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Attack of the anti-Prius

Toyota's new Sequoia's a big beast, but at least it's very friendly.

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Toyota Sequoia Platinum 4WD
Toyota Sequoia Platinum 4WD
Platinum 4WD base price: $55,600
Base Sequoia: $34,150
You don't get be No. 1 on hybrids alone. Toyota needs to compete in every segment the other big guys are in, and that includes full-size - really full-size - trucks. And the automaker is going after that market big-time, boosting the size and power of the Sequoia SUV.

You might be surprised to learn that the large SUV market has held pretty steady for the last couple of years. Unlike mid-size SUV buyers, full-size buyers are SUV die-hards. They want a real truck that can haul and tow. Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition buyers aren't switching over to crossovers because crossovers just don't get the job done.

But they might switch over to a big SUV that's quicker and more powerful and that offers a richer, more functional interior. While General Motors and Ford are picking up their game in mid-size cars, a market they long ago conceded to Japan, Toyota is taking a shot at Detroit's last safe haven - big trucks. And it's hitting hard.

NEXT: Power play
Last updated March 14 2008: 8:35 AM ET