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Road Test: 2024 Toyota Sequoia – A Good SUV Struggling To Standout

by | June 21, 2024

A good full-size SUV in a market filled with great ones.

Completely redesigned for 2023 after 14 years, the Toyota Sequoia seems to have a design cycle that changes about as often as the tree it’s named after. The trees can survive fire and drought, and are largest trees on earth.

Surely, Toyota’s truck is quite sizable – but to call it the largest on earth would be wrong. That said, in Toyota’s world, it certainly is.

The 2025 Toyota Sequoia can tow up to 9,520 pounds.

Sharing its underpinnings with the full-size Toyota Tundra pickup truck, this full-size, three-row SUV soldiers on for 2024 in ascending SR5, Limited, Platinum, Capstone, and TRD Pro trim levels. Prices range from $63,125 and top out at $80,960 before options. Yet there’s no need to go crazy, as the $69,525 Limited offers the best balance of features that you crave, such as a large center touchscreen, heated and ventilated seats, a power tailgate, and 20-inch wheels.

Few changes this year

The Sequoia is fairly spacious, its 208-inch length does crimp cargo and third-row space.

For the new model year, changes are few, amounting to little more than minor trim upgrades. A new Nightshade package is offered on Limited models, adding black trim to the wheels, fenders, grille, mirror caps, and badges. Platinum grades can now be fitted with the TRD Off-Road package, which adds all-terrain tires, off-road suspension with Bilstein shocks, skid plate, red TRD engine start button, red front-axle drive shafts, TRD leather shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, electronically-controlled locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, and Downhill Assist Control.

SR5, Limited, Platinum, and Capstone come with rear-wheel drive or a part-time four-wheel-drive system that includes rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high, and four-wheel drive low. The TRD Pro trim comes solely with four-wheel drive.

What’s under the hood?

Second-row legroom is not quite as generous as you might expect.

Regardless of trim, all Sequoias get the same powertrain, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 hybrid i-Force Max powertrain and 10-speed automatic transmission rated at 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque. Last seen in the Tundra Hybrid pickup truck, it’s the only full-size hybrid SUV, competing in a class rife with burly V8 power, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, Jeep Wagoneer and Ford Expedition, and Expedition Max. Still, the Sequoia is far from a lightweight; towing is at rated at 9,520 pounds.

Being a hybrid, its fuel economy is notably better than its American competition, returning 22 mpg in combined city/highway driving with rear-wheel drive, 20 mpg with four-wheel drive. By comparison, the Tahoe manages 17 or 18 mpg depending on model. Thankfully, the Sequoia runs on regular unleaded fuel.

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Hitting the Road

The view from behind the wheel.

Get behind the wheel and you’ll find that its size is the first thing you’ll notice. This is one immense truck, measuring 79.5 inches wide, 208 inches long, 77.7 inches tall with 8.6 inches of ground clearance. It easily fills any lane, with little room to spare. And like too many large SUVs, dynamics don’t make wrangling this automotive bison into its lane. Steering and brake pedal feel are light, and its solid rear axle means a loss in ride quality compared to the older Sequoia. But like all SUVS of this size, its very girth makes it somewhat cumbersome in corners, while herding it into its lane is a constant chore.

Consider opting for the optional adaptive variable suspension and a load-leveling rear air suspension; they’ll make a huge difference. Still, it’s the engine that comes as a welcome surprise here, with the hybrid’s instantaneous torque helping to offset any turbo lag from the V6 gasoline engine.

The Sequoia provides a fairly quiet composed ride overall. And while it boasts a spacious cabin, you’ll find it may not be as large as you think. There’s less than 12 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. There’s less than 40 inches of legroom in the second row, making it feel somewhat tight for such a sizable ride. The third slides forward and aft by up to 6 inches to provide carrying flexibility. While admirable, this row is best left to your smallest passengers, as legroom is dear. Nevertheless, the supportive front seats are wide and flat, easily accommodating larger, corn-fed Americans. Its already significant width is emphasized by its massive 14-inch touchscreen, which runs the latest Toyota infotainment system software – a huge improvement over the old user interface.

Certainly, the 2025 Toyota Sequoia proves good enough to live up to the expectations of most Toyota buyers, even though it isn’t the best in its class.


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