2019 Toyota Sequoia 4X4 Platinum 7 Passenger 5.7L V8

1278 Toyota Sequoia Side TWD

2019 Toyota Sequoia 4X4 Platinum 7 Passenger 5.7L V8

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joseph Mavilia


This is the 2019 Toyota Sequoia 4X4 Platinum 7 Passenger 5.7L V8. Toyota has made great cars for many years now and it is a badge you can rely on. I have to say, however, that the new kid on the block, Kia / Hyundai is a formidable competitor and can’t be ignored when looking for reliable transportation.

In any case, I really enjoyed the ride this week because of all my great experiences with the Japanese people over the years. The character of the people means a lot to me and because I’ve traveled to Japan 8 times in the past, and worked with companies there, I had the opportunity to get to know and appreciate its people. They have great dedication, as a people with a great work ethic which has given them a decided advantage in the auto industry. Its leaders however, like any culture led them astray into a war they couldn’t win. But the people are resilient and struggled back to dominate some segments of world commerce. Electronics and automobiles are just two outstanding examples.

General Information:

Assembly– Princeton, Indiana, USA; Classification is- Standard SUV;Vehicles from Toyota– 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid, C-HR, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Double Cab, Tundra CrewMax, Tundra Double Cab, Yaris and Yaris iA.
Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Toyota Sequoia 69,000 14 7 4 Japan USA
GMC Yukon 71,000 17 8 4 USA USA
Chevy Tahoe 67,000 18 8 4 USA USA
Dodge Durango 64,000 15 7 4 USA USA
Ford Expedition 70,000 18 8 4 USA USA
Nissan Armada 64,000 15 8 4 Japan USA
Jeep Grand Cherokee 56,000 21 5 4 USA USA


When you get a huge number of any product in the public eye it becomes immediately recognizable. Thus, it gives the appearance of a successful product.

After so many years of good designs there is great recognition, which they deserve from a faithful and near cult following. Often, however, that can be the kiss of death as well. One only need look at history showing when any organization grows very large they often become arrogant and withdrawn from consumers. And when the consumer turns on you, you’re done.

Case in point – GM had cutbacks, Ford struggled too, and Chrysler nearly went under. The big three once dominated the auto industry for a hundred years and have taken a big hit from competition. Surely it was because they became complacent and I hope Toyota has learned from history and will avoid the attitude that they’re too big to fail. That would be sad.

So now, we see the emergence of Kia and Hyundai, ‘new kid on the block’ into the market and growing rapidly. Don’t you just love competition that keeps everyone humble and on their toes.


Pricey. Some will say ‘you get what you pay for’ but how much is a badge worth at the end of the day? Not a hell of a lot, because there is always another company ready to knock you out.

Assembly – Fit and Finish:

Attention to detail has been a real strong point at Toyota, and they continue to do a great job. Keep it up, is my suggestion to the folks at Toyota, and resist getting too big for your britches.


Toyota delivers a solid ride with great handling characteristics. That feeling comes from driving, of course, but also comes from consumers because of a consistent and reliable performance record.

If you have a need for transporting a lot of folks, it doesn’t get much better than this.


I was fortunate to test this Sequoia during the rare rainy days in California. It even snowed on me and this lovely SUV. But the good news is that the test revealed an interesting flaw in the Smart Cruise feature. The system quit, and a message came on the dash flashing: “Cruise Unavailable – Clean Sensor.” The snow must have distorted the sensor and it wouldn’t work. Some miles later, however, the snow was replaced by rain which washed off the snow and the system began to work again. In the meantime, I was quickly awakened as I came on slowing traffic without the radar sensing impending disaster.

On the same subject, I have often complained that Toyota’s smart cruise was not as smart as most others in that it ceased to operate at about 25 mph. Now, I’m testing a Toyota Camry I find they may have adopted the truly smart version of ‘smart cruise’ that allows for the car to come to a complete stop and start up again when traffic begins to move again. They may have listened to complaints and joined other cars that use the best version of Smart Cruise? I hope to see it in other Toyota products upcoming.

My Recommendation:

Clearly the US companies have and still do dominate this segment of SUV market. They do for a good reason. They have the most experience and generally do a better job with the large truck platforms that apply to this class SUV as well. They generally perform better overall. Some experts put it this way – US products in class are better family haulers with better fuel economy and power which US consumers demand. Many want to haul boats and mobile homes which is prevalent in US culture.


Among top of the line SUV’s, well priced, super comfortable, good power, luxurious and huge cargo capability – last but not least they are all built in the USA.


Poor fuel economy across the board in class, Toyota’s version of Smart Cruise Control not the best, but there are signs they may be changing.

Standard Features:

5.7 liter V8, 381 horsepower dual VVT (variable valve timing) engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 4-WD with locking center differential, tow hitch, electronic modulated air suspension, adaptive variable suspension system, 20” alloy wheels, Safety Sense, pre-collision w/pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, sway warning, auto high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, rear backup camera, blind spot monitor, power liftgate with jam protection, trailer sway control, windshield wiper de-icer, anti-theft system with engine immobilizer, front side and side curtain airbags and driver knee airbag, child protector door locks, LATCH system, front and rear parking assist sonar, LED headlights and fog lights with auto on / off, power auto-dim heated mirrors with memory power folding with Reverse tilt-down feature, power tilt and slide moonroof with shade, rear spoiler, running boards, privacy glass, climate control with air filter, JBL audio with Nav and app suite, High resolution touch screen, Bluetooth, USB, HD radio with 14 speakers , CD, SXM-3, rear seat Blu-Ray Player with 9” screen, power windows and locks, power liftgate, Keyless entry, 7 passenger leather trim seats, heated and vented 10-way power driver seat and 4-way front passenger power seats, heated sliding, reclining 2nd Row captain’s Chairs with 1-touch access to power recline, fold flat 60/40 3rd row seats.

Gas Stats:

13 City and 17 Highway MPG

$3.15 / Gal of gas avg. March 12, 2019

for more information.

MSRP $67,635.

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