Ultimate Utility


Now one year since we bought our big Toyota tree, you haven’t heard much about it at all.  I’ve struggled greatly to generate any emotional attachment to our Sequoia, but it has been a terrific workhorse.

In a year of ownership, I’ve put on around 10,000 km.  The truck is on its third pan full of oil, and second serpentine belt.  As expected from any Toyota without connections to a lesser car manufacture (aka GM or Subaru), it is solid and reliable despite having travelled more than 200k km over ten years.

 It has a couple of minor issues that I would love to address though.

  • wind noise at the sunroof – it probably just needs an adjustment.  The glass panel looks to sit a bit higher than it should.
  • drivers seat separation – threads broke and two pieces of leather on the lower seat are starting to separate
  • rear window – the biggest PITA.  I hate the roll down button on the FOB by accident one night in -40 weather and the linkage, which was somewhat rusty, jammed and broke.  When the window fell it broke the defrost connector off the window.  That’s going to be needed again soon.  I’m currently using magic to hold the window in position, preventing it from falling deep into the tailgate.  Getting tired of it.

When I think of these things, I imagine spending money to replace it with something newer.  FJ Cruiser? GX470? 100 Series Landcruiser?

The Sequoia though, has advantages over each of those options… with the only meaningful disadvantage being its age.

As a whole, it is pretty good at about everything.  We get six people into it quite often. It hauls kids and bikes, wheels and tires and shop gear.  It keeps the kids in a happy place on 1000km road trips. It pulls trailers.  For the first time this week, I put it to use on very wet and tumultuous terrain.  Some new rubber and a rear locker would certainly have allowed for more freedom, but it got the job done, while comfortably hauling the gear and people required to get the job done.

I’m not sure if all this is enough to make me really fall in love with the Tree… or if it’s enough to motivate me to actually put together a truck that I could easily love.

Will I wait yet another year to decide?

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