- Standard hybrid
- More powerful
- More towing
- More efficient
- More features
- Cramped third row
- Tundra looks
- Juddery towing
- Awaiting MPG
- Capstone doesn’t feel like luxury
The redesigned 2023 Toyota Sequoia comes with three rows and a hybrid powertrain.
What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia? What does it compare to?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that shares its hybrid powertrain with the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. Last redesigned in 2008, the Sequoia represents the largest passenger vehicle in the Toyota family and competes with other large three-row SUVs such as the Nissan Armada, Ford Expedition, and Chevy Tahoe.
Is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia a good SUV?
With a strong but relatively efficient powertrain and good value on the base SR5 model, the redesigned Sequoia is a welcome update to the full-size segment. But juddery towing and cramped third-row space limit its appeal. It earns a TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10, before accounting for fuel economy. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia?
The redesigned eight-seater rides on a new platform shared with the Tundra. Enhancements include more torque, more power, more towing capacity, and greater efficiency, as well as more standard safety and convenience features and a new infotainment system.
It wears a full-sized look, too. The front end pleases papa bear Tundra with a broad, horizontally accented grille flanked by LED headlights that wrap around the bulging front fenders like a corner brace. With its black roof rack and black 18-inch alloy wheels, the TRD Pro model shows off the brawn of the new Sequoia.
Inside, the horizontal theme carries over with a dash trimmed in everything from chrome-like plastic to real wood on top Capstone trims. A wide truck-like console with several storage levels sits under a center stack crowned with a 14.0-inch touchscreen on most models.
The big body-on-frame Sequoia still conquers the trail, but its road manners improve as does its efficiency. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 hybrid makes 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque, which is a vast improvement over the 381 hp and 401 lb-ft in the outgoing model. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but most models are four-wheel drive with a 2-speed transfer case for off-roading. Towing tops out at 9,520 lb, but it’s not as smooth as the Tundra in our testing. Acceleration is brisk, and the engine noise is muted until pushed, keeping the cabin relatively calm for a vehicle this size.
The new Sequoia extends 3.0 inches longer but the hybrid battery pack eats up some space. In back, a second-row bench seats three or captain’s chairs hold two. It folds and tumbles forward, but only the 60/40-split third row slides forward and back. The cramped third row sits above the battery pack, however, so only kids can fit back there with any degree of comfort.
The NHTSA and the IIHS haven’t crash-tested the Sequoia, but Toyota equips it with standard driver-assist features that reduce the likelihood and impact of crashes.
How much does the 2023 Toyota Sequoia cost?
The redesigned Sequoia gets a price bump of nearly $10,000 from the last generation. It starts at $59,795, including a $1,495 destination fee, for the base SR5 grade, and extends to $76,795 for the top Capstone trim. The base SR5 with 4WD and a TRD Sport package best captures the essence of the Sequoia.
All Sequoias come with a sunroof, heated front seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a surround-view camera system.
Where is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia made?
In San Antonio, Texas.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
If you like the look of the Tundra pickup truck, then you’ll appreciate the related Sequoia.
Is the Toyota Sequoia a good-looking SUV?
It depends on your take on blockiness. A couple of odd elements keep us from giving the new Sequoia a point for its exterior design, but the streamlined and uncluttered inside earns it a point to a 6 here.
From the front, the Sequoia channels the Tundra with a broad mesh grille and LED running lights that split down the fender in an illuminated brace. Also shared with the Tundra, its big blocky fenders and chunky hood give it a muscular profile, while chrome window trim and roof rails give it an air of sophistication around town. Wrap-around taillights hug the rear and an integrated roof spoiler smooths the rear end. Toyota made the doors open wider for easier access, but they eat into the window line in a way that doesn’t harmonize with the rear quarter windows. TRD Pro models flex their adventuring prowess with three orange safety lights in the grille, black 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, and dual TRD exhaust tips.
On the dash, most Sequoias will have a 14.0-inch touchscreen, but the 8.0-inch touchscreen on the base SR5 better integrates the dash lines. Vents flank either screen like ears. The Sequoia has a band of climate buttons and a lower band for towing and drive modes, so the touchscreen is only for multimedia, navigation, and deeper settings.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
Brisk acceleration and calm handling grace the new Sequoia, but towing is less than smooth.
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia earns a point for its responsive twin-turbo V-6, as well as for its off-road and towing capability. Its independent front suspension and multi-link rear with an available air suspension keep it from handling as rough and tumble as a truck, so it’s a 7 here.
How fast is the Toyota Sequoia?
It’s quicker than you’d expect, and hits 60 mph in the low six seconds, by our estimate. Its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 437 hp and 583 lb-ft, and the engine noise feels much further removed from the cabin than the old V-8, giving the Sequoia a sense of refinement it lacked before. That’s especially true with the acoustic front glass doors of the Capstone grade, but giant side mirrors thrum up plenty of wind noise. A motor generator sits between the engine and 10-speed automatic transmission for low-speed EV driving below 18 mph. The transfer of power is mostly unnoticeable, although the transmission can shudder between low gears.
For passing moves at highway speeds, the 10-speed takes a tick to downshift as it powers out of its efficient overdrive gears. The lack of paddle shifters doesn’t help, though there is a manual mode on the gear selector. The hefty steering wheel is well-weighted, and for the most part the Sequoia does a good job balancing the muscle of a truck with the calm of an SUV.
Is the Toyota Sequoia 4WD?
Rear-wheel drive comes standard, while 4WD costs $3,000 more on all but the Sequoia TRD Pro, where it is standard. The Sequoia TRD Pro feels natural off-roading, with effortless climbs, balanced articulation, and a smooth quiet ride on the gravel surfaces preceding the technical portions.
With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, the Sequoia TRD doesn’t get the 1.1-inch lift given to Tundra TRD Pro models, but 2.5-inch Fox shocks with internal bypass make the off-roading even more effortless.
Three drive modes, Sport, Normal, and Eco alter the engine mapping, while three additional modes, Sport+, Comfort, and Tow/Haul, change damping on vehicles equipped with the adaptive variable suspension. Toyota ditched the independent rear suspension in favor of a solid rear axle and coil-over rear springs that enable the Sequoia to tow up to 9,520 lb.
When towing a 7,500-lb boat and trailer, it can judder at speeds over 50 mph, but the 10-speed finds and holds the right gear so the engine doesn’t strain. The recessed receiver has a cap that can be popped off by hand.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
Comfort & Quality
The Toyota Sequoia seats up to eight people in three rows of seats, but it’s tight in back.
The front seats on the Sequoia come with power adjustments and seat heaters, so getting and staying comfortable is never an issue. But the seats in back and the cargo area might require a bit more planning. Still, it’s an 8 here for comfy fronts, roomy enough rears, and the ability to fit at least four adults and a couple kids.
Bench seats come standard in both rear rows to seat up to eight. Captain’s chairs can be swapped out for the second-row bench to seat seven. In either configuration, the second-row seats don’t slide forward, but the third-row seats slide about 5.5 inches fore and aft. Only kids will fit in the wayback and even that comes with a caveat. With the third-row seats slid forward to optimize cargo room, any human with legs will not fit. With the seats in the rearmost position, toe room, head room, and cargo room get squeezed down to just 11.5 cubic feet. That’s smaller than the trunks of some compact sedans.
The 60/40-split third-row seats don’t fold flat into the floor due to the hybrid battery, which was placed there instead of higher traffic areas under the second row. Toyota utilizes a tiered removable cargo shelf that can be set in three positions to keep things neat. At its highest, it creates a storage shelf accessible by lifting the glass on the split tailgate. With the third row folded down, cargo space expands to 49.0 cubic feet. Flatten the second row and the Sequoia can hold 86.9 cubic feet behind the front seats.
Cargo room and third-row space is better in GM’s full-size SUVs. Unlike many rivals, Toyota doesn’t have a pushbutton release to tumble the second row forward. From the back, third-row passengers pull a strap mounted at the base of the seat, which may be challenging for grade schoolers.
Twin USB-C and USB-A ports as well as cup holder armrests over the wheel wells add some convenience for those in the wayback. Standard power reclining and folding also ease the pain. Comfort will be lacking, however.
Toyota gussies up the Sequoia in top Capstone grades with walnut trim and leather hides, but the SR5 feels more authentic with durable plastic and metallic trim and cloth seats.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
The 2023 Sequoia’s helps it withstand a crash, and its driver-assist tech helps it avoid one.
How safe is the Toyota Sequoia?
Like its predecessor, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia lacks crash-test data. But the first new model in 15 years might warrant scrutiny from both the IIHS and the NHTSA. Until then, we’ll withhold a rating.
With a curb weight exceeding 6,000 lb with four-wheel drive, the new Sequoia should hold up well in the event of a crash. Fortunately, Toyota equips it with driver-assist features designed to avoid or mitigate crashes. Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitors, and front and rear park assist. It also has a standard surround-view camera system.
One thing limiting the Sequoia is the short windshield, made even shorter when equipped with the 14.0-inch touchscreen. To have such a limited band of outward vision on a vehicle this size is unusual.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
Good standard features make the Sequoia SR5 our recommended pick.
All Sequoias come with a sunroof, power and heated front seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone compatibility, a 14.0-inch touchscreen on all but the base SR5, and a surround-view camera system. The standard features, good infotainment system, and optional TRD Pro packages earn the Sequoia a point each to an 8 here.
Toyota sells the 2023 Sequoia in SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro off-road edition, and a new range-topping Capstone trim first introduced this year on the Tundra pickup truck. Toyota provides a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty with 2 years or 25,000 miles of scheduled maintenance. Hybrid components are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Which Toyota Sequoia should I buy?
Even though the 8.0-inch touchscreen on the base SR5 might be small by new truck and new screen standards, it does the job just fine and has the same infotainment system. Designed in North America, the infotainment system rights all the wrongs of its outdated predecessor and the “Hey, Toyota” voice commands are excellent. Free of pretension, the $62,795 SR5 with 4WD feels more authentic to the Sequoia experience. The only thing missing is a heated steering wheel, but it’s an option. There are cheaper full-size SUVs, but not when all the standard features are factored in.
How much is a fully loaded Toyota Sequoia?
The Capstone trim with 4WD costs $79,795. In addition to 22-inch chrome wheels, other fancy finishes include power running boards, black-and-white leather upholstery, American Walnut wood dash trim, and LED mood lighting. The 2022 Chevy Tahoe High Country and 2022 Ford Expedition Platinum cost as much but feel more luxurious.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
The EPA hasn’t certified the 2023 Toyota Sequoia.
Is the Toyota Sequoia good on gas?
We can’t say for sure until the EPA finalizes its mpg rating, but the Sequoia’s twin-turbo V-6 hybrid powertrain promises to be significantly greater than the abysmal 15 mpg combined in the predecessor. The Tundra improved from 15 mpg combined with the old V-8 to 22 mpg combined with the V-6 hybrid.