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Toyota Sequoia 2011 Review

The Toyota Sequoia weighs nearly three tonnes and makes a Toyota Landcruiser look small.

Some Americans might be downsizing their cars but there are still plenty willing to fly in the face of global warming and drive huge SUVs and "pickups."

Petrol is hovering around the US$4.00 mark which is extremely unpalatable to consumers used to much cheaper fuel but even this hasn't dented sales of big SUVs very much. The pickups they are based on are also rolling out the door in large numbers.

Americans love them and after a brief stint in Toyota's Sequoia we can understand the attraction.

TECHNOLOGY

This is a vehicle that weighs nearly three tonnes, makes a Toyota Landcruiser look small and is powered by a whopping big 5.7-litre, V8 petrol engine. Built on the same ladder chassis as Toyota's equally huge Tundra pickup, Sequoia boasts seating for seven within its cavernous body.

VALUE

The Platinum model we drove was "fully loaded" as they say with power ancillaries, leather, large format satnav, heated seats and premium audio.

It sells for less than US$60,000. Other lower spec' models go for as little as US$40,000, still with a V8 petrol engine but "only" 4.6-litres.

The drive car we sampled featured air suspension with two modes, soft and sport, as well as constant all wheel drive with selectable low range. It runs a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential change mode.

DRIVING

The big beast looks imposing with a prominent grille and bonnet dominating. People of smaller stature might need a step ladder to get in but access is relatively easy.

With seven seats load space is limited but enough for two suitcases. Sequoia has a reputation for being virtually unstoppable off road despite its size and weight.

On the freeway it feels nimble and responsive and has a surprisingly tight turning circle for parking and city driving.

Bad luck if you fancy one of these vehicles-they are only made in left hand drive with no plans for a right hook model any time soon. The same applies to the Tundra ute.

Pity, Australia is big enough for both.

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