Turns out the Toyota Sequoia can get glammed up if it wants. Although it's far from the prettiest sport/ute out there, the 2011 Toyota Sequoia Platinum is at the beck and call of consumers looking for an upscale alternative in the full-size SUV market (a field that has long been a domestic specialty).
We'd posit the hypothetical flannel-wearing lumberjack enjoys the simpler things in life. But for $17,150 over the base SR5, Toyota will throw in an all-inclusive Platinum package that should satiate any wood-splitting feller with more discriminating taste. Opt for the stout Multi Mode (part-time) four-wheel drive system for another $3225 and you get our Silver Sky Metallic, $61,380 Sequoia Platinum (includes $975 destination charge) test vehicle.
That's a considerable amount of money, but Toyota isn't using all of it to line its corporate coffers. It's obvious the Sequoia is an immediate sibling to the Tundra pickup truck, though the big SUV gets its own unique rear suspension. Work trucks ritually use simplistic, yet stout, leaf springs in the rear for load-bearing purposes. Toyota presumably couldn't fathom such devices on its upmarket SUV, and put an order in for independent rear double A-arms with dampers and a 0.91-inch anti-roll bar. Matching the back end is a set of front dual A-arms.
The payoff is much better ride quality compared to the hop-happy Tundra, but the Sequoia still pales in comparison to the pricier and more refined Land Cruiser. Adaptive Variable Suspension alters the shocks' damping profile to suit the available Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes, while Electronically Modulated Air Suspension helps the Sequoia withstand bottoming out when it's acting as a beast of burden. (Platinum 4WD carries 7000-pound towing and 1235-pound payload ratings.) Both suspension-assist systems are specific to the Platinum, as are the 20-inch diamond-finish alloy wheels with 275/55/20 rubber.