Positives: The impressive TRD Pro trim level; Potential fuel economy is above average; Competitive towing capacity
cons: Poor cargo space; undefined value; Teeth Exciting Capstone Journey; Relatively cumbersome processing; Annoying technology
If you’re looking for a big, powerful SUV that definitely looks big and powerful, the 2024 Toyota Sequoia will get the job done. Its TRD Pro level also brings its big, powerful off-road game, as it can tackle terrain that nothing else in the full-size SUV class is likely to dare. And if you want the promise of longevity and resale value that Toyota has long offered, the Sequoia should deliver, too.
The problem is, if you’re looking for a big, powerful SUV to offer more people and cargo-hauling capabilities than a large crossover like Toyota’s new Grand Highlander, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Redesigned last year, the latest generation Sequoia is actually smaller than its predecessor with a solid rear axle that robs it of interior space and hampers handling and ride (the old Sequoia had an independent rear end like the full-size Ford, GM, and Jeep models). Simply put, third-row space and cargo capacity are uncompetitive. We also found the handling to be cumbersome, even by full-size SUV standards, and ride quality is shockingly poor in the range-topping Capstone model. The lower trims are better but don’t measure up to the competition.
So yes, Sequoia will work for those who are really into it only Need Five seats and Wants Big, powerful platform… but we think most can do a much better job of it for the same price.
Interior and technology | Passenger and cargo space Performance and fuel economy
What does leadership look like? Pricing and Trim Levels | Fault ratings and safety features
What’s new for 2024?
A new Nightshade package arrives at the Limited trim level, where black exterior trim is replaced with standard alloys and chrome. The TRD Off-Road Package can also now be added to the Platinum trim level, bringing the Bilstein shocks and springs to the more elegant trim level. Finally, the Sequoia is about $3,000 more expensive this year, including the mandatory $1,850 destination fee, which has risen by $255. You don’t actually get anything more for $3,000 either.
What is the Sequoia’s interior and in-car technology?
The Sequoia shares its cab design with the full-size Tundra truck. It doesn’t really suffer from this fact in terms of aesthetics, but it probably explains why you’ll find fewer hard plastics inside than a Chevy Tahoe or Jeep Wagoneer. Upper trim levels spruce things up, including the unusual TRD Pro seats with red camouflage print (below) or the stylish Capstone mix of open-pore wood trim, black seats, and white leather interior trim (above).
Standard on most trim levels is a massive 14-inch touchscreen (the base SR5 gets an 8-inch unit). The operating system is the latest from Toyota, featuring bright, simple graphics and natural speech recognition. It is responsive and works quickly. The shortcut icons on the side closest to the driver are easy to access, but unfortunately they disappear when using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, meaning you have to… Click click click To escape the Apple/Android interfaces instead of using a simple home button like Toyota uses. We discovered other annoyances, including some radio functions and a navigation system that defaults back to the forward point every time you move off the map screen, as if it were unthinkable for someone to want to constantly use North UP. Finally, the system is less user-friendly than what you find in the Tahoe/Yukon, Expedition, Wagoneer and their luxury variants.
How big is a sequoia?
As a full-size SUV, the Sequoia is clearly massive on the outside compared to crossovers like the Highlander or even SUVs like the 4Runner. It’s smaller than its full-size American SUV rivals on the outside, however, packaging issues in the rear make it even smaller on the inside. Quite simply, the Sequoia’s third-row seating and cargo area aren’t competitive.
While teens and mature adults can sit comfortably for hours in the third row of a Tahoe/Yukon, Expedition, or Wagoneer, the Sequoia is best suited for those of smaller stature, and even then only for short trips. It’s closer to what you’d find in a three-row crossover, albeit higher. Now, it uniquely slides back and forth, but that’s more for cargo space.
Despite this advantage, luggage space is very compromised. The biggest problem is that the third row doesn’t fold flat into the floor like its competitors do, nor can it be removed. The result is essentially a stage for your property that requires significant lifting and bending to reach. With the third row in use, space shrinks to a degree that is surpassed by most large three-row crossovers, including the new Grand Highlander. And it’s true that you can move the third row forward to free up additional space, but you’re just shrinking the third row further and the result is still less than what would fit in American competitors. Toyota has at least come up with a smart multi-level charging floor and zoning system, but that seems largely like a workaround to a fundamental flaw.
What are the Sequoia’s fuel economy and performance specifications?
Every Sequoia gets a hybrid powertrain called i-Force Max. It consists of a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and one electric motor located between the engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s a radically different design than Toyota’s traditional efficiency-oriented hybrids. In fact, while the Sequoia achieves above-average fuel economy estimates from the EPA, its performance benefits are the bigger deal: 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. The torque is particularly superior to gas-powered GM, Ford, and Jeep competitors. Its towing capacity of 9,520 pounds also outshines it.
Fuel economy is also best at 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with standard rear-wheel drive, or 19/22/20 mpg with optional all-wheel drive. However, in the real world, we didn’t come remotely close to that, averaging about 16 mpg in a mix of highway and suburban driving. GM and Ford SUVs were more economical.