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2011 Toyota Sequoia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Toyota Sequoia was new.


Performance: 8.5

Reviewers are pleased with the 2011 Toyota Sequoia's performance. While few have tested the base 4.6-liter V8 engine, the optional 5.7-liter V8 receives positive reviews for its ability to quickly move the heavy Sequoia. Reviewers also note that the brakes are surprisingly strong. Several reviewers say they're impressed by how easy the Sequoia is to drive, provided you remember it's a large SUV and drives that way.

  • " Large and in charge, the Sequoia lumbers down smooth roads and jiggles down rough one." -- Car and Driver
  • "If the Sequoia can't compare with the Land Cruiser off the beaten path, it handles on-road duties with refinement. Over all, it is a reliable, high-quality S.U.V. that does what it was designed to do admirably well." -- New York Times

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota Sequoia comes with a 4.6-liter 310-horsepower V8 engine on the base SR5 trim, or a 5.7-liter 381-horsepower V8 engine on the Limited and Platinum trims. Both engines are connected to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Few reviewers have tested the 4.6-liter engine, but those who took the larger engine out report that it performs exceptionally well.

Fuel economy, however, is a disappointment to some reviewers. Two-wheel-drive Sequoias with the 4.6-liter engine get an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg city/highway. With the 5.7-liter engine, two-wheel-drive Sequoias get 14/18 mpg city/highway. Four-wheel-drive Sequoias with the 4.6-liter achieve 14/19 mpg city/highway, while the 5.7-liter manages 13/18 mpg city/highway.

  • "There's plenty of power from any speed with the 5.7-liter V8, but the transmission's reluctance to downshift can complicate passing and merging maneuvers." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Once under way, the 5.7L i-Force doesn't break a sweat."-- Four Wheeler
  • "A valved main and additional secondary muffler keep the 5.7-liter quiet until you summon serious thrust, the six-speed auto is near faultless," -- Truck Trend
  • "The Sequoia is available with a choice of two V-8 engines, including a 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 381 horsepower." -- Cars.com
  • "The new 5.7-liter has dual overhead camshafts, each independently variable to optimize valve timing and hence power, maxing at a hearty 381 horsepower with a trailer-tugging 401 lb-ft of torque. " -- Dallas Examiner
  • "The 5.7-liter V8's abundance of low-end torque makes passing maneuvers effortless, and the six-speed automatic is always on point with gear selection, even when towing. Even the 4.6-liter V8 pulls hard, particularly if you won't be maxing out your SUV's payload and towing capacities on a regular basis.” – Edmunds

Handling and Braking

At nearly 6,000 pounds the 2011 Toyota Sequoia handles like the large SUV that it is. Critics complain about excess body roll in turns due to a softly sprung suspension. However, this results in a comfortable highway ride. Like the Sequoia’s surprisingly quick acceleration, reaching 60 mph from 0 in 6.2 seconds, the 2011 Sequoia also possesses very strong braking performance, stopping from 60 mph in 139 feet, according to Automobile.com. In comparison, they said “the 5.4-Liter engine in the Ford Expedition performs the 0 to 60 mph test in 9.1 seconds and then brakes in 154 feet." 

  • "In any Sequoia, fast turns result in marked body lean. Combined with steering that's too light and indirect, it takes the fun out of twisty roads. Still, straight-line stability is confident, and Sequoia is composed in most every routine maneuver, with the bonus of a usefully tight turning radius and outstanding brake control." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Around corners, the suspension does a fine job of managing 3 tons of SUV, though the numb steering adds to the overall sense of heft.” -- Edmunds
  • "It's still big and for the most part drives that way." -- Truck Trend
  • "However at no time should the handling be considered "sporty." It goes around corners like the tall vehicle it is." -- Dallas Examiner
  • "Around corners, the suspension does a fine job of managing 3 tons' worth of SUV. The steering is well-weighted and precise, but doesn't quite provide the feedback of GM's Tahoe/Yukon twins." -- Edmunds

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