Originally Posted by RFP
Linda and I are so excited that we will be picking up our new-to-us 2014 23D International Serenity later this week. We are 99.99% sure that our trusty '96 Land Cruiser won't be satisfactory for the weight... sometimes it seemed to struggle a bit when pulling our Casita (~ 3,100 pounds on the road). The truth is that we don't want a truck, preferring a SUV. Right now, I'm thinking 2008~2012 Toyota Sequoia with the 5-point-something V8, six speed transmission and all the towing stuff. I've read a number of threads about this vehicle and all seemed pretty positive, but all I found were 'kinda old."
So, I thought that I'd post this question as to the suitability of the Sequoia with the 23D for current thought. We do like to travel frequently to the Rockies, if that matters, and it probably does.
Thanks so much,
You don't say what engine or tow rating your 96Gland Bruiser ;-) has, but if it's a V8 it may be okay to pull the 23 AS home at least, if no grades.
As for a used SUV - I'd suggest trying to get one with a factory backed CPO extended warranty, or else Fidelity has been recommended for a 3rd party warranty (they also do the factory CPO for VW, Audi & I think Porsche & maybe others). Others may recco other 3rd party warranty providers for Toyota & other makes.
Whatever the make/model/engine you settle upon, I'd also suggest looking for a 1-2 owner SUV at below 60,000 miles (or less) which has been well cared for - even babied, has all maintenance done on time always by either a dealer or good independent specialist, & has records of all work.
It's also a good idea for both you & your wife to go out & test drive the different ones to see which you actually like, since they've changed a lot since your 96. Any of the 3 Toyota SUVs from that era would be fine TV choises, but you may also want to look at some other options too - as others have said.
Also the smaller mid-size with the same V8 weighs less, ergo you have more power available to tow with the same engine. So that may be a consideration for you guys, if you don't need/want the big SUV.
We looked at the full range of mid-sized SUV options in the `06-12 MYs with a V8, before deciding what was right for us is the 08-12 Porsche Cayenne S, for which we're currently looking. The reason only mid-size is given our narrow driveway & streets - we just can't fit the full size SUV/Pick-up, nor will my wife drive one (unless emergency .... maybe).
One thing I ran up against is that most of the used SUVs on the market tended to be 100-200,000 miles at that 3-10 year age range, whereas it's fairly common to find a sub-60,000 mile Porsche Cayenne S which has been properly maintained & babied by their owners. Ditto with the other luxury brands tending to be better kept & lower miles - like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus & Infinity.
The Toyotas & their Lexus cousins are great trucks with great reliability, but Sequoyah (correct spelling for the Cherokee man it & the tree/park was named after BTW - but it is just too big for us), & the 4Runner V8 & Land Cruiser V8 would work for you (& size-wise for us). I also looked at the full range of US, Euro & Asian options in mid-size SUVs, & many were dropped due to only offering a V6 (e.g.: Honda, Hyundai/Kia only V6), but most for the miles on them & the issues below.
From that 08-12 era mid-sized SUV with V8s & some with Diesel - there are some reliability & longevity issues which I heard/read about including, some of the Dodge/Ram Durango V8s, Chevy Trailblazer & GMC cousin, Ford Explorer V8 & Lincoln cousin (older body style), BMW V8 & Diesel.
While even a V6 Diesel will have plenty of torque to pull a trailer like yours - more than a V8 in some cases - you should be aware that the regular maintenance will cost more than on the gas vehicles, & you'll have to keep track of the extra emission control fluid, as well as fuel, oil & coolant.
The above is not a deal killer - just a consideration, but the current "VW diesel debacle" has spilled over into their V6 Diesel used in the Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg & Audi Q7 models. While they have the emissions equipment & fluid that their smaller 4 cyl TDIs lack - & why their "fix" for the smog test cheating program was needed, their software being questioned is apparently related to the cold running mode for the need to maintain temps to induce ignition in diesels. So I'd be cautious if you look at any of those 3 options - but I understand that at least Porsche is giving an extended warranty to 10/100,000 on their 2013-15 diesels (2016 is a different 3.2 or 3.6L Porsche only diesel motor & they only had diesels since `13 MY). There are a few topics on here about those TV options in V*, V6 & diesel flavors - if you're interested.
In the end, you'll have to pick what fits your needs & wants.
PS - FYI our rig is an older restored vintage kin 1960
Avion T20 which is about 3000-3500 lbs wet & loaded, with a Hensley Cub & we've been towing since we got it in July 2012 with various rented Nissan Pathfinder 4.0L V6 (mid-size, but we'd want a V8 version) & full size F150 & F250, Dodge 2500 in both V8 gas & diesel motors (but too big for us & our driveway).