Several changes are coming to Toyota's largest SUV for 2012. The automaker recently announced the new model year will bring two new features to its full-size Sequoia, each designed to make driving the SUV easier and more convenient for consumers.

First up among the Sequoia's new features is a standard Trailer Sway Control system, which will benefit shoppers looking to use the SUV for towing. Also standard on Toyota's full-size Tundra pickup, Trailer Sway Control uses the Sequoia's standard traction control system to help keep a trailer heading steadily forward if outside forces like wind or evasive driving cause it to sway.

Consumers looking to take advantage of the Sequoia's 7,400-pound towing capacity and rigid, truck-based chassis will appreciate trailer Sway Control. Ford added a similar system to its large Expedition SUV for 2010, while Chevrolet's full-size Suburban is also gaining trailer sway control for 2012.

Also new for 2012 is an optional Blind Spot Monitor, which is available on upscale Sequoia Platinum models. Designed to enhance safety by warning drivers when other vehicles are in the SUV's blind spot, the system is particularly important for the Sequoia, whose large size and elevated seating position can sometimes make it difficult for drivers to see smaller vehicles located in blind spots.

Otherwise unchanged for 2012, the updated Toyota Sequoia is expected to reach dealers by the end of the year. While Toyota has not yet announced pricing for the new model year, we expect only nominal increases from last year's base prices, which started at just over $40,000 for a base-level Sequoia SR5 and rose to well over $60,000 for a top-of-the-line Sequoia Platinum.

Featuring a standard 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 with a muscular 381-horsepower V8 included on Limited and Platinum models, the Sequoia has struggled to find the popular following enjoyed by domestic rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. Last month, the Sequoia recorded just 860 sales, while the Tahoe and Expedition sold around 9,000 and 3,500 units respectively.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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