Update: ‘2023 Toyota Sequoia Review’ section added.
The Toyota Sequoia is an old American favorite with plenty of history. The second-gen Sequoia is thirteen years old, and though it has fallen behind competitors in recent years, it has overall had a fruitful outing in the market. And now, a new 2023 Toyota Sequoia looks to take the fight to Chevy and Ford’s models in the aspects of design, features, fuel efficiency, handling, and towing. The new Sequoia is key for Toyota in North America as, after the retirement of the Land Cruiser, the Sequoia is the brand’s SUV flagship.
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia features drastic changes on the design front. It builds on the 2022 Toyota Tundra’s “technical muscle” design theme, adding the style and sophistication one would expect from a passenger derivative. Toyota has not revealed the dimensions, but the redesigned model looks bigger than its predecessor.
At the front, the 2023 Sequoia flaunts a visibly dominating design, thanks to its larger, hexagonal radiator grille, the T-shaped LED headlamps, a more prominent hood, a chunkier bumper, and a silver skid plate.
On the sides, the clearly defined angular character lines and the squared wheel arches, along with the depressed section above that highlights their shape, provide a tough appearance to the 2023 Sequoia. Unlike in the previous model, the rear quarter glass merges with the windows, and the front three pillars are black. The D-pillars are sharply raked, underlining the SUV’s modern character. Lexus enthusiasts will spot an uncanny resemblance to the third-gen LX in the greenhouse.
Moving to the rear, the slim horizontal tail lights extend onto the shoulders. The new bumper is sleeker, adding sophistication to the look of the redesigned model. In contrast, the new silver skid plate tries to augment the ruggedness. A silver tailgate applique between the tail lights and the model name inscription below the license plate area in block letters are among the other visual highlights at the rear.
Toyota could’ve offered a sliding rear glass in the 2023 Sequoia, but it was quite challenging, and that’s why it went for a raisable rear glass. Mike Sweers, Executive Chief Engineer Truck Programs Commercial Vehicle, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development, spoke about the 2023 Sequoia’s design and development in detail to TFLtalk (via YouTube)’s Andre Smirnov. He said that Toyota adopted a hatch instead of a sliding glass at the rear because there’s an aluminum back door and it was difficult to use a flat glass with the styling Toyota’s designers at El Segundo (California)-based Calty Design Research wanted.
Consistency within our Toyota truck SUV is maintained by basing Sequoia’s direction on active recreation. And we also carry forward a strong interlock component design language that symbolizes unbreakable strength and you can see this in the body design.Kevin Hunter, President, Calty Design Research (2023 Toyota Sequoia world premiere on January 25, 2022)
Easter egg on the windshield
Today I’m in Texas filming the new Toyota Sequoia.— Doug DeMuro (@DougDeMuro) May 30, 2022
Fun fact: at the base of the windshield, the phrase “BADASS TRUCKS” is written in Morse Code! An amazingly obscure hidden Easter egg. pic.twitter.com/t8ptM8oGhX
The above tweet is from YouTuber Doug DeMuro, and it shows an easter egg of the 2023 Sequoia. Toyota has inscribed “Badass Trucks” in Morse Code on the windshield. The company told Road & Track the all-new Tundra also features this Morse Code on its windshield.
As expected, the 2023 Sequoia rides on a body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame, which is shared with the new Tundra. Referred to by Toyota as the TNGA-F platform, it debuted in the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 and now underpins the Lexus LX, too.
According to Toyota, the core objective of this platform is to provide excellent handling while also delivering supreme comfort and off-road capability. New techniques have made this platform more rigid over the previous generation Sequoia, such as a new laser welding technology that helps reduce mass and weight in areas it’s not needed while reinforcing the areas that need it most.
Like the Tundra, the 2023 Sequoia gets an independent front suspension and adopts a new rack-mounted electronic power steering system that Toyota says improves the steering feel, whereas the rear sees a multi-link suspension. Also seen on the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is the Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to improve the towing capabilities of the SUV.
Sweers told TFLtalk that Toyota wanted to improve the Sequoia without changing its overall size so that it remains “garageable.” The company changed the second-row seat a couple of distances to the first-row seat a little bit. It also lowered the front seats and gave a more comfortable seating position for the driver and front passenger. Thanks to a lower hip point, tall drivers and front passengers wouldn’t bump their heads anymore.
We didn’t go independent. Our current one has an independent suspension. We went multi-link instead of independent. We didn’t feel it was necessary of an independent suspension on there because I can get better ride quality out of this new platform.Mike Sweers, Executive Chief Engineer Truck Programs Commercial Vehicle, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development (via YouTube/TFLtalk)
Sweers said that Toyota went for a multi-link rear suspension instead of an independent rear suspension like in the predecessor because it was no longer necessary. The company was able to achieve a better ride quality out of the TNGA-F platform, so it was okay to have a multi-link setup instead now. This platform allowed a lot of component sharing as well. The Sequoia TRD Pro (covered in the section down below), for instance, shares a lot of components with the Land Cruiser 300.
It also allowed us to share components. Now, of course, your spring rates are different, your shocks are, you know, (different), dampening is different. These type of things (are different), but the basic geometry I can share between vehicles, which allows me then to share rear differentials and these type of components.Mike Sweers, Executive Chief Engineer Truck Programs Commercial Vehicle, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development (via YouTube/TFLtalk)
Speaking to YouTube channel MotoManTV (video released on February 7, 2022), Sweers interestingly revealed that Toyota initially planned to discontinue the Sequoia when it introduced the third-gen Tundra. However, Toyota would lose its presence in the full-size SUV segment in the U.S. with the discontinuation of the Land Cruiser and Sequoia. By keeping the Sequoia close to the new Tundra with the TNGA-F platform and lowering its development and production costs, he succeeded in convincing the board.
Interior & Features
The interior of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a straight lift from the Tundra. However, the trims and some plastic elements are spruced up with faux wood panels or glossy paint to appease the family car buyer.
Seating & boot space
The 2023 Sequoia can be had with either second-row bench seats or captain’s chairs, which can be reclined or tumbled to improve the luggage carrying capacity or comfort. For the third row, Toyota has given the SUV reclining backseats in addition to what the company claims is a segment-first slide feature which allows the row to move fore or aft with 6 inches of adjustment range. In addition, an adjustable cargo shelf system with optionally folding third-row seats ensures cargo can be stored in various configurations and sizes.
The maximum cargo volume is much lesser than the outgoing model (120.1 cu. ft.) – 86.9 cu. ft. The hybrid system’s battery pack mounted under the third-row seats is probably responsible for the space reduction. Customers can choose between fabric-, SofTex-, leather-, TRD Pro Softex-, and Semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats depending on the configuration.
Toyota Audio Multimedia system
Coming to the feature list, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is available with the locally-developed Toyota Audio Multimedia system, which, depending on the grade chosen, has screen sizes measuring from 8 to 14 inches, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, saved user profiles, cloud-based navigation, and a virtual assistant.
Other noteworthy features include a digital display for the rearview mirror, a Panoramic View Monitor which uses the cameras aboard the SUV for multiple view angles, a hitch view to assist with trailer connections, optional power-folding and extending tow mirrors, hands-free liftgate, 120V power outlets, heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, a premium JBL sound system, panoramic moonroof, Head-Up Display, LED headlights and taillights with sequential turn signals, rain-sensing wipers, and Qi wireless charging.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and much more in the 2023 Sequoia. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, and Rear Seat Reminder, and more is standard in the 2023 Sequoia. Other noteworthy standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking.
Toyota Sequoia Capstone
Like the 2023 Tundra, the 2023 Sequoia will be available in a new Capstone grade. The luxury-focused grade offers a more sophisticated styling and extra comfort. It includes 22-inch chrome wheels and unique chrome accents that give it an upscale appearance. This is the first time that 22-inch chrome wheels are available in a Sequoia, and they are exclusive to this range-topping grade. Another exterior highlight of the Capstone grade is power running boards.
The interior of the 2023 Sequoia Capstone packs luxury-grade, perforated seats in a distinctive black-and-white color scheme, a Capstone logo on the dashboard, and exclusive acoustic glass in the front doors. Toyota has accented the center console and passenger-side dashboard with American Walnut and an open-pore finish.
TRD packages & TRD Pro
The optional TRD Sport package on the 2023 Toyota Sequoia upgrades the standard 18-inch wheels to 20-inch matte-black TRD wheels, TRD sport-tuned Bilstein monotube shocks, and TRD-tuned springs.
The TRD Off-Road package, on the other hand, builds on its off-road character thanks to a selectable locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select that helps controls wheel spin for improved traction, Downhill Assist Control, Crawl Control, and a Multi-Terrain Monitor to provide a better view of hard-to-see spots for the driver.
Like its predecessor, the 2023 Sequoia will be available in a TRD Pro grade for extra-rugged styling and greater off-roading capabilities. As an off-roader, it packs TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shock absorbers, a quarter-inch aluminum TRD front skid plate, selectable locking rear diff, Crawl Control, and Downhill Assist Control.
I just think the vehicle is beautiful. I’m not going to lie, I know I’m a little biased, but I think it’s not a refrigerator on wheels. It’s just a beautiful SUV that really we’ve tamed to do many things. And as we talked before, to me this is simple sophistication, right. It’s very luxurious, but I can take it off-road and do things that a Land Cruiser would do.Mike Sweers, Executive Chief Engineer Truck Programs Commercial Vehicle, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development (via YouTube/TFLtalk)
The “TOYOTA” grille featuring marker lights and an integrated TRD light bar, exclusive 18-inch TRD alloy wheels, TRD roof rack, and a twin-tip TRD Pro exhaust make the 2023 Sequoia TRD Pro look ready for adventures. If that doesn’t cut it, there’s a special Solar Octane paint option. Inside, the TRD Pro grade of the all-new Sequoia includes premium equipment such as TRD heated steering wheel, seats and shift knob featuring TRD accents, and individual second-row seats.
All 2023 Sequoias feature the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain. First unveiled on Tundra, this hybrid unit produces 437 hp and 583 lb.-ft. of torque, and comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is packaged such that the motor (generator) is located within the bell housing between the engine and the transmission. A 1.87 kWh Nickel-Metal Hydride battery powers the motor in the case of the Sequoia.
Toyota has not revealed the fuel efficiency figures but says it will be a massive improvement over the current model. The SUV can be had as a 2WD or 4WD, whereas range-topping variants will come only as a 4WD with a driver-selectable lever to toggle between 2WD, 4WD High, or 4WD Low.
Additionally, a drive mode select switch lets the driver choose between Eco, Normal, and Sport modes, while the load-leveling rear height control air suspension includes settings for Comfort, Sport S+ and Custom. When set on Sport or Sport+, the i-FORCE MAX powertrain makes use of the electric motor’s instantaneous responsiveness to accelerate the SUV, though we don’t know the sprint times just as yet.
Compared to the outgoing Sequoia, the new model offers an approximately 26 percent higher towing capability, of up to 9,520 pounds.
|Aspect||2023 Toyota Sequoia Specification|
|Height||74.2 in. (SR5 4×4, Limited 4×2, Platinum 4×2, Capstone|
4×2)/74.5 in. (SR5 4×2, Platinum 4×4, Capstone 4×4)/74.6 in. (Limited 4×4)/77.7 in. (TRD Pro)
|Ground Clearance||8.6 in. (2WD)/8.6 in. (4WD)/9.1 in. (4WD TRD Pro)|
|Headroom (1st row)||39.2 in. (Moonroof)/39.2 in. (Panoroof)|
|Headroom (2nd row)||38.4 in. (Moonroof)/37.5 in. (Panoroof)|
|Headroom (3rd row)||35.6 in.|
|Legroom (1st row)||41.2 in.|
|Legroom (2nd row)||39.2 in.|
|Legroom (3rd row)||28.1-33.7 in.|
|Shoulder Room (1st row)||65.0 in.|
|Shoulder Room (2nd row)||61.8 in.|
|Shoulder Room (3rd row)||62.6 in.|
|Hip Room (1st row)||62.6 in.|
|Hip Room (2nd row)||60.8 in.|
|Hip Room (3rd row)||50.9 in.|
|Cargo Volume (behind first row)||86.9 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Volume (behind second row)||49.0 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Volume (behind third row)||22.3-11.5 cu. ft.|
|Aspect||2023 Toyota Sequoia Specification|
|Engine||i-Force Max 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid|
|Horsepower||437 hp at 5,200 rpm|
|Torque||583 lb.-ft. at 2,400 rpm|
|EPA Est. Fuel Economy||To Be Disclosed|
|Battery Pack||Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)|
|Drivetrain Layout||RWD/4WD (with a part-time 4WD system)|
|Aspect\Specification||SR5 (2WD/4WD)||Limited (2WD/4WD)||Platinum (2WD/4WD)||TRD Pro (4WD)||Capstone (2WD/4WD)|
2023 Toyota Sequoia Reviews
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia makes a solid first impression in terms of design, but the interior is impractical, according to Motor1. The captain seats are fixed, and they don’t slide. The third-row slides, either to open up leg room or to improve boot space. If both are necessary at any given point in time, customers will struggle with space.
That said, the third row doesn’t fold flat because the new live rear axle takes up space underneath, so sliding items up the boot floor isn’t convenient. Replacing its predecessor’s independent rear suspension is technically a step backward—but customers who wish for a plush ride quality can cough up extra for the available rear air suspension.
As per Motor Trend, the SUV’s iForce-Max 3.6-liter Twin-Turbo V6 hybrid engine is the real highlight. It makes the hefty SUV move effortlessly and with verve. Thanks to the electric motors, the Sequoia accelerates briskly from a standstill, thanks to the instant torque from the hybrid powertrain that eliminates turbo lag. Getting up to speeds is easy thanks to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft at your disposal.
Car and Driver‘s review also appreciates the engine, but the handling is critiqued. Even though it has a light and precise steering, the SUV doesn’t feel agile because of its size and weight. It also has a sponge-like brake pedal feel, which can sap the driver’s confidence. That said, the ride quality is comfortable, and the NVH levels are low, contributing to a serene cabin experience.
Price & Release Date
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia would go on sale in the U.S. at the end of summer 2022, with prices starting at USD 58,300. Celestial Silver, White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Army Green, Wind Chill Pearl (costs extra), Lunar Rock, Blueprint, Smoked Mesquite, Midnight Black Metallic, Supersonic Red (costs extra), and TRD-exclusive Solar Octane are the colors in which Toyota offers the 2023 Sequoia in the U.S.
|Configuration||2023 Toyota Sequoia Price|
|SR5 4×2||USD 58,300|
|SR5 4×4||USD 61,300|
|Limited 4×2||USD 64,700|
|Limited 4×4||USD 67,700|
|Platinum 4×2||USD 70,900|
|Platinum 4×4||USD 73,900|
|TRD PRO 4×4||USD 76,900|
|Capstone 4×2||USD 75,300|
|Capstone 4×4||USD 78,300|
In the meantime, Toyota is conducting marketing activities to increase customer interest. The company held its motor show debut at the Houston Auto Show in January 2022, and in February, it showcased it at the Chicago Auto Show. These were followed by the display at the North Texas Auto Show in March and the New York International Auto Show in April. The flagship Toyota SUV was displayed at the Twin Cities Auto Show in Minnesota in May. Take a look at the video from Walser Toyota of a unit that was on display at the showground:
Video Source: YouTube/Walser Toyota
Toyota Sequoia U.S. sales
Toyota Sequoia sales in the U.S. increased by 9.6% in 2021 compared to 2020, with 8,070 units sold — nothing to write home about. In Q1 2022, Toyota sold only 422 units of the Sequoia, probably as it was preparing to start production of the new-generation model. The upcoming model with electrification should offer significant growth to the nameplate, as it tries to narrow the gap to the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
|Period\Model||Toyota Sequoia||Ford Expedition||Chevrolet Tahoe|
Nine Toyota models in the U.S. are available with one or more electrified powertrains, and the all-electric bZ4X has recently joined the lineup. Toyota expects to sell 1.5-1.8 million electrified vehicles in the country by 2030. In 2021, the nine Toyota and six Lexus electrified vehicles contributed 583,697 units to Toyota’s annual sales across brands, one-fourth of the total sales.
2023 Toyota Sequoia FAQs
What is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia release date?
Toyota should have the 2023 Sequoia in dealer showrooms by July 2022.
What will be the 2023 Toyota Sequoia price?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia may cost around USD 52,000 onwards.
Which full-size SUVs will be the 2023 Toyota Sequoia alternatives?
Rivals will include the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Ford Expedition, and the Dodge Durango.
Featured Image Source: Toyota