2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro – First Impressions

2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro in the woods camping.

The 2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro Hybrid 4WD in Exclusive Terra.

When Toyota unveiled the 2024 Sequoia TRD Pro Hybrid 4WD in the stunning Terra color, it was clear that they had created something exceptional. This SUV piqued my curiosity with an $82,000 price tag and promising 20 miles per gallon. After my test drive during the Texas Truck Rodeo, I can confidently say that the Sequoia is a force to be reckoned with.


The Terra color is a head-turner. It adds a bold and rugged edge to the Sequoia’s impressive exterior. This SUV exudes confidence with its large, three-row design, yet surprisingly, it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly massive when you’re behind the wheel. Toyota has balanced its imposing presence with sleek, modern styling, making it an eye-catching vehicle on the road.


Stepping inside, the Sequoia welcomes you with an extremely roomy interior. The large infotainment screen commands attention, offering easy access to many features. While the interior is simple and modest, subtle camouflaged touches add a unique flair. The center console is a standout feature, offering ample storage space and convenience. However, it’s not all praise for the interior. Some of the plastics used in the cabin feel disappointingly light and cheap, a surprising contrast to the Sequoia’s hefty price tag. It’s a small blemish on an otherwise well-thought-out interior.



Under the hood, the Sequoia boasts an impressive i-FORCE MAX powertrain, delivering 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque. On the road, this SUV roars to life with plenty of power to spare. Acceleration is brisk, and highway merging is effortless, all while maintaining a respectable estimated 20-22 combined MPG. One of the highlights of the Sequoia TRD Pro Hybrid is its off-road prowess. With advanced technology that aids in ascending and descending hills, it easily tackles off-road courses. However, it’s worth noting that the Sequoia’s size and weight make it less agile in extreme off-road scenarios. While it can handle rugged terrain, it’s not the nimble off-roader in its class.

Safety and Tech

The Sequoia has safety features, including Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5, which includes pre-collision systems, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alerts, and more. The blind spot monitor and parking assist systems provide added peace of mind in everyday driving. Toyota has equipped the Sequoia with a host of technological amenities. The panoramic view monitor and backup camera with a projected path make parking a breeze, while the 12.3-inch digital meter offers customizable information at your fingertips. The power windows with one-touch auto up/down and jam protection, a 400W/120V rear seat, and a cargo area AC power outlet add to the SUV’s convenience factor.


In conclusion, the 2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro Hybrid 4WD in the exclusive Terra color is an exciting addition to the SUV market. Its striking appearance, powerful engine, and impressive off-road capabilities make it a strong contender in the segment. However, the interior materials could use an upgrade to match its premium price tag. The Sequoia is worth considering if you’re in the market for a capable and eye-catching full-size SUV.

2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

Exterior – 8/10

Interior – 8/10

Performance – 9/10

Value – 8/10

Overall Grade – 8.5/10

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander – Test Drive Review

Toyota Grand Highlander Platinum is a fusion of performance, luxury, and family-friendly features.

I recently had the opportunity to test drive the all-new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Platinum, which left quite an impression on me. This family-friendly three-row SUV boasts impressive performance, a stunning exterior design, a luxurious interior, and a hybrid engine that stands out. Let’s dive into the highlights, making this car a remarkable choice for long and short family trips. The 2024 Grand Highlander catches your attention from the moment you see it. The unique front grille with integrated vents gives the vehicle an aggressive yet sophisticated look. The 20-inch alloy wheel, sleek LED taillights, and headlights contribute to its modern and dynamic appearance. The panoramic moonroof adds a touch of openness to the cabin, enhancing the overall experience for both drivers and passengers.

Luxurious and Aesthetically Pleasing Interior

Step inside, and you’re greeted by a well-designed interior that oozes luxury and comfort. The spaciousness of the third row, with an impressive 33.5 inches of legroom, ensures that even adults can sit comfortably. The available 60/40 second-row bench seating and 60/40 third-row fold-flat functionality make configuring the interior a breeze, allowing for flexible cargo and seating arrangements. Heated front seats and an available heated steering wheel are perfect for chilly mornings. At the same time, the second-row retractable window sunshades and three-zone automatic climate control contribute to a serene and comfortable atmosphere for all passengers. The ambient lighting sets the mood, creating a pleasant ambiance during night drives. With abundant cup holders and power outlets, the Grand Highlander ensures convenience for all occupants.


Hybrid Performance Excellence

The Hybrid MAX option delivers a robust 362 net horsepower and an EPA-estimated 27 combined MPG for those seeking even more performance. Integrating three distinct driving modes (Sport Mode, Eco Mode, Normal Mode) allows drivers to tailor their driving experience to their preferences. Multi-Terrain Select or Trail Mode, available on all-wheel-drive models, enhances traction across various road conditions.

Unparalleled Safety and Cutting-Edge Technology

The 2024 Grand Highlander strongly emphasizes safety, thanks to the standard Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite. Features like a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Lane Tracing Assist contribute to elevated driving confidence. Automatic High Beams and Proactive Driving Assist further enhance the safety net. The tech features in the Grand Highlander are equally impressive. The 12.3-inch touchscreen with Toyota Audio Multimedia offers intuitive controls and access to features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, streamlining connectivity. The Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging eliminates the hassle of cords while keeping your devices charged. And if you’re an audiophile, the 1,200-watt JBL Audio System with eleven speakers promises a phenomenal sound experience.


The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is a standout three-row SUV at a $60K price point. It ticks all the boxes for families seeking performance, luxury, safety, and technology. Its hybrid engine sets a new standard for efficiency and power, making it an ideal choice for short daily drives and long family road trips. The sharp exterior design and thoughtfully designed interior ensure that you’ll be riding in style, while the array of features, from safety to entertainment, provide a truly exceptional driving experience. Toyota has succeeded in creating a family-friendly vehicle and a pleasure to drive.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Platinum

Exterior – 8.5/10

Interior – 8.5/10

Performance – 9/10

Value – 10/10

Overall Grade – 9/10


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2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve Is Unparalleled Performance and Luxury

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is better than ever.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has long been regarded as one of the most iconic SUVs in the automotive industry. With its combination of legendary 4×4 capability, refined on-road performance, and premium features, it has garnered numerous awards and accolades over the years. Now, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve takes this legacy to new heights by offering exceptional performance, comfort, functionality, and a touch of luxury. The SUV has a noteworthy feature. It is built using a global unibody vehicle architecture. It also has three rows of seats and can comfortably accommodate up to seven passengers. The cabin has individual climate zones for each occupant, making the journey enjoyable for everyone on board. The interior of this vehicle is stunningly comfortable and luxurious, with plush materials and advanced technology. No matter where you sit, you can expect to enjoy an incredibly comfortable ride.

Jeep has also introduced several new features and options for 2023.

The SUV offers advanced driver-assist systems, 360-degree surround view and night vision cameras, and an L2 driver-assist system with hands-on automated driving. The available 10-inch digital screens, Uconnect 5 system, windshield Head-up Display (HUD), digital rearview mirror, and rear-seat monitoring camera. The Summit Reserve model also boasts an exclusive premium 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, ensuring exceptional audio quality for all occupants.

Jeep vehicles provide authentic off-road capabilities.

It has three 4×4 systems that improve traction and an active transfer case for better performance. It’s perfect for rough terrains with a ground clearance of 10.9 inches and the ability to navigate through water up to 24 inches deep. The Jeep Selec-Terrain switch offers five modes to optimize performance, and the Overland and Summit models have Hill-descent Control for better control on steep inclines.

Two engine options are offered on the 2023 model.

Our test model came with the standard 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine. The engine generates up to 290 horsepower and 257 lb.-ft. of torque. At the $77,000 price point, I would have expected the 5.7-liter V8 engine, which offers 357 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines have a reliable TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth gear changes and improved fuel efficiency. However, what holds this model back is the undersized engine for the yacht on wheels, which is nearing almost $80k.


As the SUV pulled into the driveway, I was struck by its mesmerizing Hydro Blue Pearl exterior. But, upon seeing the stunning interior, I realized that a different paint job would have been more complimentary, despite my love for blue. This Summit Reserve SUV offers luxurious options and features. Everything inside is on par with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, making it a great choice for families. Despite feeling perky at times, this model’s steep MSRP had me expecting a beefier engine. I’m also concerned about its MPG, as I only got a combined 16.5 miles per gallon with a V6, but that may be due to my heavier foot. However, the SUV does offer a comfortable ride, a spacious cabin, and numerous luxury features, all in an attractive-looking SUV.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve Rating 

Exterior – 8/10

Interior – 10/10

Performance -7/10

Value – 7/10

Overall Grade – 8


Jeep Grand Wagoneer (Series II Obsidian) – 2022 Test Drive Review

The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer makes road trips effortless.

The good folks at Stellantis once again got me behind the wheel of their impressive Jeep Grand Wagoneer. This time it was Series II Obsidian model. I have been around this car a dozen times, which still amazes me. The Grand Wagoneer was my mode of transportation from Houston to Austin, where I covered the Fantastic Flim festival for my site Nerdtropolis. I knew this luxury SUV would provide an excellent and comfortable experience for my weekend journey.


Many have argued that the Grand Wagoner has a lackluster exterior design. I beg to differ, as this SUV has distinct styling cues and is filled with brilliant easter eggs if you look closely enough. The Obsidian appearance package is my favorite color combo on the Grand Wagoneer. It provides a Bight White exterior color matched with Piano Black accents all over the SUV, from the wheels to the seven-slot grille to the window trim and roof.

Exterior Rating: 8/10


Many interior elements pay tribute to the Grand Wagoneer’s long history and feature high-end craftsmanship and added upscale materials. The interior design is elegant and modern, from the door panels to the dash and center console. Seating 7, every passenger will be pampered with comfort, tech, and entertainment. The front passenger gets their own screen, and two more touchscreens are mounted onto the headrests for your rear passengers. One of my favorite features is the McIntosh Entertainment System, which provides crisp and excellent sound. Additionally, the center console mini fridge is a great and convenient addition. To top off, the luxury experience is the massaging seats with over a dozen settings.

Interior Rating: 10/10


The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer has a standard 6.4-liter V8 delivering 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque with the help of an eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite weighing over 6,300 pounds, the SUV can move quickly, especially when you need to pass on the highways. This SUV has an exceptionally smooth ride and offers excellent handling despite its extra large size. Navigating this yacht on wheels is a breeze, especially on the highway. Just recently, Jeep introduced the successor to this engine for 2023. It is a 510-hp twin-turbocharged inline-six called the Hurricane engine, and I have heard great things about it already. One is better MPG, as I was getting 14 miles per gallon on my trip, and this engine needed premium gas which can make a dent in your wallet.

This SUV has a 10,000-pound maximum towing capacity, three available four-wheel-drive systems, and a Quadra-Lift air suspension. The air suspension has multiple ride heights, allowing easy access into the SUV by lowering it by a half-inch and making it over obstacles with its 10 inches of ground clearance after raising the ride height to 3.6 inches. The Grand Wagoneer has safety features such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Active Lane Management, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear park assist sensors, Rear Cross Path detection, Active Driving Assist, and Night Vision.

Performance Rating: 9/10

2022 Grand Wagoneer Verdict

The Grand Wagoneer aims to compete against premium and luxury full-size SUVs like the GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade. It is the ultimate ultra-luxury SUV for large families that like to travel short and long distances. The Grand Wagoneer offers best-in-class overall passenger volume, best-in-class third-row head and legroom, and the most cargo volume behind the third row. The MSRP for the model tested above is $112,475.

I look forward to the future Grand Wagoneers, such as the newly introduced L, providing more cargo space.

Overall Rating: 9/10

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2022 Lexus GX460 Black Line – Review

The Lexus GX 460 is a remarkable platform longing for renewal.

The 2022 Lexus GX460 Black Line is a testament to the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While the model may be overdue for a restyle, particularly on the inside, it compensates with its commendable performance and suitability for road trips. Sporting a 12-year-old chassis, the GX460 might appear a tad outdated, yet it manages to carve its niche as a rugged, upscale, and capable SUV. Under the hood, the GX460 roars with a 4.6-liter V-8 engine that delivers a hearty 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain’s brawn translates into confident acceleration and effortless highway cruising, making it a prime choice for long-haul journeys. Its prowess extends to off-road escapades, as the GX handles diverse terrains with impressive dexterity.

Externally, the GX460 Black Line exudes a striking charisma with its black-themed exterior.

However, while the dark aesthetic adds a touch of elegance, there might be better choices for the scorching Texas heat. A design decision that prioritizes style over practicality, potentially requiring frequent cooling measures in warmer climates. Though lagging behind contemporary trends, the interior impresses. Seating up to seven passengers, the GX460 boasts impeccable craftsmanship, emphasizing luxury and ruggedness.

However, the interior’s age becomes evident, making a strong case for a revamp.

The introduction of a new 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system compensates for this deficiency. While not the largest in its class, this upgrade marks a significant improvement over the outdated system that plagued previous models. Dynamic versatility is the hallmark of the GX460. Its three-row configuration accommodates passengers easily and maintains a robust 4×4 capability to tackle city streets and treacherous terrains. This makes it an attractive proposition for families seeking adventure without compromising comfort.

2022 Lexus GX Rating

Exterior – 8.5/10

Interior – 8.5/10

Performance – 8/10

Value – 9/10

Overall Grade – 8.5/10


Despite its aging platform, the 2022 Lexus GX460 Black Line is a formidable contender. Its blend of raw power, off-road capability, and refined craftsmanship make it a worthy road trip companion. While it may be overdue for a design overhaul, its unique blend of style and ruggedness holds an enduring appeal. Just be mindful of its black-on-black aesthetic under the blazing Texas sun.

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