It’s never a good thing when you just finish driving a hot sedan like the Lexus LS 500 F Sport and then get into a bigger vehicle like the 2018 Toyota Sequoia. When we got behind the wheel of the large Sequoia SUV, we had to adjust our mindset to accommodate the larger vehicle’s driving dynamics.
At first we pushed the gas pedal, expecting to fly past slower traffic like in the LS 500, but that didn’t happen. With that said, we will shift gears and take an objective look at the 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport, which is built for off-road fun.
What’s New For 2018
Toyota has added the TRD Sport trim. All Sequoias now have LED headlights and additional standard safety features, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. A restyled grille and gauge cluster round out the changes for 2018.
Features & Options
The 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport ($54,340) comes standard with LED headlights, sunroof, power rear window, tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40-split reclining and fold-flat third-row bench, plus second and third-row retractable sunshades. Other features included a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, 6.1-inch touchscreen, and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player and satellite and HD radio.
Standard safety features included forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic-adapting cruise control.
The TRD Sport trim ($3,810) adds a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels, second-row captains chairs, heated 10-way power driver’s seat, four-way power passenger’s seat, Entune Premium audio, navigation, and special exterior styling details.
Total MSRP including destination: $60,219.
The 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport with its 20-inch wheels sits up a bit higher than the standard model, and shorter folks may need to use the grab handles to pull themselves up and into the cabin. This Sequoia’s interior is designed for families that want extra luxury. This is a family hauler built for comfort but it can also get you away from civilization.
The cabin is packed with extra goodies and comes well-equipped with navigation, heated front seats, and luxurious leather seats in front and back.
The front seats are extra comfortable and supportive, with good 10-way power adjustability, ready to keep you steady for a full day on the road. Our tall riders in the back thought the second row captains chairs had plenty of leg and hip room as we motored to get lunch this earlier week. Mom will like the power rear lift gate and extra cargo carrying ability behind the third row for camping gear or sports equipment.
If you need more cargo room, just flip a switch and the power-reclining third row folds flat.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport is powered by a 5.7-liter V8, producing 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission; the optional four-wheel drive was included with this tester.
EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 13/17 city/highway and 14 combined mpg.
The 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport offers solid dynamics on the road and will travel well for long weekend trips. The rear backup camera and blind spot monitoring make the bigger vehicle easy to handle in town too. The vehicle’s recreation-purposed attributes definitely set it apart from other SUVs. The reason to buy a Sequoia TRD Sport is the off-road ready suspension and towing capability.
If you are looking for off-road capability along with a comfy ride, this large SUV fits the bill. If you want a rugged vehicle you won’t mind taking your significant other out on a date in, this is also the one for you. The cabin is quiet thanks to engineering efforts to isolate road noise. In fact, we didn’t notice much noise from the TRD ’s more aggressive tires.
While most Toyota Sequoia owners will likely never take their vehicle truly off-road, you can with the 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport. It’s built with multi-mode 4WD, a locking center differential, and front and rear stabilizer bars. The Sequoia TRD Sport will handle the rough trails with ease but we felt the big SUV could use a bit more power as we pulled up the mountain roads this week. With a full load of people and cargo, we can see where it may leave you wanting for more power, not to mention fuel economy.
The Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport is designed for the more adventurous owner. It can be taken off-road, yet there is plenty of extra comfort and luxury for long road trips.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy