Toyota was kind enough to lend us their 2017 Toyota Sequoia Platinum Edition for a week to put to the ultimate test. You know, two kids, bulky carseats, and running around town enjoying some of our favorite things to do in The Woodlands. Here is a breakdown of some of our favorite family fun dates and how the Toyota Sequoia made it a breeze.
First and foremost, the dreaded carseat install. Not going to lie, this is one of my least favorite parts of being a parent. I am putting my sweet baby’s life into the hands of a special seat. CRINGE. I was SO surprised at how easy and secure our carseats installed into the second row of the Sequoia. As a two child family, I very much appreciated having a center console instead of a black hole between the captains chairs. Even more impressed (for 2+ kid families) at how compact the seats fold up to access the third row. (I had to loosen the base just a touch to get the seat to fold up, but super easy to tighten). We loaded up and my first impression was at how much space we had and how confined I DIDN’T feel.
We have a 2017 Toyota Tundra and the backseat is the size of a twin bed. Don’t quote me, I’m probably being dramatic, but seriously IT IS ROOMY. The Sequoia is no different. Tyler is 6’5″ and was not even close to being crammed in this monster with a bulky carseat behind him.
Also, Remi decided to show us the cargo space as we loaded up the stroller. She is a tall and heavy dog for her breed and she looks like a chihuahua compared to this cargo area! Color me impressed!
Before we even leave the driveway, Cameron’s favorite part of carrides (she doesn’t have many) is watching a movie. Insert the saving grace DVD player for the 2nd and 3rd rows. We have been warned my veteran parents about the dreaded movie picking fights, but I don’t care. Anything is better than her very strong opinions about riding in the car. I mean look at her, she is a huge movie buff so The Sandlot is right up her alley. Screentime, smeeentime. It’s safer for us all. #momlife
Now onto the goods. We love living in this area for the wide variety of food options we have. Some of the greatest (kid-friendly) restaurants are in The Woodlands area. By kid friendly, I mean nobody is going to get upset while drinking their $200 bottle of wine by my toddler who wants a “naaaat!” (snack). Some of our go-to’s are:
GRINGO’S THE WOODLANDS
(I didn’t get photos of us eating because… kids)
Cameron is your average ball-of-energy toddler, TO THE MAX. It is safer for everyone if she is confined to the stroller. I have had trouble over the past few years finding a cargo area that could hold a stroller, let alone a double. We have the City Mini GT Side By Side. Even though it folds up flat, it is still bulky.
We try to alternate between places where she can freely roam and places where she can ride. Our current favorites are:
The Woodlands Children’s Museum
The Woodlands Waterway / The Mall
Rob Fleming Park
Creekside (The Shopping Center with Crust)
It’s important that she has space to burn energy but some of these areas, like the Waterway, it’s not safe for her to be roaming so into the stroller she goes. Usually, she doesn’t protest too much. The Creekside shopping center even has a splash pad going during the summer. Well water fountains that kids play in, haha! Our current favorite is definitely the Children’s Museum!
When I say, big, I mean big. But here is the kicker, although this is one of the heaviest SUVs on the market this baby drives like a sports car. The 4×4 will get up and GO, whip into seemingly small parking spaces and tote around the gaggle of kids and groceries. Eli’s bulky carseat has plenty of space and Tyler isn’t jammed into the driver seat. We have had our fair share (ehhmm, 8?) of SUVs and guess what? They go back because I NEED ALL THE SPACE. I absolutely hate being crammed into a car and not able to move around. Claustrophobia to the max.
The carseat installs took less than five minutes and were so secure I didn’t have any doubts. With these two in tow, it’s easy to get bogged down with toys, snacks, and a bag full of diapers. As we drove around this week, doing our research, I never once thought we didn’t have enough room. Granted, there are only two of them…
What really gets me, is the Sequoia’s ability to get out of the way as we refer to it. This is one of the most powerful V8’s either of us have driven. It’s quiet and smooth which is not something you’d expect from a car of this magnitude.
If you are in the market for a large SUV with tons of space that doesn’t feel like you are driving a bus, the Sequoia needs to be at the top of your list. A huge thanks to Toyota for letting us put her to the test!
Until next time!