The Sequoia is the largest SUV sold under the Toyota name, and is slightly bigger than the Land Cruiser with the capability to hold eight passengers instead of seven and room for more luggage behind its third row. However, it lacks the sophisticated permanent 4-wheel drive that the Land Cruiser is famous for.
The Sequoia was originally shown in car shows in 1999 and 2000, with full production starting in late 2000 as a 2001 model. Engine, driveline, and some sheetmetal components are shared with the Tundra, and shares the same basic chassis, with the exception of rear disc brakes and a more sophisticated multi-link live axle rear suspension. It received minor cosmetic updates for 2005 and gained a more powerful engine equipped with VVT-i, LED-backlit gauges, as well as a 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous 4-speed. The Sequoia is slightly longer than the Land Cruiser, however, it is barely noticeable. At introduction it was larger than the Chevrolet Tahoe in most dimensions and similar in size to the Ford Expedition; its V8 engine was certified as Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. Frame assemblies and driveshafts are produced by Dana Corporation.
The Sequoia comes in two trim levels; SR5 and Limited. The SR5 starts at $32,820 while the more expensive Limited starts at $41,855. It is sold in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions.
Toyota unveiled the 2008 Toyota Sequoia at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. It was designed to look more like its platform counterpart, the Tundra. The model is based on the new Tundra, which was launched in February 2007. Major differences with the Tundra include a fully-boxed frame and a rear independent suspension featuring coil springs.
Improvements include an optional 381 horsepower 5.7 liter V8, optional power folding split third row seats, and larger dimensions in every area. The 2008 Sequoia comes in three trim lines: the SR5 and Limited, featured on the first generation, and new Platinum, which is exclusive for the Sequoia at the current time. Pricing ranges from about $35,000 to $55,000 depending upon the trim line and configuration.