NEW FOR 2008:

– Redesigned model
– Newly available 5.7-litre V8 engine in Limited and Platinum trim

For 2008, the Toyota Sequoia has been redesigned, following in the footsteps of the makeover received by the Tundra pickup truck upon which it’s based. It’s larger and heavier than the model it replaces, but with a substantially increased towing capacity.

As before, the Sequoia uses a 4.7-litre V8 engine with five-speed automatic in the SR5 trim line, but a second engine has been added: the Limited and Platinum models use a new 5.7-litre V8 with six-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to the extra gear, and to variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust, the 5.7-litre provides more power but with a better combined fuel economy rating than the smaller V8.

Also new for 2008 are new interior and exterior styling, four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension, variable-flow power steering pump with cooler and a transmission warmer, which brings the unit up to operating temperature quickly to reduce emissions.

U.S. buyers can purchase a two-wheel drive model, but all Canadian Sequoia models use a driver-selectable four-wheel drive system.

Features on the SR5 include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack, ten-way driver and four-way passenger power-adjustable heated leather seats, second-row 40/20/40 split-folding bench seat, power-folding third-row 60/40 bench seat, conversation mirror, power tailgate window, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, clearance and backup sensor, keyless entry, front tow hook, anti-theft system, heated mirrors, privacy glass, running boards, roof rack, power sunroof, towing hitch with brake control connector, variable intermittent wipers with de-icer, rear wiper, automatic headlamps with washers and fog lamps.

The Limited adds 20-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and HVAC controls, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, power liftgate, garage door opener, rear sunshade, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and rear spoiler.

The Platinum adds four-CD/MP3 stereo, heated and ventilated seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs with centre console, power tilt and telescopic wheel, driver’s side memory, nine-inch rear-seat LCD entertainment screen, laser cruise control, 115-volt outlet, navigation system with backup camera, and reverse-tilt power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors with integrated turn signals and puddle lamps.

Despite its size, the Sequoia handles and drives like a much smaller vehicle, with a relatively tight turning radius and nimble handling. Inside, its dash is lifted from the Toyota Tundra, with big, easy-to-use dials that are spaced very wide apart and may prove difficult for smaller drivers to reach. Towing capacity increases from 2,812 kg (6,200 lbs) to a maximum of 4,125 kg (9,095 lbs) in the 5.7-litre-equipped Limited model, but even the SR5 can pull 3,400 kg (7,495 lbs).

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