• 2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport versus the World’s Toughest Towing Test (Video)


    2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport

    This is our first opportunity in several years to test a Toyota Sequoia on the Ike Gauntlet™ – world’s toughest towing test. This is a 2018 model with several updates, such as the street performance oriented TRD Sport package, new grille, headlights, and Toyota’s latest driver assistance technology package (TSS-P).

    Under the hood is still the familiar 5.7L V8 with a rating of 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and 4WD system with a 4.30 rear axle ratio.

    The Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of the highest elevation interstate in the country. It’s a 7-percent grade with twists and turns with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. There is approximately 32% less air density at the very top.

    How did the Sequoia do? Check out all of the Ike Gauntlet™ fun in the video below.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    24 thoughts on “2018 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport versus the World’s Toughest Towing Test (Video)

    1. Styling is fine with me.
      But payload stinks.

      With 6 passengers and their luggage you wouldn’t have enough payload for 2 bikes mounted on the trailer hitch.

      I’m guessing you were a over pay load on this like run.

      You can either haul passengers or haul a trailer but not both at the same time.

        1. Apparently the GM grade braking wasn’t much help, sine both the chevy and the GMC had more brake events then the Sequia.

          Oddly enough the Sequoia had 7 brake events.
          The Tahoe had 8 or 9 .
          The GMC I think have 11.

          Sequoia by comparison had less brake events it was commented on haveing good control of the trailer where the Tahoe was commented on having lacking or less then desired control over the trailer. They all climbed the hill within seconds of each other. The Sequia didn’t need those add on mirrors to see around the trailer, its mirrors were adiquit for towing. Self levelingrear suspension is available on the sequoia .

          They didn’t talk about pricing but guessing the Sequia likely had a $15-20k lower MSRP.

          Which were all reasons why I had so issue with how it scored so much lower then GM twins.

          1. That’s dependent on everything from rolling resistance of the tires, to gearing, and transmission tuning. If it’s using the AB60E/F, the gear ratios are ridiculously tall. That would aid in engine braking, especially with that huge 5.7 DOHC V8. And with a bland Toyota interior and a fuel economy rating of 17 Highway / 13 City (absolutely ridiculous on 2018), it NEEDS $15-20k off MSRP to compete.

    2. Glad to see the sequoia in this years testing.

      I agree the refresh for 18, really didn’t go far enough to bring it fully up to speed with its competitors.

      I thought the subjective scores might have been a bit low, I though they maybe knocke it a bit to much for certain things. I went back and watched the 2018 Yukon and Tahoe test and the subjective were really high on those. Which I thought was also bit odd since I know a few areas that the sequoia beats the Tahoe. Like interior spaces, leg room, seat comfort.
      As far as tech all 3 only have back up cams similar size screens. The safety tech is now right on par with others.

      Toyota does offer self leveling rear supension on the sequoia, though their sport model test unit didn’t have that feature. I agree knock it for lacking break controller, but to me having to screw with those add on mirrors every time you tow, would be more of a long term repetitive hassle, compared to adding an aftermarket break controller once to the sequoia.

      I agree the Tahoe 6.2 and Yukon with 6.2L with 10 speeds and solid rear axles are without a doubt going to have an advantage in towing, just can’t agree it’s that big of a difference indicated in the scores.

      There was also value or cost difference in those 3 that was very substantial. Maybe cost/value should be given a score to factor in.

        1. Not really expecting it, simply agreeing it could use a few updates, like surround view camera system, push button start, and maybe some removal of some of the excessive use of hard plastics on the interior. Maybe give it the land cruisers 8 speed and taller gears to improve fuel mileage. Basically all those features exists on the 2016+ Land Cruiser.

          1. @Fleetguy: Good point about the eight speed and I’m surprised it hasn’t made its way to the Tundra yet. I recall MS stating some features of the LC do make their way to the Tundra.

            Speculation on my part: perhaps the Tundra will start to take it’s own path? If so, then may be a glimpse of this on Thursday.

        2. I was thinking the same thing. Toyota moves at a snail’s pace. They’ll have a 2018 Yukon/Expedition competitor in 2 to 3 years at best.

      1. Didn’t go far enough?? The refresh didn’t really do anything!! This is the oldest most tired least capable dinosaur still on a new car lot!

        Toyota has not made up the ground they lost between 2009 and 2014.

        1. The fuel economy is a really painful stat to look at. 17 MPG highway? 13 MPG city? OUCH. 20 years ago Toyota was praised (even by me) for fuel efficiency. What happened?

      1. @Brandon: Since the Tundra hasn’t really changed in quite a while now there would be nothing new to expect, unless TFLTruck tow 10K up the Ike with it.

          1. All of you Tundra critics, the Tundra is all about duribility and lasting a long time without a lot of repairs. I have a 2007 5.7 liter crew max 4×4 with a tow rating of 10,200. This is now a 11 year old truck that has ever been a problem.

    3. Toyota started to offer an ITB for the Tundra a couple of years ago. The 1st version had problems; as a matter of fact there was a heated discussion over on Tundra Talk as to it working properly or not. The “heat” led to the thread being closed.

      So, I’m surprised this Sequoia did not come with one since one is available for the Tundra.

    4. Toyota oddity: they have 3.91 gearing standard, but every trim level comes with the tow package containing 4.30 gears. Dorsnt seem like you need those for a measely 13600 GCW.

      1. The gear ratios of the AB60F would force Toyota to go with 4.30 gear ratios. The Aisin AB60F’s gear ratios are way too tall for its application in a modern vehicle, so while a 4.30 diff ratio seems aggressive, it’s only to allow the tall gearing of the transmission to work.

    5. TuRD indeed. Toyota really has alot of catching up to do in the SUV and pickup scene.

      The Ram 5.7, GM 5.3, Ford 5.0, and Nissan 5.6 are all better engines with more advanced transmissions behind them.

      Really hoping TFL gets a 10 speed 5.0 for the Ike!

    6. I suspect that the intelli hitch was activating the trailer brakes downhill. Even though the vehicle brakes were not being applied the trailer brakes were being activated by the hitch. That could be the reason for only 7 brake apps. with seemingly no grade shifting.

    7. Even though it is old platform for the Sequoia it did hang with the gm twins. I wonder if will see a 5.0 from the Lexus in the trucks?

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