An all-new Toyota Sequoia is on its way this summer. This third-generation model is redesigned for the 2023 model year. The latest Sequoia will showcase a twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid arrangement as standard equipment. Initially revealed on the Tundra, this hybrid makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
Known internally as the i-FORCE MAX, the Sequoia’s powertrain combines power with efficiency to motivate this full-size SUV. The design is unique as Toyota placed the motor-generator within the bell housing, sandwiched between the engine and the automatic transmission. Toyota says the design delivers both optimum performance and excellent efficiency, designed to withstand punishing conditions. Like the Tundra Hybrid, we are still waiting on the fuel economy numbers, but we expect the new SUV to average approximately 25 mpg. Should it meet that estimate, it will represent a significant increase over the current 15 mpg combined that the outgoing model produces. Power routes to the rear or all four wheels utilizing a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota will offer the 2023 in SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone grades. The TRD Pro comes with standard part-time four-wheel drive, while the other trims have rear-wheel drive with available four-wheel drive. Notably, the part-time four-wheel-drive system utilizes a transfer case, which is managed using a lever on the center console. There, drivers will select between 2WD, 4WD high, or 4WD low.
The new Sequoia features a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame. It shares this layout with the 2022 Tundra, the global Land Cruiser, and the Lexus LX. Toyota no longer offers the Land Cruiser in the states, but the all-new LX is available. Further, by offering a range-topping Capstone trim, the Sequoia has Land Cruiser owners in mind.
Toyota claims the new Sequoia is far more rigid thanks to advanced laser-welding technology that lessens mass and weight in certain areas while reinforcing other sections that require it. The result is improved ride comfort. The Sequoia also has an independent front suspension and gains a rack-mounted electronic power steering system for an enhanced steering experience.
An innovative multi-link rear suspension is utilized to supply an easy ride. As a result, the system allows for an available load-leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for customers who consistently tow.
Room for Eight; Enhanced Towing Capabilities
The 2023 Sequoia is a three-row SUV with room for up to eight. Customers will find either second-row bench seating or a pair of captain’s chairs, depending on the grade. Either seat option includes a reclining feature for enhanced comfort as well as ease of access and egress to the third row. As for the third-row passengers, they will find a roomy reclining backseat with an available power-folding element.
Additionally, the third row gains an important new feature: a sliding row with an adjustable cargo shelf compartment. Specifically, this feature supplies the third row with six inches of play. The seat can also be folded to supplement the numerous storage points of the cargo shelf system. It includes a detachable shelf that can be placed in an assortment of storage situations.
With excellent cargo-carrying options available, the Sequoia also does what all full-size SUVs must do: tow. Indeed, for 2023, the Sequoia will sport a 9,000-pound towing capacity, which is up from the previous 7,400-pound limit. And to make towing easier, Toyota offers an optional Tow Tech Package that is available on all grades but included on the TRD Pro and Capstone trims. This package features a Trailer Backup Guide to assist in backing up the SUV with a trailer. It also includes Straight Path Assist, which supplies steering control to keep the trailer even while backing up.
Introducing Drive Mode Select
New to the 2023 Sequoia is Drive Model Select. This “dialer” allows the driver to choose among drive mode settings, including Eco, Normal, and Sport. In models equipped with load leveling and the adaptable suspension system, the range expands to include Comfort, Sport S+, and Custom settings.
When operated in either of the sport models, the powertrain utilizes the electric motor’s immediate responsiveness. At speeds up to 18 mph, the electric motor does most of the work. At higher speeds, the gasoline engine dominates for ideal performance. Further, when the Sequoia is in TOW/HAUL mode, the hybrid system is continuously on tap to supply additional power.
Five Trims for the Choosing
Toyota Sequoia SR5
Sequoia’s trim walk begins with the well-appointed SR5. Besides the hybrid system paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, this grade includes Toyota’s driver-assist package, moonroof, and heated seats. It also comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a panoramic view (rear view) monitor. By adding the SR5 Premium Package, customers will acquire a 14-inch center console display, a power third-row seat, hands-free liftgate, imitation leather seats, and a pair of 120-volt power outlets.
The SR5 model also offers the TRD Sport package. This package swaps out the standard 18-inch wheels for 20-inch matte-black TRD wheels. To advance sporty handling, the package adds TRD sport-tuned Bilstein monotube shocks and TRD-tuned springs. Moreover, aluminum pedals and a red TRD push-button start are found inside.
Toyota Sequoia Limited
Building on the features of the SR5 trim is the Limited grade. At this point, the 14-inch center console display is standard. Further, this grade features heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free power liftgate, second-and third-row sunshades, and a power-folding third-row seat.
Also available with the two lowest trims is the TRD Off-Road Package. This package includes a selectable locking rear differential and a terrain select system for improved traction and downhill control. Toyota’s famed Crawl Control feature is included as are TRD-tuned Bilstein monotube shock absorbers and springs. Also, Toyota dresses the front axle driveshaft in red for added pop. Slip behind the wheel and aluminum gas and brake pedals are found. Lastly, exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels are included.
Toyota Sequoia Platinum
Choose the Platinum trim and this one includes heated and ventilated front and second-row, second-row captain’s chairs, and a 14-speaker JBL audio system. Further, this trim includes a panoramic moonroof and a head-up display. At this trim level, Toyota adds prime LED headlights and taillights, and sequential turn signals. Lastly, rain-sensing wipers and wireless charging round out the features list.
Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
The fourth model in Sequoia’s trim walk is the TRD Pro. This grade underscores Sequoia’s off-road capabilities, therefore, it comes with standard four-wheel drive. A quarter-inch aluminum TRD front skid plate is added for enhanced off-road protection. The options list includes various TRD accessories, such as a roof rack and TRD-tuned Fox internal bypass shocks. The list of standard features includes the second-row Captain’s chairs, heated steering wheel, and TRD trim embellishments inside and out. This trim also features legacy “TOYOTA” lettering splashed across the grille, trim-specific 18-inch black alloy wheels, and a unique dual-exhaust tip system.
Toyota Sequoia Capstone
The range-topping Capstone trim brings to the Sequoia features not offered previously. These include exclusive chrome highlights for an upmarket look, including 22-inch chrome wheels. The standard power running boards supply ease of access to the cabin that is dressed in semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats. The seats are perforated and include a trim-specific black-and-white color pattern. Further, Toyota dresses the center console and passenger-side dashboard with genuine American Walnut with an open-pore surface that emphasizes the wood grain. On the dashboard, the Walnut pieces encircle a Capstone logo that is highlighted with LED mood lighting when the doors are opened. Lastly, the Capstone is the only Sequoia grade with acoustic glass in the front doors for additional exterior sound dampening.
Technology and Safety
The SR5 trim comes with an 8-inch color display, while all other trims feature a 14-inch display, the same as in the 2022 Tundra. The larger touch-screen display includes Toyota’s all-new infotainment system software, which is also voice-activated. The interface features directions search, audio system adjustments, climate control management, and more. Further, a cloud-based native navigation system supports standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Over-the-air updates keep the system current. Other features include Bluetooth, 4G connectivity, and Wi-Fi Connect with the ability to connect as many as five devices. The Sequoia can also turn into an AT&T hotspot.
The Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 bundle is standard across the Sequoia line. This system includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and emergency steering assistance. Other features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, and lane tracing assist. Road-sign assist, a rear seat minder, and automatic high beam headlights are included. Additional safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking.
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia will compete with the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, Jeep Wagoneer, and Nissan Armada. With an enhanced hybrid powertrain on tap, Toyota is looking to tout its advantage in a niche segment.
Toyota will build the Sequoia alongside the Tundra at the company’s truck manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Texas. Available this summer, we expect pricing details and fuel economy numbers ahead of its release.
See Also — The Big and Burly Toyota Sequoia
Photos copyright Toyota Motors.