Reviewers say the 2012 Toyota Sequoia (Base MSRP: $40,930 to $61,805) exemplifies the best of the large SUV category. It can be configured to fit up to eight passengers, and reviewers say that it's the most comfortable of the large SUVs in that respect. Bolstering that trait is the Sequoia's maximum tow capacity of 7,400 pounds (with two-wheel drive and the available 5.7-liter V8). The passenger cabin is well appointed and offers a full range of useful amenities, and the sizable interior is capable of holding up to 121 cubic feet of cargo when both rear seating rows are folded.
Aside from providing the expected large SUV strengths, the Sequoia delivers exceptional comfort and road manners for a vehicle its size. Edmunds.com says the Sequoia's ride quality "ranges from very good to positively cushy" depending on which trim level you get.
The downsides that reviewers mention are the relatively poor fuel economy and high price when loaded with options, but these issues are common to large SUVs in general, not unique to the Sequoia.
With a choice of two smooth but powerful V8 engines, an appealing mix of standard and available equipment, and Toyota's well-established reputation for reliability, it's easy to see how the Sequoia rises to the top of large SUV reviews. See our detailed review of the 2012 Toyota Sequoia (Base MSRP: $40,930 to $61,805)for vehicle specifics and insight into what the experts are saying.
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe ((Base MSRP: $38,530 to $55,850)) and 2012 GMC Yukon (Base MSRP: $39,860 to $57,780), based on the same platform and nearly the same by every substantial measure, are also well reviewed by experts. The Tahoe and Yukon have maximum towing capacities that exceed 8,000 pounds in certain trim levels and can carry up to nine passengers (again dependent on trim/configuration). Smooth V8 powertrains and 109 cubic feet of storage with the seats folded down add to the Tahoe and Yukon's allure. That said, reviewers generally find the interior packaging and driving dynamics of the Sequoia to be superior to those of the big General Motors SUVs. See our full reviews of the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe ((Base MSRP: $38,530 to $55,850)) and 2012 GMC Yukon (Base MSRP: $39,860 to $57,780) to learn more about each model and see full reviewer impressions. Both are available with longer bodies (and more interior room), in the form of the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban ((Base MSRP: $41,995 to $57,890)) and 2012 GMC Yukon XL (Base MSRP: $57,450).
Large luxury SUVs offer the same advantages of nonluxury models such as the 2012 Toyota Sequoia, but they go well beyond standard makes and models in terms of glitzy styling, available technology features and premium amenities. The best-reviewed large luxury SUV is the 2012 Inifiniti QX56 (Base MSRP: $59,200 to $62,300).
Wrapped in styling that's simultaneously glitzy and polarizing, the QX56's muscular 5.6 liter V8 churns out 400 horsepower and is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Reviewers say the combination gives the QX genuine quickness despite its ample size and weight. Furthermore, maximum tow capacity is 8,500 pounds when optioned appropriately. The interior is loaded with quality materials and has a layout reminiscent of Infiniti's luxury sedans. Some reviewers say the power-folding third-row seat is a snug fit for adults, but the majority say that driving or riding in the QX56 is comfortable and luxurious. Folding down the rear two seating rows opens up 112 cubic feet of cargo space.
Luxury features abound. Power folding heated mirrors, a heated steering wheel, sumptuous leather and a 13-speaker audio system are standard, while niceties such as adaptive headlights, power folding second-row seats, an around-view camera system and dual-screen rear entertainment system are on the QX56's extensive available equipment list. Our full review of the 2011 Infiniti QX56 has complete details about the model and compiles opinions from a variety of experts.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class ((Base MSRP: $61,570 to $85,300)) is a close runner-up to the Inifiniti QX56. Stylish and luxurious, the Benz offers a diesel engine option and is well-reviewed by nearly everyone who tests it. Pricing soars well beyond that of the Infiniti QX, however, starting at $61,570 and climbing to $85,300.
More ConsumerSearch reviews
2012 Chevrolet Suburban ((Base MSRP: $41,995 to $57,890))
2012 Ford Expedition/Expedition EL (Base MSRP: $36,530 to $52,330)
2012 Audi Q7 (Base MSRP: $46,250 to $59,950)
2011 Toyota Land Cruiser (Base MSRP: $69,120)
2012 Lincoln Navigator/Navigator L (Base MSRP: $57,775 to $62,840)
2012 GMC Yukon XL (Base MSRP: $57,450)
2012 Nissan Armada (Base MSRP: $39,280 to $54,740)
2011 Lexus LX 570 (Base MSRP: $79,455)