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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! (I apologize in advance for the lengthy post)

Just joined up today in the hopes of getting some real black and white answers on my purchase dilemma. In brief, I currently own a 2003 Sequoia SR5 which I've owned since new. Got 155K mi on it and I love it as much as the day I bought it. I have towed a variety of toys with it which currently is a 30' travel trailer. I'm looking to purchase a new SUV in the coming months and my research and preferences have me on the fence between the Sequoia and the Armada.

OK. So, I'm fairly intelligent and mechanically savvy. I usually do a crazy amount of research before purchasing anything, let alone a $60K vehicle! Putting trim levels and convenience features aside, my biggest issue is with the towing characteristics. I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is such a huge discrepancy in tow ratings favoring the Armada when clearly the Sequoia has 1. Larger engine (5.7 vs 5.6) 2. More HP (60+) and 3. Higher axle ratio gearing 4.3:1 vs 3.4:1. So, anyone looking at these specs on paper would say that the Sequoia would unquestionably tow more... Nope!! Not according to the brochures! Sequoia is only rated at a max 7100lbs (4X4 LTD) vs a whopping 9000lbs on the Armada (4x4).

How is this possible!!!?? We're not talking 200-300 lbs difference here.

Now, being research driven, I am familiar with the newly adopted SAE J2807 rating standard which, by the way, Toyota is the only manuf. to have adopted and published so far. My suspicion is that when other makers are forced to comply their ratings will drop considerably. This is the only viable explanation I can come up with for the huge gap in rating btw 2 very similar vehicles. Hence, I believe the Toyota to be underrated and the Nissan considerably over rated.

OK. That's where I am in my research/dilemma. Please offer any other insight and factual info I may have missed. I need to put this to rest and make a decision soon! Thanks everyone! -Pat
 

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Those new SAE J2807 ratings are the exact reason the Armada is rated higher. When I was doing some research into buying our SUV we considered the Armada. I was told by several RV dealers and a few mechanics to not trust the old ratings as they were more for marketing and not what the vehicle could actually handle. Case in point, my old Nissan Pathfinder was rated to tow 6,000 lbs. Our travel trailer, fully loaded, weighed about 5,800 lbs. While the Pathfinder could easily pull the trailer with lots of power, every time I did pull it I ended up replacing a u-joint. It just wasn't up to the task, not to mention is wasn't physically big enough (wheelbase) to handle a 26.5 ft trailer. A mechanic friend of mine said, using the old ratings, to never tow anything weighing more than 85 percent of the vehicle's tow rating.

Strictly speaking, from a wheelbase perspective, the new Sequoia is just shy of the recommended wheelbase recommended for a trailer the size I have, however, in real world applications, I have found the Sequoia more than adequate in pulling the trailer. Travelling through the Canadian Rockies last year we barely new it was there. The Sequoia didn't struggle at all, even on the steepest climbs. Having owned several Nissans and Toyotas, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Sequoia again. Just my opinion, but I think it is far superior to the Armada in functionality and appearance.
 

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When I was deciding to purchase, I looked at all the possibilities and also compared specs. I wasn't as concerned about maximum towing capacity since my 6'x10' trailer doesn't come close to 7,100 lbs max for the Sequoia. In terms of looks and interior quality, the Sequoia far exceeds the Armada and other large SUVs. You'll be very pleased with it. If you are concerned about the towing, see if the dealer will let you hook up your trailer during a test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! I should note that I'm currently towing with my Gen1 Sequoia and it does the job fine except steep climbs. I have no doubt that the new Sequoia with more than 140hp than mine will pull my rig all day long. The issue was more about making an inform decision based on real facts and info. With the rating difference so great, I just want to make sure I'm not missing some engineering feature I'm unaware of... I'll be looking at both of these again this weekend.
 

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If I'm not mistaken the 2008 Sequoia was rated at 10,000 pounds, obviously before they started using the new standard. Definitely think the Sequoia is the best choice over the Armada.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SKS, you are absolutely correct and thanks for pointing out the most obvious research point I overlooked!! I was so focused on the new vehicles that it never occurred to me to check an older model with the same set-up. Gen 2s were in fact introduced in 2008 and remain exactly the same today in regards to their engine and transmission (except for the 4.6L going away as an option). So, indeed, in 2008 the vehicle (pre SAE rating) spec'd in at 9100lbs towing with a GCWR of 17,280lbs!! I can see why other manuf are reluctant to adopt the new ratings! Looks like another Sequoia will soon be in my driveway!

Thanks all!!!
P
 

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Having owned both (a 05 Armada and now an 08 Sequoia) I have to say that they are both nice trucks. I think the Nissan is a nicer looking truck inside and out, but the reliability makes it a no brainer. The nissans are plagued with air suspension problems once the mileage gets up there. The sequoia is our second toyota product with that system and have never had an issue. One big advantage to the Nissan is the versatility of the second row. The console is quick removal if you have buckets. Also, no matter what configuration the outer seats are the same size, so you can easily add or remove a center seat if desired. Also Keyless ignition is a really nice feature. Plus those Armada Platinums sure are sharp looking.

All that taken into account, I'd rather have our Sequoia any day.


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Plus those Armada Platinums sure are sharp looking.
Funny, that's the main reason I wouldn't look at one, I think they are hideous, only to be topped by the new Infiniti SUV :td:
 

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I have one of the 08s with the mystical 10000LB towing capacity and pull a 35' TT no problems. I looked at the Armada also. I won't give you the spiel about the driver being the most important component since you already pull that load with Seq G1, but if you want search the towing section. My buddy has an 12 Armada.

My thoughts: nice looking vehicles, I prefer mine. Both have strong engines. The Armada interior is hands down better, the seat armrests very comfy. With both it's not the towing capacity but the GVWR that will get you. I get better mileage than my buddy, think it's the six speed vs five speed. The Seq mirrors are humungous, I don't tow with clip ons. The Seq trunk slopes towards the rear door...Tow / Haul mode doesn't diable rear sonar.... I forget but think the Armada has larger fuel tank. My plat has the rear camera - better half is always impressed when I put TT on the pin solo. Don't grin too much once you start towing with either of those power trains!.

And happy RVing!
 
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