Toyota continues to refresh its aging roster of trucks and SUVs with a completely redesigned Sequoia that takes advantage of the automaker’s improvements to the next-generation Tundra pickup introduced last year.
In addition to sharing a platform with the Tundra, the new Sequoia is packed with significant upgrades in technology, powertrains, safety features, comfort, fuel economy and driving dynamics. The SUV, which goes on sale this summer as a 2023 model, is largely unchanged since 2008. The new model will be the third-generation Sequoia.
“The new Sequoia basically needed a top-to-bottom update,” said Stephanie Brinley, automotive analyst at market research firm IHS Markit. “Competitors in the segment offer more in terms of technology, interior finish and quality.”
Brinley said the full-size SUV segment became more competitive as the Sequoia aged and sales dropped.
Toyota sold just 7,000 Sequoias last year. It was the lowest-selling large SUV in the US market. Chevrolet’s Tahoe was No. 1 with sales of more than 106,000, according to MotorIntelligence. The Ford Expedition was next with sales of nearly 82,000 examples. The large SUV segment, including offerings from luxury brands, typically sells between 500,000 and 600,000 units per year.
Toyota thinks it has an answer in the 2023 Sequoia.
What are the biggest improvements to the 2023 Toyota Sequoia?
“Our primary design goal for Sequoia was to create a sophisticated yet rugged and active lifestyle SUV that feels capable of handling a diversity of big adventure needs,” said Kevin Hunter, president of Calty Design Research, the home of American design from the automaker.
Two of the most striking improvements relate to technology and fuel economy. Toyota has replaced the small 7-inch touchscreen on the current model with a standard 8-inch version for the base SR5 trim level which can be upgraded to a 14-inch with the SR5 Premium package. The rest of the trim features the larger display.
The current Sequoia is a gas hog, with a fuel economy rating of 13 mpg for city driving that’s near the bottom compared to its rivals. The new Sequoia will feature Toyota’s new i-FORCE MAX twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain first appeared on the new Tundra and produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
Although Toyota didn’t provide fuel economy ratings for the new SUV – it plans to do so closer to the start of sales – the automaker said mpg will be “a huge improvement over the generation former”.
“Toyota steps closer to the competition with the completely redesigned Sequoia that features a more capable platform, standard hybrid powertrain, fully updated styling and advanced technology,” said Paul Waatti, head of analytics at Toyota. industry at consulting firm AutoPacific. .
“The new hybrid powertrain and 10-speed transmission simultaneously make the Sequoia more fuel efficient and more powerful than before, while positioning it near the top of the pack in the segment for power,” Waatti said.
The new Sequoia has more capabilities
The new vehicle architecture, which is also used for the new Land Cruiser which is being sold overseas, increases rigidity and improves ride comfort by using new manufacturing techniques. For example, new precision laser welding technology reduces mass and weight where it’s not needed while reinforcing areas that require strength, the automaker said.
The three-row SUV features independent front suspension and a rack-mounted electronic power steering system for improved steering feel. In the rear of the Sequoia, Toyota used a multi-link rear suspension for a smoother ride. This allows the automaker to sell load-leveling rear height-control air suspension and adaptive variable suspension upgrades to improve towing.
The new model is available in several configurations with options for bench seats or captain’s chairs. Both fold down to create more cargo space.
The third row has a sliding system that provides a 6-inch adjustment range for the seats. There is also a new loading system with a removable shelf that can be placed in different storage positions depending on the situation.
Toyota said the new Sequoia offers a maximum towing capacity of 9,000 pounds, an increase of nearly 22 percent over the previous generation. The automaker also offers tow tech options that include Trailer Backing Guide to help backing into a trailer and Straight Path Assist, which helps provide steering control to keep the trailer straight on its intended path. when reversing.
Styling and Trims
The new SUV also shares styling features with the Tundra pickup, including ridges in the fenders to give the vehicle a wider appearance.
Toyota will offer the 2023 Sequoias in five trim levels: SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro and the new Capstone luxury trim. An optional TRD Off-Road package can be added to SR5 and Limited 4×4 models.
All will come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 as standard, a suite of advanced driver assistance safety technologies. It includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The new system will detect pedestrians and cyclists. Other standard features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. The SUV also has automatic high beams, which turn on and off depending on traffic.
Other tech upgrades include a cloud-based multimedia and navigation system from Google that drivers can access via a “Hey Toyota” voice command. It requires an ongoing paid subscription after a one-year trial included in the purchase of the truck. It’s the same system in the new Tundra. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the new Sequoia.
Toyota offers a 36 month or 36,000 mile Toyota New Vehicle Basic Warranty which applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. It adds 60-month warranties to cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion without mileage limitations. Hybrid-related components, including the battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles. Sequoia also comes with ToyotaCare, a plan that covers routine factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles.