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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Toyota Sequoia Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Toyota Sequoia Overview

As Strong as the Tree It's Named After

The Sequoia represents a bit of a departure for Toyota. Introduced just last year, the Sequoia is priced to fit between the venerable 4Runner and the top-of-the-line Land Cruiser. Though it fulfills the role of the middle child, the Sequoia is the largest of the three, placing it squarely in territory once dominated by Ford and GM. With prices ranging from $32,000 for a 2WD SR5 model, all the way up to $45,000 for a fully-loaded 4WD Limited, the Sequoia has proven itself a worthy opponent for vehicles like the Expedition and Tahoe.

For most consumers, an SUV must have three basic virtues: it must have plenty of room, plenty of power and provide adequate protection for everyone onboard. You'll find the Sequoia excels in all three areas. Lift the Sequoia's hood, and you'll find a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 240 horsepower and 315 lb.-ft of torque, helping it attain a tow rating of 6500 pounds. This engine is remarkably smooth and the power it delivers comes on quickly without wavering—that is as long as you keep feeding it gas. Not that theSequoia is a total gas-guzzler; the EPA rates it at 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway (2WD.) The Sequoia is also certified as an ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) which means it is environmentally friendly—well, as friendly as a 5000-pound, V8-powered SUV can be.

The Sequoia's considerable size translates into interior dimensions bettering that of its main rivals. Even with the third-row seat in place, you will find a useable amount of stowage space behind it. Remove the 50/50 split third-row seat (it comes out in two pieces for easier handling), fold and tumble the second-row seats forward, and the Sequoia delivers a cavernous 128 cu. ft. of space; more than enough to haul a few sheets of plywood or a dozen bags of mulch or two antique end tables. The third- row seat also slides forward and back, allowing you to choose between more legroom for your passengers or increased cargo space. And you won't find yourself hunting for places to stash smaller items because the Sequoia has built-in rear storage space, specially designed hooks for hanging plastic grocery bags and no less than ten cup holders.

The Sequoia features a long list of standard equipment. The base SR5 comes outfitted with power windows, mirrors and door locks as well as cruise control, automatic temperature control, auto-off headlights, AM/FM/Cassette/CD with six speakers and a 4-speed automatic transmission. The upscale Limited package adds leather seats, a JBL audio system, alloy wheels, 8-way power driver's seat, a roof rack, fog lights and the Homelink system. Needless to say, the Sequoia's interior can be a pretty comfortable place to spend a few hours traveling.

At this point, you're probably thinking, "OK, it sounds good standing still, but how does it drive?" The answer to that is a hardy "not bad." This is an SUV after all, not a sports car or a luxury sedan; and it's a BIG SUV. On wide-open highway expanses, the Sequoia feels stable and true. Though derived from the Tundra pickup truck platform, the ride is as smooth and bump free as any sedan. Negotiating curves in any vehicle with a high center of gravity requires an added measure of caution, and the Sequoia is no exception—especially when carrying a full load. Give it the respect it deserves and you will likely find the Sequoia is relatively self assured in most driving situations—though parking it is a whole other matter. A vast sea of headrests (one for each occupant) and the high rear end hinder rear visibility and make backing up an adventure in "guess where the bumper is now?"

Finally we come to the safety aspects of the Sequoia. Many people rely on the vehicle to protect them in the event of an accident, but the best-built vehicle in the world can't do its job if the people in it don't buckle up. For this reason, Toyota has equipped every passenger with a three-point seatbelt. The Sequoia has special crumple zones designed to absorb energy in the event of an impact and reinforced side pillars and door frames to protect against side-impacts. Optional on both the SR5 and Limited are front side airbags and a side-curtain airbag. Anti-lock brakes are standard, as is skid control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC).

All in all, if you need a vehicle of this size, the Sequoia will probably not disappoint you. The added comfort of knowing that Toyota's legendary build quality, reliability and high resale value come at no extra cost should only make the decision that much easier.

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