can also be folded down flat and uses a one-touch easy-slide action to allow passenger access to the third-row seat. Second row captain’s seats are available for a seven-seat cabin. Child-seat restraints for the second row are standard on all grades.
The third-row seat is split 60:40, has a seatback reclining mechanism and can be easily folded flat. A power tilting and folding mechanism is available. The rear liftgate sliding glass can be opened and closed for easy loading with the turn of a key. The cargo area is equipped with handy hooks for grocery bags. Sequoia provides 16 extra-large cup/bottle holders, (18 on the Platinum grade) as well as convenient storage spaces. The glove box measures 9.5 liters, and the second-row console box will hold 12 CDs or four DVD cases.
All three grades offer two interior color choices of Graphite and Sand Beige. A Red Rock interior is also available on the Platinum grade. A Black interior is exclusive to the SR5 when equipped with the Sport Appearance Package.