Aiming for a chunk of the lucrative three-row, full-size SUV segment that GM handily dominates with the Escalade, Suburban and Tahoe, Toyota launched its all-new Sequoia.
The redesigned but ‘ute will have a twin-turbo, hybrid V-6 i-FORCE MAX powertrain pumping out 437 horsepower and 583 lbs-ft of torque. Nestled within the bell housing between internal combustion engine and 10-speed transmission is a motor/generator. The electric motor shoulders most of the load up to 18 miles per hour, then the gas motor takes over.
The design is meant for performance yet efficiency, though fuel economy numbers were not available at launch. There will be two-wheel drive or available part-time four-wheel drive versions in SR5, Limited, Platinum and Capstone trims. TRD Pro will come only with four-wheel drive.
The Sequoia rides on a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully-boxed frame it shares with the Tundra, Land Cruiser and Lexus LX.
Up front is independent suspension with a new, rack-mounted electronic power steering module for better steering feel. Out back is a current multi-link rear suspension with available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for those who regularly tow.
“Our primary design goal for Sequoia was to create a sophisticated, yet tough and active lifestyle SUV that looks capable of handling a diversity of big adventure needs,” says Calty President Kevin Hunter. “That holds true whether it’s a night out on the town with friends, towing a boat to the lake with family or taking a more extreme off-road adventure.”
Depending on trim level, second-row passengers get bench seats or captain’s chairs. Either option reclines for added comfort or folds down or folds forward if more space is desired. Third-row passengers are not left out; they get the recline option too, as well the Adjustable Cargo Shelf System. It lets the third row adjust up to six inches. The back-most row can also fold down to work with the cargo shelf system, which is also removeable.
Sequoia can tow up to 9,000 pounds, almost 22 percent more than the previous generation model. With the Tow Tech package, standard on TRD PRO and Capstone, offers features like Trailer Backup Guide and Straight Path Assist when you’re putting your boat in and out of the water or towing a trailer or camper.
An assortment of colors is available on the all-new Sequoia, including White, Wind Chill Pearl, Celestial Silver, Lunar Rock, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Blueprint, Army Green, Midnight Black Metallic, Smoked Mesquite, Supersonic Red and the TRD-exclusive Solar Octane. Premium paint colors Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red are available, and the premium color Solar Octane is exclusive to TRD Pro models.
All Sequoia grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.5. This active safety system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that features multiple enhancements over the previous generation, including not only detecting the vehicle ahead but also a pedestrian in low light, bicyclist in daytime, an oncoming vehicle and a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. At intersections, the system is designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Emergency steering assist is an additional function designed to detect pedestrians and stabilize the driver’s emergency evasive steering maneuvers and help prevent lane departure.
In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor, which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. The Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is designed to implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object, approaching vehicle or while parking.
Projected availability of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is projected to happen this summer.