2008 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4x4

As gas hovers around $4 a gallon, it’s hard to get really excited about a super-sized SUV like Toyota’s new Sequoia. But many larger families with towing needs are hard-pressed to find a car-like crossover or minivan that brings the size and muscle to the party the way Sequoia does.

Buying a massive SUV nowadays is truly a tough call. Forget about whether you can afford the fuel or not, it’s hard not to be concerned about the environmental statement you’re making when driving such a gas-guzzling behemoth. Yet it’s hard to rule out the sheer utility and convenience afforded by such a vehicle. You’re sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I recently had the opportunity to test drive the latest Sequoia from San Diego to Big Bear mountain ski resort on snowy and icy roads and came away duly impressed.

As a current minivan owner, my wife and I can’t complain about the ease of hauling our three kids and dog around on family trips. But there’s something still uncool about driving a minivan. No offense to soccer moms and diehard minivan fans, but over the five years I’ve owned a minivan, every year brings me closer to adamantly knowing I’ll never own another minivan. Part of my issue is that my kids are getting older and I don’t need the super convenience of sliding doors and seats that are essentially designed for infant and toddlers.

It’s with this thinking, and the fact my wife and I always seem to be carpooling our three kids and their friends, that we longingly eye the big powerful SUVs. I figured a four-day trip to Big Bear would give me a great impression of Toyota’s largest and most powerful SUV to date.

The 2008 Sequoia, which is built on Toyota’s Tundra truck platform, has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is bigger, roomier and more powerful than its predecessor.  But don’t let the tough, truck-like exterior fool you. Inside, you’ll find all the creature comforts and conveniences of any high-priced sedan on the market.

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