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2012 Toyota Sequoia

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2012 Toyota Sequoia Review

Gentle giant

Reviewed by Automotive on

Toyota's largest vehicle, the Sequoia was redesigned back in 2008 to give it a more crossover appearance and functionality. Based on the massive Toyota Tundra, the Sequoia engineers tweaked the SUV to fulfill its dual role of people transport and cargo hauler, able to cross long stretches of freeway in comfort while capable of towing a trailer easily.

The 2012 Toyota Sequoia carries over into the new model year with minimal changes. It's still available with two V-8s, rear- or four-wheel drive, and is capable of moving up to eight people, or it can hold up to 121 cubic feet of cargo space when both second and third row seating is folded flat. The Toyota Sequoia can haul up to 7400 pounds when properly configured for towing.

Despite its considerable size, the Sequoia is surprisingly nimble, hiding its weight on the open road, although it all comes back quickly when trying to park at a crowded grocery store. Still, if you need to tow, like to go camping, and want a comfortable hauler for your family and your boat/jet-skis/camper trailer, the Sequoia is tough to ignore.

The Range

Body style: SUV
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8; 5.7-liter V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: SR5 (base), Limited, Platinum

What's New

Toyota makes Trailer Sway Control standard for the 2012 Toyota Sequoia SUV. In addition, Toyota Sequoia Platinum model gets a new Blind Spot Monitor system. Otherwise, the Toyota Sequoia carries over into the 2012 model year largely unchanged. Last year, more equipment was made standard and a brake override system was added to the 2011 Toyota Sequoia. Inside, a new wood grain was added to the on the Platinum model. Other color changes include Dark Gray replaces Slate, while Nautical Blue and Spruce were dropped. The biggest change, though, was the addition of the new 4.6-liter 310-horsepower V-8 to power the SUV.


The 2012 Toyota Sequoia is essentially unchanged from the previous model year. To maximize fuel economy, the Sequoia's mirrors, windshield wipers, and roof have been designed to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. Same with the SUV's underside, with the added benefit of both features minimizing wind noise. The large side rearview mirrors on Limited edition models also can also retract and have automatic glare-resistance. Toyota Sequoia Platinum models have the same features and also add puddle lights, position memory, and reverse-linked tilt functionality.


The 2012 Toyota Sequoia's interior is virtually indistinguishable from last year's Sequoia. The Sequoia can seat a driver and up to seven passengers comfortably in its cabin. The SUV has tons of storage and comes equipped with family-friendly features like as standard three-zone climate control (important for long trips); Bluetooth (practically mandatory); and eight-way-adjustable seating. Options include leather seating, rear-seat entertainment system (a must if you have children), and heated second row seating (ditto, especially in snowy country).

Performance & Handling

Both V-8 engines pull the three-ton 2012 Toyota Sequoia strongly, and the SUV can cover zero to 60 mph in an impressive 6.7 seconds. Yet driver and passengers will barely notice, with the 5.7-liter engine making passing maneuvers effortless. The Sequoia's suspension keeps the ride smooth, almost plush, and there is minimal jiggle on broken surfaces like bumps, road imperfection, and all but the largest potholes. Fuel economy, especially for such a large vehicle, is a good 13-14 mpg city and 18-20 mpg highway.


The 2012 Toyota Sequoia, like all current Toyota vehicles, comes standard with the Toyota STAR safety system which includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist, Smart Stop (SST), traction control (TRAC), and vehicle stability control (VSC). Standard airbag configuration include dual stage advanced front air bags; seat-mounted side airbags; roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows; and driver and front passenger knee airbags system. Front and rear parking sonar is available on the Toyota Sequoia Limited. A backup camera is also available on the 2012 Toyota Sequoia.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Sequoia 4.6-liter V-8: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway (rear-wheel drive); 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway (four-wheel drive)
Toyota Sequoia 5.7-liter V-8: 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway (rear-wheel drive); 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway (four-wheel drive)

You'll Like

  • Quiet interior
  • Available V-8 power
  • Smooth ride

You Won't Like

  • Busy dash
  • Pricing, especially Platinum model

Sum Up

Gentle giant

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Infiniti QX56
  • Dodge Durango
  • Nissan Armada

See the New 2014 Sequoia.

Front & Driver Side View

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