2015 Toyota Sequoia Review


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2015 Toyota Sequoia Overview

Thinking big, automotive-wise, ought to include thoughts on the 2015 Toyota Sequoia. This full-size 8-passenger SUV carries itself quite regally on Toyota’s Tundra pickup platform, sports 3 rows of seating and will handle up to 120.1 cubic feet of cargo with the second- and third-row seatbacks folded down. Heck, there’s still some 19 cubes of carrying capacity with all seatbacks upright and all passengers seat-belted and ready for takeoff. This is, after all, no rinky-dink ute-wannabe. And just because it rides on a pickup chassis, don’t be fooled; virtually all reviews of this hefty sport ute claim ride and handling abilities that far surpass that of Toyota’s heavy-duty truck lineup. But look closely before entering a packed-in parking lot with this behemoth.

Alas, no noteworthy upgrades grace the 2015 Sequoia lineup, and even 2014 saw merely the addition of Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with Smartphone apps connectivity to spruce up this admittedly aging brand. Therefore, look for the traditional 3 trims—the base SR5, the midlevel Limited and the flagship Platinum—to return for this upcoming model year.

Standard power for the entire 2015 Sequoia stable remains a 5.7-liter V8 engine that again, in either Flex Fuel or non-FFV garb, mates with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, this buff bruiser will tow 7,400 pounds of trailer without breaking a sweat, but gas mileage is a pretty woeful 13 mpg city/18 highway in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) versions, 13/17 in 4-wheel-drive (4WD) iterations. Additionally, each trim remains eligible for tweaks to the standard V8 that make it an ethanol-capable Flex Fuel (FFV) powerplant.

Again, the Sequoia’s standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration can be supplemented by a part-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system boasting auto-locking hubs, a 2-speed transfer case and a Torsen limited-slip center differential.

Now keep in mind as we get into the story of bling aboard this hefty hauler that most reviewers find the Sequoia lags behind the competition as far as exterior styling amenities and cabin refinement are concerned. But look at it this way: Beauty (not to mention comfort and convenience attributes) is in the eye of the beholder.

So, what do you get in the 2015 Sequoia, appearance- and creature-comfort-wise? Well the base SR5 comes with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable mirrors, a roof rack, step running boards and a power-opening rear window on the outside. Inside, look for the return of cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, cruise control, full power accessories and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Additionally, a leather-wrapped steering wheel is again standard in the entry-level SR5, as are tri-zone climate control and Bluetooth hands-free technology.

Entertainment, meantime, is offered via a single-CD player bolstered by 8 speakers, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input (USB port), all under the auspices of the recently installed Entune infotainment package, which boasts a 6.1-inch touchscreen display.

To all of the above, the Limited adds standard 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming outside mirrors, leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, second-row captain’s chairs, a power-folding third-row seatback, a power sunroof and GPS navigation. Oh, and a significant upgrade of interior materials also accompanies this midlevel trim.

The top-shelf Platinum, meanwhile, tosses a standard adaptive air suspension system into the mix, along with adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, memory for driver’s settings, a remote garage door opener, heated second-row captain’s chairs and power-adjustable telescoping tilt-wheel steering.

In keeping with tradition, lower Sequoia trims remain eligible for many of the bells and whistles that come standard in the higher trims as optional equipment, while rear-seat BluRay entertainment and a 14-speaker JBL sound system are once again available to the Limited and Platinum editions. Each and every Sequoia can also be gussied up with remote engine start and, lest we forget, Toyota's Racing Division (TRD) again makes performance brakes and 17-inch off-road wheels available to all 3 trims as well. Finally, a number of ToyotaGuard packages can be added to include roadside assistance, emergency towing and added exterior and interior protective coatings. Said packages also toss in an oil change using synthetic motor oil.

Toyota’s returning Star Safety System again graces the 2015 Sequoia lineup and includes 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and 3-row head airbags. Front fog/driving lights and daytime running lights also remain standard in all variants, while the Limited and Platinum add standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and the Platinum sports a standard blind-spot warning system. Furthermore, a glass breakage sensor remains an option for all trims in backing up the delivered remote antitheft alarm.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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