Last post on May 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM
You are in the Toyota Sequoia
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Toyota Sequoia, SUV
#640 of 1954 My new 2008 Platinum.
Dec 27, 2007 (10:53 pm)
Here I am, smack in the early honeymoon phase of ownership of my new 2008 platinum model Toyota sequoia. I have been waiting for this puppy since my 2002 model went over 100,000 miles. The old girl’s still in my driveway, by the way. I couldn’t part with her for the paltry $5,000 the dealer offered me, even if she does have 183,000 miles on her. Used her to pick up a pizza tonight (don’t want that smell in the NEW car!)
I put money down on my 2008 sight unseen as soon as Toyota announced it would be released in late December. Prior to my new car’s arrival, Hubby and I test drove an SR5. I don’t know the test model had the smaller engine, but, although it had good pick up, it made an awful lot of alarming roaring engine noise upon acceleration. The Platinum model I just bought (with the bigger engine) accelerated quietly, with no vrooming noise at all.
I don’t know if the nuances of the Platinum model make any difference, but I felt the ride was much smoother, and the car less “truck-like” to drive than the SR5 we tested. You can adjust the suspension, so maybe it was set on “sport” when we tested the SR5, whereas I prefer the “comfort” setting. The Platinum is only a tiny bit more bulky-feeling to drive than my 2002 model, which I felt was like driving a car.
Toyota claims the steering is made “for a woman.” This is fine by me, since I don’t really want to feel like I’m driving a truck. I have a truck. It’s not my idea of a luxury ride. It’s kind of a disconnect on Toyota engineer’s part, however, since the 2008 model is NOT a feminine-looking car, particularly from the outside. It lacks the door trim details (or any body details really) of the older models, and comes across as decidedly “boxy.” The comparisons to the appearance of the Dodge Durango are not entirely unfair.
My little, 83-year-old Granny has an easier time getting in the front seat than in my old car, but once she’s there, she can’t see over the dashboard, because the passenger seat bottom doesn’t adjust up and down like the driver’s side does. She’s very short, however, and probably should not be riding in the front seat anyway. But she’s 83. YOU tell her to get in the back seat.
That being said…WOW!!! I am in LOVE with my new car. It’s like skating on glass, the ride is so smooth, and the features of the car bring to mind a Lexus. I was surprised by some of the little cool, little details my old model lacked, like window shades for all of the rear-seat passengers, and heated second-row seats. The rear lift gate is automated, which seems Way Cool, but may be a little dangerous. I’ll try not to knock Granny in the head when I lower it…again.
My mom owns a Lexus LX470, and when she got in my car she decided to trade hers in for a Sequoia. She is a total car snob, so this is really saying something. This is a roomy car, comfortable as any I’ve ever owned, and it handles like a dream. It has a tighter turning radius than you’d ever believe for a beast this size, and it stops on a dime, which is not an unremarkable feat for its massive weight. It will also tow 10,000 lbs, so taking the horses along will be now be possible—something the old girl just couldn’t handle.
I’ll let you know later if the honeymoon lasts, but for now, **sigh**, I’m in love. I’m a little over $60,000 poorer, but in love, nonetheless.
#641 of 1954 Wish the trunk space is larger
Dec 28, 2007 (12:43 am)
trebor, it's interesting that we have almost the same cars. You mentioned that you have a 06 Odyssey/05 STi and I have a 05 Odyssey and had a 04 STi. Sold the STi last year because I never had any time to drive the car and was spending way too much money modifying the car.
Now for the new Sequoia, checked one out tonight and I generally like it. But there are two things that I'm really disappointed with. (1) No bench seat option for Platinum. (2) Trunk space with 3rd row up is not that big at all. I need eight seating capacity so I basically have to go with the Limited but it seems that the Limited does not come with memory seats??? In the Toyota press release, it only mentioned that the platinum has memory seat package but no mentioning of the same package for Limited. In terms of the trunk space, it's just very small with 3rd row seat up. We do a lot of vacation/holiday drivings with little kids and we carry a lot of stuff with us on these trips. That's the only reason that I'm still considering a Yukon Denali XL. With 3 little kids and a fourth one on the way, a large trunk space is very important to me. Just wondering what other large families' view on the trunk space issue. It's funny that one of the Toyota VP was saying during the development stage that the new Sequoia might be too big. In my view, it's pretty wide, but definitely not that big in terms of length. If the Sequoia is about another foot and half longer, that'd be perfect for me.
#642 of 1954 Total reversal of my plans...
Dec 28, 2007 (1:03 am)
My head really hurts today because I did a 180.
The Platinum I bought came in with the wrong color. I gave them two days to find me another Platinum in Black or Pearl with a Graphite interior and they could not. Today I got my (non-refundable) deposit back and started my search all over. I needed to buy this year so I could not let them take every last day to fail me once more.
I called a previous dealer I had spoken to and they said they had an Arctic Frost Pearl with Tan interior and would beat my previous deal’s price by another $500 relative to invoice. I really wanted a Graphite interior, but the extra $500 would help convince me to consider Tan. I went and saw it, and thought the Tan looked fine. I was, however, concerned about how I would put two kid’s seats in the 2nd row and get access into the 3rd row with the non-removable center-console. I saw two bolts inside the console and figured I could remove it and unplug the heated-seat controls, but it seemed like a waste to do that (being uncertain if there was carpet under it and to scrap the heat controls).
I noticed a Slate Metallic SR5 on the lot with a Graphite interior and decided to check it out. I had not considered Slate, but in person it was *really nice.* There was something else I liked about the looks which I could not pin down at the time. Now I think it is that the SR5 does not have a chrome bumper, mirrors, or door handles. It looks better if you ask me without the chrome. Also it had a bench seat, which I now decided would be better for our child-seat situation than even captain’s chairs with a pass-through. Also it keeps the dog from getting forward as he loves to come into the driver’s seat when I leave him in the car. Biggest downside is you have to fold a seat to get into the 3rd row, but the upside is we will need the 3rd row much less and hence can keep it folded more for cargo.
The Graphite was by far the best interior color – especially on an SR5 as many of the plastic-dipped-in-fake-chrome bits were black in the SR5! The fact that the top insides of the door was hard plastic rather than covered in soft fake leather did not look worse as the hard plastic looked nice in black (probably looks awful in tan). I had previously only seen a grey-inside on a Tundra and this looked much better. The Tundra had the chrome knobs and grey door panels and center console. These areas being black on the SR5 Sequoia were a huge bonus as was the black carpeting.
Also it had a leather-wrapped steering wheel -- in an SR5! How could this be? I previously ruled out the SR5 because I 'knew' it was not possible to get it with a leather wheel and I didn’t want an aftermarket wrap as they are thicker and never look right. Also it had the following: 5.7L 4x4 with 6 speed, locking center diff, cold kit, leather interior in all rows, heated power seats, heated side mirrors, power folding 3rd row, fog lamps, power moon roof, nav, JBL, backup camera, running boards, rear spoiler, DRL, tow prep, carpeted floor matts, and door sill protector. This is almost $9,000 in retail options. Why not just get a Limited? I might have, but this was in front of me and there was like 1 more day of the year and also -- a Limited with adding nav, DRL, sunroof, rear spoiler, and cold kit (options this car had) would have been $3700 more! So what would a Limited have that this SR5 did not in exchange for $3700?
1. Bluetooth. (Might have been nice but sometimes these things are quirky). Never use the voice control on my Honda as in practice it is a pain. I guess I would pay $100 for this.
2. Leather-trimmed console lid. (don't care, black plastic looked ok). I would pay $25 for this.
3. IR glass. (Not sure if this matters). Maybe it would. I would pay $100 for it.
4. Optitron instruments (looked at this, and could not see it as better. It was white instead of orange but not ‘nicer’). I would pay $0 for this.
5. Electrochromic mirror (don't mind flipping it). I would pay $50 for this. And who needs a compass with GPS.
6. Chrome-door handles (SR5 is body-painted which looks better to me). I would pay -25 (negative $25) for this.
7. Sonar. (do wish I had this). I would pay $400 for this.
8. Chrome AC knob and inside handle (way nicer without it). I would pay -$50 for this.
9. Vanity mirror (lame. I don’t put on lipstick). I would pay $0 for this.
10. Chrome grille (looks better without it). I would pay $0 for this.
11. Roof rack (In the last four years I have used one twice to move a Christmas tree, but our minivan has one. I would have liked it though). I would pay $300 for this.
12. Limited badge to show you are special. This does have a resale-value upside.
So about $1000 worth of stuff. Not worth $3000+ to me.
And, compared to the Platinum I intended to buy, I also gave up:
1. 20 inch wheels (tossup -- 18s should be better on the dirt road I drive on).
2. Memory on seats (I care a little).
3. Perforations in seats and AC through them. (this seemed kinda cool (pun)).
4. 2nd row heat (do not care).
5. Power rear hatch (I did want this)
6. H-TEMS (I tried this and could not feel any difference).
7. Power steering wheel (pimp but whatever).
8. Headlamp cleaner (this is nice).
9. Turn signals on mirrors (don’t care). Mirrors that power fold? (kinda pimp and fun)
10. rear DVD
11. Laser cruise
12. Remote start.
13. Platinum badge
All of this is worth, to me, about another $5000.
So I am rationalizing that I am better off giving up some fluff and saving the almost $12K while giving up stuff that to me, is only worth about $6000, while gaining the nicer (to me) chrome-free outside and chrome-reduced inside and the bench seat which in the end worked out for what we needed. Also it was the only way I could quickly get the Graphite interior. But the best part is – I no longer have to wonder if it was silly to spend almost $60K on a Sequoia that was an AWESOME truck but not quite a luxury SUV. Now that I paid under $44K, I no longer need to ponder that and I can not worry as much about scratches as it is a utility truck. It seems like a nice sweet spot and I doubt it will feel under-equipped. It still has a nice leather interior, nav, JBL, and the good engine. I would take it any day of the week over a $52,000 fully loaded 2007 model just for the engine alone.
#643 of 1954 Re: My new 2008 Platinum. [ablkly]
Dec 28, 2007 (1:09 am)
BK (before kids) I use to have fun owning fast cars and thought that chapter was behind me. I gotta say though, having owned my 08 Seq for the last 4 days that I find myself "beatin' other cars off the line" pretty often. I try not to, but this thing has so much darn power it has been too tempting. I live in the NYC metro area so I see a ton off wild drivers. A Mercedes 350 tried to cut me off on my commute and couldn't get it done, which was amusing. Nothing like a "sport-sedan" probably 1,000 lbs lighter getting body-slammed by my hulking Seq. It has been a while since I felt like I owned a "toy" again, but I have to say this monster is fun !
#644 of 1954 suspension variable height
Dec 28, 2007 (1:35 am)
For any Platinum owners - is the driver selectable heigth for all 4 wheels or rear only? What is min/max clearance?
Also, there *has* to be a way to get a bench into the Platinum model for 2nd row... Ignoring heating aspect, one should be able to buy the parts and remove current seats/replace with bench... Not sure. This issue is possible dealbreaker for me as well.
Also - no locking diffs between l and r side, right? So lets say there was only traction in front left and rear right tires, and you were at 0 mph. Could you move in that situation, or would you just spin the opposite tires?
It might be too early in model life, but if ARB or Detriot Locker has an aftermarket diff lock for the rear at least, that would be fine for me.
Also important for off road traction - anyone know the ratio when in 2wd, 4Hih and 4Lo of the gears - does this have a strong gear reduction mechanism in 4Lo? That and diff locks are the main thing to me if I understand 4wd correctly. Electronic-focused systems, unless they have 'modes' don't work for real 4X4 work. Land Rover LR3, for example, has 'modes'. These modes allow you to optimize for crawl ratio on the one hand, or wheelspin on the other for mud/snow. On this note, the 2008 Sequoia has defeat buttons for 2 of the electronic systems - very smart move.
#645 of 1954 Re: Sequoia vs Infiniti [mlevine]
Dec 28, 2007 (5:31 am)
I'll let you know tomorrow after we get back but there is no way that I'm paying anything over invoice for the QX. Infiniti should be coming out with new incentives on 1/5/08 and I'm interested in those. When we first started looking at the QX in late summer, our dealer was moving these rather quickly. They usually only had 2-3 on the lot. Now he's got 10, so that is driving my price point. Besides, I had an out of market dealer offering me invoice on the QX in August.
Dec 28, 2007 (5:41 am)
There is no locking diff right and left, but the car will sense wheelspin and apply brake to a slipping wheel which will shift torque through the open diff to the non-spinning wheels -- so yes, you can get free.
#647 of 1954 Re: Sequoia vs Infiniti [mommytruck]
Dec 28, 2007 (5:47 am)
The QX does have the option for a bench seat in the 2nd row. All three parts of that bench can fold independently of one another. The pass through to the 3rd row is very nice...my 3 YO can flip the latch to engage it- it is that smooth and easy.
The QX does not have quite the interior room, according to dimensions. It holds 97.1 cu ft of "stuff" while the Sequoia holds 121 cu ft. I am hard-pressed to say that the QX feels smaller though. My assumption is that most of that extra room is actually up in the roofline, where it does me little good. Both hold abt 20 cu ft of stuff behind the 3rd row so again that shows that both have similar footprints. The 3rd row in the QX is not quite as comfortable as the Seqouia, but it is much better than the Escalade and Mercedes GL350. The Sequoia has a VERY comfortable and flexible 3rd row. Kudos to Toyota for that!
Somebody mentioned the quality issues with the QX and Armada. I agree that is a concern to me...we currently have a '01 Pathfinder that has been great. My guess is that the new vehicles ('04) being built in a new factory (Canton, MS) resulted in some growing pains for Nissan as they probably rushed these vehicles to the market to get some of the large SUV pie. The interior upgrades to the '08 QX are worlds apart from the '04-'07 one. I've got to believe that Nissan has got this truck settled out now. I know a couple of owners of '05/'06 QX's and they love them and have had no issues.
One final part to that reliability concern....Toyota has been no stranger to the negative reliability issue list of Consumer Reports. Several of their vehicles (including a Lexus or two) have dropped off of the reliable list. In fact, the Tundra (on which the Sequoia is based) has already had at least one recall and there are multiple posts on message boards about the new 5.7 engine having issues. Point is that Toyota is no longer the rock solid relability bet that it used to be.
#648 of 1954 Re: incentives on 2008's? [mackabee]
Dec 28, 2007 (6:02 am)
$7500 less than MSRP on an '07 Limited doesn't strike me as particularly aggressive.
Dec 28, 2007 (6:34 am)
I wanted to confirm what someone posted... If you say you are going to pay cash, you will get a worse deal, not better. I asked for so much over invoice and they said ok only on the condition that I finance at least $15,000 of it so that they could get their kickback. I was not planning to finance, but I did to make them happy knowing I could pay it off early and also it does help to free up some cash so it was fine.