By Gary S. Vasilash
Vehicle naming protocols can be a tricky thing.
There is a tendency for OEMs to opt for metals when naming vehicles at the top end of their lineups. Platinum is exceedingly popular. The metal is 78 on the Periodic Table. Gold does it one better, however, at 79.
But somehow gold doesn’t seem quite as exclusive as platinum does. In fact it seems rather common (perhaps it has something to do with those late-night commercials from outfits offering to buy your jewelry).
But if platinum keeps being rolled out as a moniker, then it will become far too common. Soon it will become like, well, gold.
That said, the new Mercedes C-Class has a group of interesting trims:
The “Exclusive” name is the most amusing in that if something is truly exclusive do you have to tell someone? And if you have to tell someone, is it exclusive or obscure? (And unless you want to sell a whole lot of something, isn’t obscure, in some ways, better, more, well, exclusive without claiming to be?)
“Premium” sounds like an adjective used at outlet malls.
“Pinnacle” is good. Still, it seems a bit out of place for a sedan. Sounds like an SUV (e.g., Jeep Summit.)
But Toyota has just done Mercedes one better.
The 2023 Sequoia, a full-size, three-row SUV that is about the size of a small but stylish building (it can town 9,000 pounds, so think, perhaps, tiny house), comes in five grades, with the pedestrian Limited and Platinum (see?) and the Toyota-specific SR5 and TRD Pro.
But the ultimate, and really an outstanding choice for a vehicle of the Sequoia’s magnitude (remember, that comes from the name of that massive redwood), is:
When you consider that the Sequoia is at the top of the Toyota lineup, the top trim for the model truly has to be called out as a crowning achievement.
(Were one to be snarky, it might be pointed out that “stone” isn’t exactly the sort of thing that one would like to ascribe to a vehicle that is meant to move, as that term can bring to mind mass, and while Toyota hasn’t released the specs for the 2023 model yet, the lightest 4WD 2022 Sequoia weighs 5,985 pounds, and the Platinum trim (go figure) comes in at an even three tons. But (a) we aren’t going to be snarky and (b) we really like the Capstone name.)