Big and strong, but very vulnerable

Big and strong, but very vulnerable

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.

What does a Sequoia look like while driving?

Even though the Sequoia is a hybrid, you’d be hard-pressed to tell that while driving, so don’t expect a 6,000-pound Prius here. The twin-turbo V6 is as powerful as any V8, if not more powerful. Press the accelerator, and the electric motor and turbo motor coordinate to deliver smooth, effortless torque, which continues throughout the engine’s rev range. Push it harder, and you’ll get a deep roar. It’s even louder on the TRD Pro, which gets a rear exhaust. The conventional 10-speed automatic transmission also means no buzzing like you get from electronic CVTs in other Toyota hybrids.

There’s also the matter of off-roading, an area where the Sequoia will excel compared to its more road-oriented competitors (including the non-Trail-rated Jeep Wagoneer). Whether you opt for the TRD off-road package and Bilstein shocks and springs, or go all-in on the TRD Pro (pictured above) which gets all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, an upgraded front stabilizer bar, unique Fox shocks and springs, skid plates and visual improvements Other, the Sequoia can get dirty ably.

This is where the good pieces end. Handling fails to go beyond the low bar set by full-size SUVs, as it’s barge-like with light, vague, and sluggish steering. Soft suspension and a solid rear axle have never been a formula for chassis poise and driver confidence. Ride quality is good on most models, but we’d strongly urge you to avoid the range-topping Capstone and its teeth-grinding ride. It makes natural, smooth pavement look like washboard dirt roads because it shudders and vibrates constantly. The decision to add giant 22-inch wheels to the truck’s body-on-frame mix and solid rear axle was not a good one. The fact that it comes in a nearly $80,000 SUV that’s supposed to compete with an entry-level Escalade or Navigator is laughable.

What other Toyota Sequoia reviews can I read?

2023 Toyota Sequoia first drive review: New and improved, but not enough

Read more about the many changes for 2023, its new architecture and design, and more in-depth driving impressions of the different versions.

Road test for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

Dive into the most compelling trim level… though we still find a lot to be desired.

Toyota Sequoia luggage test

Dig deeper into why Sequoia’s cargo area is so compromised and therefore uncompetitive.

What is the price of the 2024 Sequoia and where will it be manufactured?

Pricing for the 2024 Toyota Sequoia starts at $62,725, including a $1,850 destination charge, which is about $3,000 more than last year. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all Sequoias and all-wheel drive is a $3,000 option. At least that didn’t go up.

Unlike the sparsely equipped SR5 4Runner and Tacoma models, the base Sequoia SR5 comes very well equipped with LED headlights and foglights, a sunroof, tri-zone climate control, heated front seats, and a 60/40-split second-row bench seat ( Captain’s chairs are the only option on Platinum, TRD Pro, and Capstone), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a panoramic parking camera, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Every other model gets a 14-inch system that operates essentially the same interface.

The Limited is likely where most shoppers will begin their search for the Sequoia given its additional SofTex simulated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, heated steering wheel, and rear sunshades. Two luxury trim levels are then available: Platinum or the more luxurious Capstone, though we’d strongly avoid the latter because of its 22-inch wheels and resulting terrible ride quality.

The TRD Pro is a rugged option that adds an off-road suspension system with Fox Internal Bypass coils, remote reservoir rear shocks, a front stabilizer bar, all-terrain tires, improved clearance, and unique styling. The TRD Off-Road Package is available on other trim levels and adds Bilstein shocks and springs for improved off-road capability. The TRD Sport package goes in the opposite direction with a suspension tuned for improved on-road handling.

SR5: $62,725
Limited: $69,125
Platinum: $75,315
TRD Pro: $80,560
Capstone: $77,865

The Sequoia was built in San Antonio, Texas.

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