2012 Toyota Sequoia Expert Review

3.6 Overall Score
Performance 3.6 Comfort 3.5 Styling 3.5 Value 3.2

Editor's Overview

The largest SUV in the corporate fleet, the 8-passenger 2012 Toyota Sequoia adds trailer sway control to its lengthy roster of standards and offers a Blind Spot Monitor to the short option list of the range-topping Sequoia Premium. While long on space and flexibility, the Sequoia's cabin lacks the style and warmth found in several of its key competitors.

You'll Like The 2012 Toyota Sequoia If...

If you need the 8-passenger space and 7,400-pound towing ability of a big SUV, and you want it in a capable and reliable package that holds its value well over time, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV makes a great addition to the family.

You May Not Like The 2012 Toyota Sequoia If...

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV's styling is handsome but defiantly on the conservative side, and its interior is awash in hard gray plastics that scream "1990s." Also, if you just need seating for six or seven people, a full-size crossover such as the GMC Acadia or Honda Pilot will be easier on the wallet at both the dealer and the gas pump.

What's New

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV gains standard Trailer Sway Control and on Platinum models, an available Blind-Spot Monitor.

Interior Features

Where some SUVs have a third-row seat that is best suited only for children, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV offers adult-sized seating in all three rows. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia's second-row bench seat features three independently movable sections that travel fore and aft, as well as fold flat. For those who don't require a bench seat, Captain's-chair-style seats are available, as is a power-folding third-row seat. Access to the third-row seat is made simpler by wide and long rear doors and the sliding second-row seats. Stylistically, the Toyota Sequoia's interior may you leave bit underwhelmed. Its plastic parts feel a bit hard, and there isn't much in the way of warm color or rich wood trim. On the other hand, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV's instrument panel is simple and uncluttered, with easy-to-see-and-operate controls and a dual glovebox for maximum storage.

Exterior Features

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is not only the longest SUV Toyota makes, it's the widest and the tallest, too. Because the Sequoia's axles are pushed as far from each other as engineers could manage, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV looks much longer than it really is. The expanded wheelbase is the primary reason for the Sequoia's roomy interior, not to mention its admirable stability at highway speeds. The Sequoia's short front and rear overhangs give the big SUV plenty of leeway when approaching steep angles, like those encountered when off-road adventuring or serving duty on a sharply raked boat ramp.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is most appreciated when asked to haul numerous passengers and their belongings over vast distances. The available air-spring suspension delivers a ride as smooth and enjoyable as in some luxury sedans, and a healthy slathering of sound-deadening material throughout the Sequoia's cabin keeps exterior wind and road noise to a minimum. Don't get us wrong, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is still a large and heavy vehicle, but its independent rear suspension and precise power steering make the 6,000-pound hulk quite easy to command. Aids such as the available proximity-warning system and rearview video camera help diminish the difficulty encountered when attempting to park or maneuver such a large vehicle. And, we should point out that while the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV is able to successfully tackle gravel roads, wet and slippery boat ramps and steep snow-covered driveways, it is not a serious off-roader.

Pricing Notes

The 2-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Sequoia SR5 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $42,000, while the mid-level Limited starts closer to $52,000. Opting for 4-wheel drive will add a few thousand more, and the top-of-the-line Platinum edition pushes past the $60,000 mark. Overall, the Toyota Sequoia's price range overlaps that of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban 1500. And when it comes to residuals, the Sequoia has proven to hold its resale value better than any other large SUV. To find out what consumers in your area are really paying for this vehicle, check the kbb.com Fair Purchase Price.

Notable Equipment

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV's standard safety features include anti-lock brakes and electronic traction and stability control. Larger disc brakes all around and the brake-assist system help to minimize emergency stopping distances. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia has eight airbags, including full-length side-curtain head protection and front knee protection. The SR5 comes with standard 18-inch wheels. A powerful, 3-zone climate control helps keep all passengers comfortable. Sliding, 40/20/40-split second-row seats maximize rear-passenger legroom, and rear bench seats fold forward to create a large, flat cargo area. The steering column has both tilt and fore-and-aft adjustments.

Notable Options

All three trim levels of the 2012 Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV are available with either rear- or 4-wheel drive (4WD). The optional air-spring rear suspension not only automatically adjusts to changing cargo, passenger and trailer-tongue weight, but also contributes to a smoother ride when the vehicle is unloaded. The Limited trim offers only three stand-alone options: navigation, 7-passenger seating (second-row captain's chairs) and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a 9-inch LCD display and a 115-volt AC outlet. The sonar-based proximity warning system reduces strain when parking and backing out, and the satellite navigation system also includes a rearview video camera. The Platinum trim comes fully loaded.

Favorite Features

Plentiful Rear Passenger Room

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV provides expansive passenger room in the two rear rows, thanks to its redesigned independent rear suspension, long wheelbase and wide track. Fore-and-aft sliding second-row seats allow maximization of rear legroom, and rear doors open wide for easy access.

Variable Steering Ratio

To ease maneuvering in tight situations, such as parking or off-roading, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia's steering ratio increases just before the steering wheel is turned to its limit, which helps to significantly reduce the turning circle.

Under the Hood

Standard on the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV is a 4.6-liter V8 good for 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. The available 5.7-liter V8 produces 401 lb-ft of torque, which helps the Sequoia tow trailers up to 7,400 pounds. Both V8s are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which employs a very low first gear for strong acceleration and two overdrive gears for better fuel economy. Unlike older truck-based 4-wheel-drive systems, the Sequoia's can be employed on dry or wet paved roads, and can be operated in rear-wheel drive or low-range 4-wheel drive.

4.6-liter V8

310 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm

327 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD)

5.7-liter V8

381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 13/17 (4WD) 9/13 (E85, 4WD)

Editors' Notes

If you just can't live without the people hauling and pulling power afforded by a big, V8-powered SUV, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV deserves a spot on your wish list. In fact, there are only a few such SUVs on the market, the most obvious being the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada. If towing ability is a top priority, the big Chevy/GMC twins win hands down, but if you think can live with a 381-horsepower Lexus-derived V8 and 7,400-pound tow rating, then purchasing a 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV makes perfect sense. The Sequoia's roomy interior and 3-row seating provide all the room a family can possibly need, plus the flat-folding seats can be lowered to create a level cargo floor. And, unlike its primary competitors, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV offers a choice of two V8 engines permitting a lower-cost alternative for those who don't need power as much as a reasonable bottom line.

Road Test Video Reviews

2012 Toyota Sequoia Owner Reviews

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16 Reviews
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Looking for the ultimate family adventure car? Look no further...

2012 Toyota Sequoia Limited

Bought this car as our family car and it has not disappointed! We have 3 kids, all in car seats and boosters, and they all fit comfortably in the middle row, leaving tons of space in the back for friends, groceries, strollers, or whatever else we need to pack for our next adventure. The console features are easy to use, and my 6 year old can easily reach the DVD player from the middle row. We splurged for the auto fold down 3rd row and it has been the best perk - no hopping in the back and hauling and folding down seats - just the press of a button and it transforms the 3rd row into whatever we need. Lots of cup holders placed throughout the vehicle and the center console can hold a ton of stuff. This was our dream car purchase as our family was growing and we have never had car envy since! The backup camera has been really helpful for parking lots and garages and I feel confident when driving.

- Sam S

Comfortable, spacious ride.

2012 Toyota Sequoia

The vehicle drives smoothly and comfortably fits family and friends. Even the back row is spacious enough for older kids or adults. It has a decent towing capacity and a lot of storage. I especially like that the rear seats can be put up or down individually instead of having to put the entire bench seat up or down. The vents help to keep everyone cool in the summer.

- Stephanie B

Toyota are very reliable. The trucks highlights are the smooth comfortable ride

2012 Toyota Sequoia Platinum

The SUV is very reliable and still runs like new. The ride is very comfortable and smooth and it's not that bad on gas considering it's a SUV. The inside is very roomy and the leather seats are heated and air conditioned on the front seats. Can store a lot in the back with both seating rows fold down for your convenience.

- Anthony P

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