We’ll have to wait until the summer, but it’ll be worth the wait.
We’ve been waiting for this.
That’s because we have long loved the Toyota Land Cruiser, which stopped selling in the North American market this year, making the Sequoia the brand’s solo full size SUV. But the Sequoia needed a makeover to bring it up to modern standards. And now, it is.
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What we Love about the 2023 Toyota Sequoia
We got to crawl through the Sequoia and discover the new and innovative features, and this is what we are excited about:
It’s generously proportioned
It has flexible seating: even though center row seats are stationary —they are fixed to flip and fold to allow access the third row— there is a lot of leg and head room throughout the cabin.
The third row moves forward and back
YES! Third row passengers can move the seats up to 6” forward or back; and if you need to move them from the cargo area there’s a handle that lets you simply slide them forward or back. This is brilliant.
Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander 3-Row SUV: It Starts with 35 Amazing Hybrid Miles Per Gallon and Then Gets Better
There are lots of one-hand or no-hand functions
Toyota knows at least one of your hands is holding that of a little, so they accommodated: you can flip and fold the center row seats with a single motion; you can move the rear seats forward or back with single motion; you can open the lift gate with a single motion. How good is that?
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The rear cargo area is more organized than ever
There’s a cargo management system that allows you to position shelving for optimal storage, and the rear window open so you can reach in and grab what you need without opening the lift gate. We LOVE this.
The interiors are more luxe than ever
With super luxurious leather, elegant details and lots of technology, we can’t get enough of this interior. The Sequoia shares the new multimedia system, steering wheel and some exterior features with Tundra, and that’s all right with us. We love how Toyota retooled the Tundra and are glad to see these details in the Sequoia.
Related: I Learned to Drive in Snow at Bridgestone Winter Driving School With Toyota, And So Can You
Adventure or comfort? Take your pick
The two top trims, TRD Pro and Capstone, are equipped for what you need. TRD Pro promises all the off road chops of Tundra, and Capstone will pamper you in luxury with heated front and center row seats, standard captains chairs in the center row and a panoramic sun roof.
Sequoia has up to 9,000 lbs. of towing and incorporates Tundra’s smart towing features like a camera system and back-up guidance.
It’s a hybrid!
In 2020 Toyota went all hybrid in many of its models, and Sequoia follows suit. It features a twin-turbo V6 hybrid i-Force Max engine with a 10-speed transmission. We don’t expect Highlander-like MPG since this engine is designed for power and capability, but it should be more efficient and produce lower emissions than the last model year of Sequoia.
Safety is standard
Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of features, which includes pre-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, which can see pedestrians in low light and bicyclists in daytime. The suite also includes emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking assist with automatic braking, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist to keep you centered in your lane.
Some things to consider carefully
Some things we noticed that buyers will want to weigh are the fixed center row seats—they don’t slide forward or back— the limited legroom in the third row due to the Sequoia’s design, which means taller passengers will feel their knees raised above their hips, which isn’t all that comfortable, and limited cargo space behind the third row, even with the clever cargo organization system in place.
Pricing and Fuel Economy
Toyota hasn’t released estimates on pricing or MPG yet, but the company says fuel economy will be comparable with its competitors. As for pricing, if we take a cue from the current model, which starts at $50,000 and tops out at about $64,000 for the TRD Pro version we can expect pricing to increase a bit and the Capstone and TRD Pro editions to top the current TRD price.
The Toyota Sequoia goes on sale this summer and we’ll have to wait a bit before we get to test drive it, but when we can, we will. And we can’t wait!
Disclosure: We were Toyota’s guest at the reveal of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are ours.