The Toyota Sequoia is a full-sized SUV that is based on the Toyota Tundra full-size truck. It comes with a V8 engine and either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, and three rows of seats. It competes with models like the Chevy Tahoe, Nissan Armada and Ford Expedition. The Sequoia is currently in its second generation. One of the hallmarks of the model -- and a unique feature among its competitive set -- is a rear power window that rolls down.
2008 - Present Toyota Sequoia (2nd Generation)
The new generation of Sequoia debuted for the 2008 model year. It continued to be based on the Tundra, but with some significant differences. The Sequoia included a fully boxed frame and a rear independent suspension with coil springs, plus a locking center differential on 4WD models. The new suspension gave the heavy Sequoia an improved turning radius of 19 feet and allowed for a third-row seat that folds flat.
The new model weighed 500 pounds more than the previous one. This generation of Sequoia debuted with two engine options.
Base models (SR5) came with a 4.7-liter V8 with 276 horsepower and a five-speed automatic transmission. The Limited and the newly-added Platinum models had a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. 4WD was available across all trims.
The wheelbase was increased from 118 to 122 inches and length was increased from 203 inches to 205.1 inches. Height was 77 inches and width was 79.8 inches.
Seating in this generation was available for seven or eight passengers. The SR5 and Limited could seat eight while the Platinum could seat seven. Towing capacity was 7,400 pounds with the 2WD, 5.7-liter V8 and 7,100 in the 4WD SR5 trim.
Safety ratings for the 2008 model by the NHTSA included a five-star frontal driver rating and four-star ratings for frontal passenger and rollover.
A few changes happened per model year during this generation. The 2009 model added E85 flex-fuel capability on the 5.7-liter engine, but only in certain states.
In 2010, the 4.7-liter base V8 was replaced by a 4.6-liter V8 engine. For the 2013 model year, Toyota dropped this smaller V8 engine altogether, and the 5.7-liter V8 became standard on all models.
In 2014, a Blu-ray DVD player was offered as an option for the Limited trim and was standard on the Platinum. Also on the Platinum trim were features like a rear air suspension that owners could lower for easier loading of the cargo bay, adaptive cruise control and DVD-based navigation.
Toyota refreshed the Sequoia for 2018. The updates included new features like standard LED headlights, fog lights and running lights, plus three new exterior colors and each trim now has a specific grille design unique to that trim. The SR5, Limited and Platinum trims remained in the lineup, but a new TRD Sport off-road trim was added.
The TRD Sport model added unique exterior trim, a revised suspension, black 20-inch alloy wheels, a digital display screen in the instrument panel and unique LED headlights.
2001 - 2007 Toyota Sequoia (1st Generation)
The Toyota Sequoia debuted in 2000 for the 2001 model year. It shared most of its components with the Tundra, including the engine, dashboard, sheet metal and chassis. The main differences were rear disc brakes and a multi-link live axle rear suspension.
At its release, the Sequoia was similar size-wise to the Ford Expedition and larger than the Chevy Tahoe. It came in two trim levels: the SR5 and Limited and offered both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive layouts.
Vehicle stability control was standard on all trims. The Sequoia was initially launched with a 4.7-liter V8 engine putting out 240 horsepower. It was paired with a four-speed automatic transmission.
For this generation, the Sequoia had a 118.1-inch wheelbase, 203.9 inches in length and between 76 inches and 78.9 inches in width depending on model year. The height varied between 72.8 inches and 76.2 inches depending on trim and model year.
A slight refresh happened for the 2005 model year. The five-speed automatic transmission replaced the previous four-speed and a new 282-horsepower V8 engine with VVT-i became standard.
(For the 2006 model year, a new way to measure engine output meant the official horsepower ratings dropped to 273).
4WD models were equipped with a Torsen center differential, which replaced the open differential in the previous models. This addition allowed it to split power 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear in normal driving conditions. In slippery situations, it was then able to send 53 percent to the front wheels and 71 to the rear wheels.
Exterior upgrades in this facelift included a redesigned grille and removal of the orange lamps from the taillights. Towing capacity for this model year was 6,500 pounds for the two-wheel drive version and 6,200 for the 4WD.