Long-Term Update: 2001 Toyota Sequoia
Toyota built the Sequoia to compete directly against the Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition. Playing in a market dominated by the aforementioned companies is no easy task, but the Sequoia rolls off the factory line packed with the renown build quality, reliability, and integrity Toyota is famous for. The question is: Does the Sequoia have the toughness, utility, and off-road ability of its competition? Truck Trend added one to our long-term test fleet to see if it does in fact have what it takes to quench America’s thirst for super-size SUVs.
We ordered a Sequoia Limited 4x4 in Thunder Grey, with a base price of $42,275. After tacking on a premium JBL AM/FM cassette six-disc in-dash CD player, side and curtain airbags, a rear spoiler, daytime running lights, moonroof, and floormats, the MSRP rose above $44,000.
Shortly thereafter, we threw the Sequoia into Motor Trend’s annual Death Valley SUV Torture Test to find out how it would perform climbing jagged mountain roads in 120°-plus heat. Carrying multiple passengers and a smorgasbord of craft services, the Sequoia wasn’t the slightest bit fazed by the perils of Death Valley, impressing just about everyone on our staff with capable four-wheel drive.
Numerous weekend trips, including one to the Red Rocks Preserve outside of Las Vegas, have put our mileage total over 5000. The best fuel economy so far, achieved on a 330-mile highway jaunt, was 17 mpg; with the worst, Death Valley off-roading (four-wheel drive and air-conditioning cranked full blast) at 6.6 mpg. Mechanical problems to date have been zero.
Staff comments in the logbook praise the roll-down rear window, lack of serious body roll (especially considering the vehicle’s size), huge cargo capacity (with seats removed), minimum road noise, and high-quality fit and finish inside and out. Negative feedback is limited to remarks about the skinny steering wheel, lack of rollers on the removable seats (hard to take in and out), and a driver’s seat that doesn’t go far enough back to suit 6-ft-plus drivers. Our editors also feel a large vehicle such as this demands a rear back-up sensor system as standard equipment.
Much is in store for our Sequoia as we plan to continue flogging it around the Southern California area. We’ll let you know how she holds up in future issues.
|2001 Toyota Sequoia|
|Engine||4.7L DOHC V-8|
|EPA fuel economy, city/hwy, mpg||14/17|
|Actual average fuel economy, mpg||13.3|
|Average cost per fill-up||$27.72|
|Average cost per gal||$1.97|
|Average distance (miles) per fill-up||190.81|
|Number of services||1 (5000-mile service)|
|Total service costs||$61.93|