Toyota's big three-row Sequoia SUV isn't exactly suited to high-speed dirt road action. It's heavy, soft, and takes up a lot of space—qualities you'd want in a family-friendly daily-driver, not a rally car. But with enough bravery, even the giant Toyota utility vehicle can carve through a gravel stage sideways.

Wyatt Knox, head instructor at the Team O'Neil Rally School in New Hampshire, managed to get his hands on a 2012 Toyota Sequoia Limited to discover its (very low) limits. Based on the 4Runner, it has a V-8 paired to a six-speed automatic, but has to lug around 6,000 pounds of weight—not ideal for any sort of performance driving.

After pulling a few fuses to disable the anti-lock brakes (and by extension, 4WD), Knox finds the Sequoia surprisingly playful on Team O'Neil's testing grounds. With all of that power going to the rear wheels, kicking the back out is easy, though left-foot braking is a struggle, as the SUV cuts power anytime it senses both the brake and throttle pedals are pushed at the same time.

Things get a bit more difficult as Knox moves to the timed rally stage. It's here where the Sequoia shows its size and weight, as he struggles to get the SUV stopped and turned without the soft suspension bouncing it off the road. At least the foot-pedal-operated parking brake works like it's supposed to. 

The Sequoia ends up running a 1:58.9 around Team O'Neil's rally stage course, way quicker than Knox was expecting. The time was quick enough to beat out legit off-roaders like the Tacoma and even the Bronco Raptor in 2WD mode. Of course, it still fell behind legit performance vehicles like the Subaru WRX and the CanAm Maverick side-by-side. Still, this Sequoia is proof that anything can be a rally car if you're brave enough.

Get the best news, reviews, columns, and more delivered straight to your inbox, daily.
For more information, read our
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com