2009 Toyota Sequoia | new car review

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 by


There’s big, there’s massive, and then there’s the Sequoia.

Named after one of the largest trees in the world, the Sequoia is mammoth, even in a region where large SUVs are the order of the day. The biggest SUV Toyota has ever made, it dwarfs machines like Audi’s Q7 or Toyota’s own Land Cruiser. For competition, think more like the Nissan Armada or the Chevrolet Suburban.

It’s a simple machine, based largely on the Tundra pick up truck. It’s been a big seller in the States for some years now and received a redesign in 2008 – including proper rear suspension, unlike the pick-up. But with the US going into financial meltdown, Toyota figured it a good idea to start selling Sequoias in this region, where demand for gargantuan machines has barely abated.

2009 Toyota SequoiaThe rear-wheel drive Sequoia seats either seven or eight, depending on whether you specify a traditional, three-seater bench on the second row of seats, or two captain’s chairs with a storage box between them. Unusually for vehicles with three rows of seats, adults can fit into the very back of the Sequoia with ease – there really is plenty of room. Even with the rearmost seats up there’s room for a couple of cases in the boot, but both third and second rows fold flat to leave enough room to live in.

Not that you’ll have to choose between your house and your car to buy a Sequoia – it’s actually cheaper than a Land Cruiser, starting at 149,000 dirhams. This value does show slightly in the quality of materials used inside the Sequoia – there’s no soft-touch material on the dash in the manner of its rival, the Nissan Armada. But, as one expects from Toyota today, everything feels very solid and well screwed together.

2009 Toyota Sequoia Four trim levels are available, all of which are powered by the same 5.7-litre V8 – a big, powerful powerplant making 381bhp and 543Nm of torque, attached to a six speed automatic gearbox that powers the rear wheels. The Sequoia might weigh the same as a space shuttle, but it can move swiftly.

The entry-level trim is the SR5, which seats eight and comes with fabric seats, all manually adjusted, and a CD player. The mid-range Limited model adds leather upholstery, a CD changer and sun-roof, while the Platinum Premium edition features all sorts of gadgets, including electrically-operated seats and tailgate, and has the captain’s chairs in the second row, meaning it seats seven. The Platinum Premium model adds satellite navigation.

2009 Toyota Sequoia It might seem obnoxiously massive to some, but there’s a lot to recommend about the Sequoia. It can transport a lot of people in spacious comfort, is well built, fast and handles remarkably well for such a large machine. If you have a big family and want a big car, they don’t come much bigger than this.

Update: In January 2010, Toyota announced that 2005-2010 model year Sequoias were being recalled over safety fears.


Body TypeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission

Price Range (AED) 149,000-215,000

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