Last post on Aug 06, 2009 at 9:28 AM
You are in the SUVs
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Infiniti QX56, Toyota Sequoia, Lincoln Navigator, Ford Expedition, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, SUV
#13 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [buzzy8]
Jan 08, 2009 (2:37 pm)
Here's some additional thoughts:
"We are looking at the Limited, mainly because we have 3 kids and it just seems easier to load them into the 2nd row than have one climb into the back." I agree with the other poster. Depending on the age of the kids, as they age they will want more separation. My 14 yr old actually prefers to ride in the 3rd row even when no one is in the second row. He folds the 2nd row seat down and has leg room to really stretch out. Access to the third row is quite convenient since the 2nd row Captain chair slides far forward giving easy access to the third row even for adults. I hesitated on the captains chairs howver I have found them to work out very nicely. All of my previous Suburbans had 2nd row benchs.
"Some of the things that are standard on the platinum have been the problem for us on the limited as far as options we would like to have. We don't understand how a $56K vehicle does not have memory seats or 2nd row heated."
That was one of our motivations for going for the Platinum. I wanted the air conditioned front seats, driver memory seat, heated 2nd row seats, adjustable suspension and the Red Rock leather interior. These were all "must haves", so my only choice was the Platinum.
"With how you installed it yourself through what you purchased through Ebay, is it all internal? Meaning do you have the satellite capabilities through the Navigation system?" Yes, all components for the XM Radio (Serius and XM are now one service since the 2 companies merged last year) are inside the dash (other than the antenna which is on the roof) which requires opening things up abit however its much easier than you might expect since the entire dash is held together with push clips. Essentially, with the exceptiuon of a single screw, the dash can be opened by simply "pulling" it open. The instructions are actually quite easy. Here's a link to get a sense of what's involved. (You might want to preview the install before your husband...you'll understand after reviewing it:) http://www.tacotunes.com/installation/tundradash/index.html The XM service is fully functional through the Nav unit from either the dash controls or the sterring wheel controls.
"Can you use the Ipod interface with the system you installed?"
Since the ipod connection in the Platinum is unaltered I can't see how it would be affected however I don't use an ipod.
"Also the Navigation system seems difficult because the lady talking is looking for certain commands...can you use the pushbutton version and not use the voice part?" Other than the first day, I've never used the voice controls... more of a hastle than its worth. I use the Nav buttons on the dash however many of the functions are deactivated by Toyota once you are underway. I used the following product to override Toyota's restirctions. If you're opening the dash for the XM tuner, this device would be a simple install at the same time. http://www.pinemountainfirearms.com/pmf/tundramods/NavSpeedPulse.aspx
"Can you do some kind of bypass and watch the DVD from the navigation screen (I believe certain techs now how to do this but because of liability issues they will not tell you)" DVDs can be viewed on the front Nav screen however only when in Park with the Parking Brake on. I've not seen any modifications that works with the factory rear entertainment system and the Factory Nav unit to view videos while underway. (Probably not a very good idea if you ask me.)
"it seems like the backup system and navigation system seem inferior, I am just not sure that while it is in use it becomes better than it seems." The backup video system is excellent, particularly for towing to align with the tow ball. Also the adjustable suspension allows you to raise and lower the vehicle to make it easy to attach to a trailer tow ball. The Nav by compariosn with my Garmin Zumo is utterly out of date however with the override device referenced above it is acceptable.
"Also, was anything said to you about updating the navigation system? Is it a hard drive that is updated or a disc? If a better system comes available, is it as easy as a download?" If you mean the electronics, I have not heard if a new generation of Nav unit is coming however this Gen is relatively new so I doubt a major upgrade is coming anytime soon. If you mean the actual DVD data disc for the maps, those come out annually however the changes are somewhat minor from year to year and you may only need to update every couple of years. They run a couple hundred $ from the dealer and are also available on ebay for less.
"I also wanted to ask if you had the remote start? Is it worth it to add it as an aftermarket option? I also wish they had the push button start...."Forget about the Toyota remote start. Once again the lawyers got overly involved and require the driver to restart the vehicle by shutting the engine as soon as the door is opened. What's the point? Go aftermarket for this option. I didn't bother to get remote start however I have had them on previous vehicles and they are nice.
"I also wanted to ask if you had the remote start? Is it worth it to add it as an aftermarket option? I also wish they had the push button start...." Plan on fast depreciation even for a quality SUV like the Sequoia. However there will always be folks that need a powerful SUV for towing boats, horse trailers, RVs etc. IMO the Sequoia is the best on the market and the Platinum is better then even the higher end luxury SUVs if power, ride, space and comfort are your primary decision factors.
Best of luck in the decision-making....
FYI...here's a link to a test drive forum between the Platinum and the Limited http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/sequoia/137515-test-drive-2008-platinum-vs- -limited/
#14 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [hdfatboy]
Jan 08, 2009 (8:24 pm)
Thanks again for your response...I have to say how helpful it has been. I agree that the Platinum is the way to go as far as getting in all of the options we are looking for but we just can't wrap our head around the one child sitting in the back. Here are the reasons....we have a 6, 8 and 10 year old, I know they will get bigger but I just can't invision being in a parking lot with all of their backpacks and gear in hand while 1 of my kids takes one of the seats flips it forward while the other 2 wait, then the 2nd child will flip it back and then both would climb in....or I could do it but by now, I am comfy in the drivers seat of my mini van already. I know I am over dramatizing the whole thing but right now they all just file in the 2nd row. Ir could just be that I am not able to invision the Platinum and whether or not one of them could just squeeze by the seat without flipping it, it just seems like an extra step to what we have now. Also long trips, we would loose cargo space with all the luggage because we do not have the ability to flip the whole 3rd row down.
The other problem is where to find a Platnum and since there are so few, I am sure the dealer will not as willing to deal.
Thanks so much for your help!! Oh, and the ability to watch the DVD while driving is just for long trips for the benefit of the passenger.....me! We still want to check out the Buick.....I will keep checking in. Thanks so much for all the valuable info.
Oh, and I want to make sure I understand your previous post....that the front seats come air condititioned as well? (I couldn't find that in the specs).
Jan 09, 2009 (4:27 am)
Oh and I wanted to edit my response about flipping the 2nd row seat to climb in the back. I reread you post and you mentioned the seat sliding forward to climb into the 3rd rown instead of flipping the seat so like I mentioned before it could be a whole lot easier than I am envisioning because I haven't seen a platinum. We have been to every dealer in a 100 mile radius of here and have not seen one yet. I just really wish the platinum had the 2nd row bench because then one of the kids could still go in the back or have the option of the 2nd row. Infiniti told us that they could convert a captain's chair QX56 into a bench seat but the salesman told us a lot of things that wasn't true. Thanks again.
#16 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [buzzy8]
Jan 09, 2009 (12:14 pm)
Obviously you know the needs of the family best. For ours, the design of the captain chair and how it slides forward works as conveniently for kids as it does adults. At 6'4 I have no problem comfrortably getting in the 3rd row and the seating is by far the best on avy SUV on the market. Nothing is even close for leg room because of the electrically recling 3rd row seats.
My recommendation is to find an LTD with captain's charis and check out whether the 2nd row sliding mechanism meets your needs. The Captain chairs function the same in the LTD and the Plat however there is no console in the Ltd. The Plat's 2nd row console cannot be removed because the controls for the 2nd row heated seats are built into the front of the console.
I ordered my Platinum from the dealer vs shopping for vehicles on the lot. I wasn't in a hurry so I send out emails to the nearest 15 Toyota dealers I was willing to drive to. I gave them the exact specs I was looking for and let them know I was only interested in replies that included an "out the door" price with exact options, shipping, taxes and title included in the email response.
5 dealers didn't reply...several gave prices at msrp. ..several were at $1000 off msrp....several were at $1000-2000 over the dealer's invoice and one was at $500 over dealer invoice. I went with the $500 over and it was the smoothest auto transaction I ever did. Never left the house while shopping for the sequoia until I went to sign the contract.
I bought my Platinum the week before Christmas of 2007 and took delivery in late February 08. Economy and auto market are entirely different today but that's how I bought mine back then. I'm confident the same approach today would work even better with far better pricing although I have no idea how long the wait would be on a factory order but the savings would definitely be worth it if you have the time.
Yes...the front seats in the Platinum are both heated and air conditioned. Since I got a black Sequoia with red rock interior, I figured the seats would get hot in the summer. The cooled seats are excellent and I'm really glad they came with the Platinum.
#17 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [hdfatboy]
Jan 10, 2009 (6:41 pm)
We did what you suggested and found a platinum....we went to the dealer in our town that we have been working with (we have purchased 3 of our last 4 cars from them) and told them that we were interested in the platinum. The looked on the computer and found us a dealership that had 4 of them in Maryland (we live in PA)....so that is what we did today. My husband drove it and we even had our 10 year old try and slide the seat forward. It really was a breeze. Just the extra step of folding it forward and then the next child getting in would have to slide it back to sit in it. (still trying to wrap my head around that as you can see). The one we looked at had the factory installed burl wood trim. It actually looked nice with the tan interior. It had everything in it except the laser cruise control which the dealership said is very rare to see that in a Sequoia. It had the remote start (which seems like a joke-wish there was an override for that one), skid grid and satellite radio. It had an MSRP of $60,000. We really did like it, the only issue is of course haggling over the price now.....(and for me getting used to the idea of the captains chair issue). The one we test drove had $7,000 miles on it and was a demo vehicle...my husband mentioned to someone inside the dealership how much they were willing to move on it and the sales manager said that it would be the listed MSPR of $60,000 .... Our goal at this point with a 2008 is 75% of MSRP for a 2008 in this market. I just wanted to let you know that we took your advice and are glad we did....I will keep you posted...Our dealership told us that they can give us a deal even if we located one we want at a different dealership. We would rather work with our local dealership since we have a good relationship with them from previous cars we purchased.
#18 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [buzzy8]
Jan 10, 2009 (11:54 pm)
I think you guys will get your price provided you continue to be patient and hold your ground. I just purchased an 08 Ltd after looking and watching the market for 3 months. I buy things for a living and I can tell you that I research items to death before I make a purchase. I knew from the start I would end up in the Sequoia because I owned a 04 Ltd and had put 90K miles on it. The only reason I was considering the upgrade was because the deals were so good. I would recommend doing a little more searching using www.cars.com and see if you can find any other Plats within a reasonable driving distance for you. My dealer wasn
t willing to work with me and thought that because I lived in Central Missouri that I would be restricted to buying from them because of the limited selections......they were wrong. I did as one of the previous posts mentioned and put my quotes out there using the internet before I stepped one foot into a dealership. You'll find out very quickly there are deals to be had. I had difficulties getting the options I wanted because my wife and I wanted a limited in the Cassis Pearl w/sand beige interior...with Nav, DVD, XM, and second row bench. We wanted the second row bench so that when all the seats were folded down it would create a nice area to carry our three boxers. We don't have kids, but our dogs fill this gap nicely for us. Problem we encountered was that the second row bench was not in the option package with the Nav and DVD, so we ended up settling for the captains chairs and I worked out a great deal with the dealer to install the center console in the second row.
Let me urge you to be careful about adding options with the dealer. Make sure you ask for Toyota Factory equipment to ensure it will interface correctly and be covered under warranty. I say this because I had a dealer tell me they could install the Nav and DVD on a ltd that had the second row bench. I agreed and then found out the day of the install that the equipment was all aftermarket and would not work with the steering wheel controls, such as bluetooth for my phone. It also would not be covered under the Toyota warranty so if you bought the vehicle from one dealer and then went back home and tried to get service from your local dealer to resolve anything on the after market equipment he would not be able to do so and would have to bring in people trained to work on it...resulting in charges back to you.
I'll quit rambling on now and just say this.....my wife and I both love the truck. It rides exceptionally well and I have already towed some heavy loads with it with ease. The backup camera is great and ensures a quick trailer hookup every time. The sonar works great and allows for a lot of clearance when parking.
The heated seats don't seem to get as warm as in my older Sequoia, but work sufficiently.
I haven't tried the DVD yet, but I'm sure the puppies will love watching it on the next long trip. For you guys it will be great because it offers the AC plug so you can plug in a console game system and turn the kids loose playing Wii, XBOX, or PS3.......system also comes with 2 wireless headsets, so you don't have to listen.
One thing to note on the Sequoia that no other SUV has....the power rear glass. My dogs love this because I can roll it down and they can stick their heads out and stop traffic....don't suggest this for the kids.
I have the rear height adjusting suspension which levels the vehicle out when loaded....works great.
16+ cup holders....nuff said there.
It has a tight turning radius of 39ft allowing it to turn on a dime and making it a breeze to park.
It does seem more suited for people with long legs, short torso's, and long arms!!
Makes you wonder who was smoking what illegal products when they set up the interior.
There are a lot more things that I can't even remember to mention right now.
Good luck with your purchase and don't let your dealer push you into paying for delivery of a vehicle if they have to go get it......remember this - all dealers will tell you they aren't making anything on it, but they are lying.
Squeeze them as much as you can then walk out if they don't meet your price. There are a lot of Sequoias on the market right now and they have to get them moved out by March for the 2009 models to hit.
Sorry for rambling!
#19 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [buzzy8]
Jan 11, 2009 (12:04 am)
Just a quick FYI....I did a search on Cars.com and looked at a radius of 250 from Pennsylvania and found 91 Platinums.
Not knowing where you guys are located it could change somewhat, but I remember you said you were in PA.
#20 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [hdfatboy]
Jan 11, 2009 (12:08 am)
Saw you mention "The nanny controls on the Nav unit were intolerable to me and I purchased a controller to override the system so I can use all the features of the blue tooth phone capabilities and nav system while the vehicle is underway. Toyota...PLEASE...reel in your lawyers...they're out of control."
Where did you purchase the controller to override the system? and can you post a link for me? I would like to do the same.
#21 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [mikey13170]
Jan 11, 2009 (5:06 am)
Thanks Mikey...I do remember your previous posting of email the dealers ....I just haven't done that yet because are not totally settled on the PLat or Ltd. (the 2nd row bench being the issue with 3 kids). If you look at my previous posting you will see me discuss that issue at nauseum. So once we have that narrowed down I will do what you said. Shouldn't we go to the local dealer we are working with first to see if he will willing to give it to us for the 25% off MSRP before we get other offers from internet dealers? Now when you went on Cars.com, did you then have to put in the radius of how many miles you want to be searched, then it comes up with the individual dealer and then you look at their inventory? or is there an easier way?
I agree about the aftermarket issue. If we go with the Ltd. We will have to have the factory install, Satellite Radio (or go with the underdash one that Hatboy mentioned) the wood dash and possibly the remote start (unless we find an aftermarket that we can do ourselves where the engine does'nt shut off when you get in and start the car. The platinum aftermarket wouldbe the wood burl and an aftermarket ipod interface which we would do ourselves (we heard from one salesman that you could use a splitter with the navigation system and it may work.
Thank so much for the help...don't worry about rambling on, I read every word!
We are going to church now, we are going to have all 3 kids climb into the 2nd row bench seatof our 2000 minivan , and not have one of them go into the back......Can you see I am still struggling with the captains chairs?
Oh and ps.....do you know how that works that if we find one on our own at another dealer and then take the internet price to our local dealer (we reall like them) I assume they choose to match it or not and if they don't, we would be it from the other dealer? What are dealer told us yesterday is that they have a network of dealers that they will swap cars from and that he can make the same deal with another dealers car just like one sitting in their lot? Is that true?
#22 of 63 Re: We thought we picked out an SUV....but we are having doubts [hdfatboy]
Jan 11, 2009 (11:55 am)
One question (we forgot to look at this when we were looking at the platinum yesterday) but does the center console flip down flat at all? We were just wondering if we had the option of putting all 3 kids in the 3rd row and flipped down the 2 captains chairs if they fold flat into the floor along with the console? Thanks!