Dragans 300k Sequoia

Dragans 300k Sequoia

Photos by Dragan Nikolic, Shane Williams, Alana Williams

2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4WD Premium

A well adventured truck that’s nearly 20 Years old is still ready to explore!

I wish I can say I bought the truck brand new, but I am proud to say I did buy it from the original owner; a pastor from Virginia who bought the truck brand new in 2003. 

Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the Google Play Store!Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the App StoreSupport TCT on Patreon

Jose had the undercarriage coating put on from the factory, which has lasted the entire life of the truck to this point.  He moved down to south Florida in 2006 where he made countless trips up to Disney with his young, growing family.  Too big to fit in his garage, the Sequoia spent every blazing summer sitting outside, but not a single sunspot can be found except that the rear window did not work after a while; and of course the rear hatch latch ceased operation along the way too.

300,000 mile sequoia

Fast forward to July 2016; my 1st born was due mid-September, and we had already decided to move up to IL to be around family and have a better support system.  At the time, we were driving a 2000 Toyota Rav4 with 214k on the clock.  Being so satisfied with the quality and dependability of the Rav, I knew I wanted a 4Runner so we had a bit more space and 4WD. Going back up to the Chicago winters, I had to have 4WD as well as some towing capacity.  Needless to say, it wasn’t easy locating a 4Runner in my price range but I found this over-sized behemoth of a Toyota called the Sequoia.  It was priced well for having 238k on the clock, so I went to see it.

300,000 mile sequoia


It definitely needed some love: tires, timing belt, head gaskets, brakes, and door locks for starters. However, I negotiated Jose down to $4000 cash and took it straight to my mechanic where I traded a 200 Nissan Altima for all the mechanical work needed to drive safely up to IL towing a 6 x 12 trailer.  We had our baby girl, and a week later, we moved to IL – we got there safe and sound thanks to our new to us Sequoia.

300,000 mile sequoia

One October day, I walked out to our driveway and discovered our rear window totally open!  How can that be, it hasn’t worked for years, how did it just go down?  Well, it turns out the cold is good for something because it apparently was hot melted shut for all that time and just needed some 40-degree weather to loosen it!  Ever since that moment, my rear window has worked perfectly!

300,000 mile sequoia

So now instead of blazing hot sun all summer, the Sequoia sat outside in the driveway during polar vortex’s, temps below -40F.  Not once did it fail to turn over in the morning; not one time. Sure, it didn’t like it, there was screeching from the serpentine belt, the radiator fan, and other moving parts but I found you just need to get going and get that oil circulating and the ole’ 4.7 just forged on.

300,000 mile sequoia

After that winter, I had originally planned to sell her, but I asked myself what for?  She did everything right so far, so we’ll give her another year. After several years I started bragging about my 280k mile Toyota. I joined the Toyota Sequoia club on Facebook and realized that I had made one of the smartest purchases for a vehicle a person can make!  The love affair began and finally in January 2022, after moving back to Florida, I had full confidence in her to make one last trip up to IL to empty out a storage unit and tow a 6 x 12 trailer cross country one last time.  60 hours, 2400 miles, 6,000lbs on the hitch, no issues whatsoever.  Unbelievable.  And to boot – the 300,000 mile threshold was surpassed.

300,000 mile sequoia

Now that we’re back in FL, I plan to use the Sequoia for trips to the beach and to explore all over. I will have her until some bitter end likely a long time from now. I also have to thank my truck for giving me transportation without a car payment after all these years. Because of that, I saved enough to buy our dream home in Florida! 

I’ve never had issues with the truck, but I have been very keen on the maintenance.  I found that having a mechanic that appreciates Toyota’s engineering and quality helps when you need things fixed that you didn’t know you needed fixed. 

Below is a list of work done over the last 6 years:

  • Shocks / Struts
  • Calipers and Brake lines
  • Lower Ball Joints
  • Timing Belt, Water Pump
  • Valve Cover Gaskets
  • Front Door Locks
  • Rear Main Seal
  • Oil Changes Every 5k – Penzoil High Mileage 5w-30
  • Rear diff fluid
  • Transmission Fluid change every 30k miles

SPC HalfPage WEB 

To get your copy of the

Spring 2022 Issue:

Download Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine
Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Printed Magazine
Read Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine Online

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-date industry news, events, and of course, amazing adventures, stories, and photos!

tct FBtct TWtct FB

tct social