The Toyota Sequoia is classified as a full-size SUV and is manufactured by Toyota, derived from the Tundra pickup truck. This vehicle was originally introduced in 2000 and manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, Indiana. This vehicle sits between the mid-size Toyota 4Runner and the Toyota Land Cruises in Toyota North American’s SUV lineup as the largest SUV currently produced under the Toyota brand name. The Sequoia is sold only in the United States, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, Cost Rica, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, and Kuwait.
It didn’t take long after the Tundra’s introduction in 1999 for speculation to start about this vehicle competing in the full-size market with a new SUV that used a design based on the Tundra called the Highlander. The Highlander name was used on this vehicle and the Tundra-based SUV was launched in January of 2000 at the North American Auto Show as the Toyota Sequoia with production starting up in September of 2000 as the 2001 model. The engine as well as the dashboard and chassis on this vehicle are all shared with the Tundra, except for the rear disc brakes and the multi-link live axle rear suspension which it also uses.
This vehicle was nominated for North American Truck of the Year in 2001 and was a bit longer than the modern Land Cruiser and larger than the Chevrolet Tahoe, one of its primary competitors. The V8 engine that this SUV used when it was first released onto the market was certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle and the frame assembles as well as the driveshafts used in this vehicle were produced by Dana Corporation.
The Sequoia underwent a minor facelift for the 2005 model. This vehicle was given a new VVT-I engine along with a 5-speed automatic transmission which replaced the 4-speed. There were also 4-wheel drive models which received a Torsen center differential, effectively replacing the previous open differential that is able to split power in full-time mode, giving 40% to the front and 60% to the rear under normal driving conditions. The grille on this vehicle was also redesigned, and the orange lamps were replaced from the tail lights. The towing capacity for the 2005 Sequoia is 6,500 pounds for the 2-wheel drive version and 6,200 pounds for the 4-wheel drive version.
The second and most recent generation of the Sequoia was introduced to the public in 2007 at the Los Angeles Auto Show and sales started the following December. Similar to the first generation model of this vehicle, the new one is based on the latest version of the Tundra. There are some major differences between this vehicle and the Tundra though, such as the fully boxed frame and the rear independent suspension which features double wishbones with coil springs for a better and more comfortable ride. Other improvements to this vehicle include an optional ULEV-II complaint 381 horsepower 5.7 liter 3UR-FE V8 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2008-2010 Sequoias were involved in the 2009-2010 Toyota recalls which required that a small shim be installed in these vehicles to relieve unwanted friction as well as restore fluidity to the accelerator pedal to avoid some potentially dangerous complications. Toyota announced that it intended to end production of the Sequoia after the 2014 model year because of declining sales, and a next generation Land Cruiser will be taking its place. In 2012, however, it was announced that this vehicle was to be redesigned, as well as the Toyota Tundra, for the 2014 model. The Sequoia is certainly an important landmark vehicle for Toyota and experienced a decent amount of popularity from the start.