What Changed for 2008:
- All-new, second-generation, full-size SUV
- New and enlarged \"rugged and advanced\" body design
- Wider and taller interior with sliding second-row seating
- Interior climate can be controlled from the steering wheel
- Third-row seat powers into flat floor
- New chassis for enhanced dynamics
- Powerful new 5.7-liter V-8 engine linked to fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission
- Towing hitch integrated into the frame
Toyota launched its full-size SUV for the 2000 model year. For 2008, the automaker rolls out its all-new second-generation Sequoia, which Toyota says was developed with an eye on both rising gasoline prices and environmental awareness. In addition to an all-new chassis, body and interior, the 2008 Sequoia can be equipped with either a carryover 4.7-liter V-8 engine or an even stronger but more efficient new 5.7-liter powertrain.
The 2008 Toyota Sequoia is available with rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD) and in SR5, Limited and Platinum trim levels. Each version shares in the new body, interior and chassis architecture. That means that each offers 120.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats, even when the Sequoia is equipped with a sunroof. Capacity grows to 120.8 cubic feet without the sunroof system and its slightly lower head liner. Regardless of whether the roof is solid or has a glass insert, the Sequoia offers 66.6 cubic feet of room behind the second row (with the third row folded) and 18.9 cubic feet behind the upright third row.
The SR5 model comes with tri-zone climate controls; power windows (including the rear window); cruise control; tilt and telescoping steering column; 8-way manually adjusted driver's seat; fabric-covered front, middle and rear seats; eight cupholders and eight additional bottle holders; dual glove box; and a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area. The SR5 includes an AM/FM audio system with a single CD player.
Limited models get leather seating surfaces with heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment on the driver's side. The Limited adds Bluetooth; audio and climate controls on the steering wheel; an electrochromic inside rearview mirror; Optitron gauges; two overhead storage consoles (eliminated with the sunroof); heated exterior mirrors; front and rear parking sonar; fog lamps; running boards; and a roof rack. The Limited comes with a JBL Premium audio system with 6-disc CD changer and 14 speakers.
The Platinum version adds a power rear hatch door; headlamp cleaners; heated second-row bucket seats; heated and air conditioned ventilated front seats; a navigation system with backup camera; power sunroof; and power tilt-and-telescoping steering column. The Platinum features a 4-CD JBL audio system as well as Toyota's Electronic Modulate Suspension (H-TEMS) adjustable suspension system.
All 2008 Toyota Sequoias carry a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty with a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The Toyota Sequoia continues to employ a 4.7-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 276 hp and 314 lb.-ft. of torque as its base powertrain. The engine links to a 5-speed automatic transmission and is rated at 14 mpg city/17 mpg highway in RWD and at 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway with 4WD.
New for 2008, however, is a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 381 hp and provides 401 lb.-ft. of torque. The RWD model with the 5.7-liter engine can tow up to 10,000 pounds. The larger and more powerful engine is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission that enhances fuel efficiency to the point that the larger engine is rated at 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway in RWD and 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway in 4WD.
Both engines have ULEV II (ultra-low-emission) ratings and run on 89-octaine unleaded gasoline. All new Sequoias are equipped with 26.4-gallon fuel tanks and according to EPA figures can travel as many as 500 miles between fill ups.
Toyota says the larger new engine features advanced technologies, including dual variable valve timing, pentroof combustion chambers, reduced-friction pistons and valves, and a specially designed and constructed exhaust system to enhance efficiency.
All 2008 Toyota Sequoias are equipped with front, side and curtain air bags as well as Toyota's STAR safety system that includes vehicle stability control, traction control, a limited-slip differential, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. They also have daytime running lights, direct tire-pressure monitoring systems and anti-theft and engine immobilizer systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the 2008 Toyota Sequoia at 5 stars (the administration's best rating) for frontal crash protection of the driver and at 4 stars for frontal protection of the front-seat occupant. The NHTSA did not test side-impact protection but rates the Sequoia at 4 stars for resistance to rolling over. The 2008 Sequoia has not been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In addition to its standard 4-wheel independent suspension system, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia can be equipped with an air suspension system the manufacturer calls Active Variable Suspension (AVS) with settings for comfort, normal and sport modes. Toyota says this air-based suspension improves ride comfort and augments towing and heavy-load hauling.