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ANOTHER SPECIAL EDITION ADDS OFF-ROAD CHOPS: 2020 TOYOTA SEQUOIA TRD PRO

As the years start to pack onto the Toyota Sequoia, we’ve officially ran out of fingers to count out how long it has been in production and sadly our company frowns upon taking shoes off during business hours to continue our tally. But over the last 12 years, the Sequoia has continued to sell in bulk amounts which leads to Toyota’s its discretion, why change what seems to be working.

Since its launch in 2008, its modest proportions have stood the test of time with room for 8-passangers, a sturdy 5.7-liter V-8 under the hood and the ability to tow something more than your average camper trailer. But as the wrinkles set in, its humble abode is starting to rely more on special editions in attempt to stay relevant. One of which is the TRD Pro. 

Completing the TRD Pro series, the Sequoia is the last of Toyota’s mantra to receive all of the off-road goodies that’s featured on the Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra TRD Pro variants. Generating a more diverse, universally enhanced family wagon, the Sequoia is upgraded with Rigid LED fog lights, a FOX Suspension kit and a more durable front skid plate. The TRD Pro also offers a more functional roof rack, aluminum running boards and 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum wheels.

As meek as its performance may be, its 381-horsepower and 401lb-ft of torque suits its 6000-lbs weight well. Its aging six-speed automatic on the other hand didn’t fair to well when it came to returning a positive outlook on fuel economy as we barely entered the teens.  On the driving end of things however, the upgraded TRD suspension with 2.5-inch Fox coil-over dampers in the front and 2-inch monotube rear dampers in the rear, the ride is more subdue than the standard Sequoia. While we wouldn’t recommend jumping any sandy dunes, it’s a suspension that makes the off-road trail a little more tolerable.

In the event someone thinks their large family SUV is just too quiet, the $1050 TRD cat back exhaust on the Sequoia will be sure to keep a ring in your ear. As off-roading goes however, four-wheel drive is obviously standard on the TRD Pro where it’s an available option everywhere else. As simple as rotating a knob, the Sequoia features the simplicity of four-high and four-low with a transfer case and locking Torsen limited slip differential.

As we ventured out of our realm of city life into the woods for a weekend of frolicking it became apparent the Sequoia TRD Pro isn’t quite the extremist as we thought it would be. Handling some of the more moderate off-road elements were limited due to the limited amount of traction we could obtain from the tires and it didn’t help that it was missing some of the more advanced technology that the Tacoma and 4Runner offers.

If anything, we can call the Sequoia’s interior durable. Its design is very truck-like with an abundance of hard plastics and cheap materials. But the interior is at least a very functional place to be. The climate control knobs and dials are large and rubbery which wouldn’t require us to take our gloves off to adjust. For its time, the 7-inch touch screen is very much as dated and the volume control requires petite hands to operate, at least it had modern day features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa connectivity.

The interior is also comfortable as it is spacious. There’s plenty of room to move about and occupy its passengers without each other bugging the other. Newly fitted for 2020 are the 2nd row captain’s chairs that come standard on the Nightshade Special Edition and TRD Pro while the trim Platinum receives a leather wrapped center storage console. The SR5, TRD Sport and Limited models all feature bench seating for 2nd and 3rd row passengers while the Limited offers the option for captain’s chairs for $300 more. 

While the industry for large burly SUV’s continue to change, the concept will always remain the same – roomy, capable and expensive. With the Sequoia TRD Pro starting at $64,225 a similarly equipped Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 Off-Road or Ford Expedition FX4 Off-Road Package can start around the same sixty-thousand-dollar price tag. It doesn’t quite make for a compelling argument.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS

VEHICLE: 2020 TOYOTA SEQUOIA TRD PRO
BASE PRICE: $50,100
AS-TESTED PRICE: $67,029

PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE: 5.6-LITER I-FORCE V-8
HP | TORQUE: 381-HP |401 LB-FT OF TORQUE
TRANSMISSION: 6-SPEED AUTOMATIC
DRIVETRAIN: FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE
MPG: 13 | 17 | 14 (CITY | HIGHWAY | COMBINED)
AS TESTED MPG: 13.6PG COMBINED
FUEL RANGE: 300-MILES
0-60 MPH: ±6.5 SECONDS

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