By on January 27, 2022

Americans like their SUVs – and for some customers, bigger is better. One need look no further than parking lots filled with Tahoes and Grand Wagoneers for confirmation, not to mention their extended-length brethren like the Suburban and upcoming Grand Wagoneer XL.

Toyota has been in this game as well, albeit with an offering older than Methuselah. That changes for 2023, with the introduction of a new Sequoia.

It’s obvious that the company is drawing heavily from the book of Tundra, a sensible decision given the time and money plowed into the development of that vehicle. Everything from the A-pillar forward will look markedly familiar to anyone who’s spent time on a configurator for the new Tundra, including those creatively-shaped headlamps with sequential turn signals. Like the truck, there will be different faces for different trims – ranging from entry-level SR5 to tony Capstone with an off-road TRD Pro and two other high-volume trims in between.

Standard equipment under the hood is the company’s 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain, good for 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. This brings the fight to machines like a 6.2L-equipped Tahoe which makes about the same amount of horsepower but far less torque. A 10-speed automatic is the other half of this tag team. Customers in America can select from 2WD or 4WD in all trims save for the TRD Pro. Towing clocks in at 9,000 pounds.

Speaking of, that model comes with TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shocks, a front-end skid plate made from quarter-inch aluminum, locking rear diff, and all manner of selectable off-road drive modes. It’ll be easy to spot the thing given its angry visual cues including the TOYOTA billboard on its grille. And yes, those 18-inch off-road tires are mounted on alloys with an increased offset, giving the thing a slightly more butch stance.

If you’re keen on some off-road kit but don’t wish to jump right into the deep end, there will be a TRD Off-Road package offered on the SR5 and Limited. While it won’t have the Pro’s look-at-me grille, it will have a locking rear differential and those trick driving modes. The FOX shocks are swapped for a set of TRD-tuned Bilstein monotubes. For posers, there’s also a TRD Sport package that includes those shocks but deletes the locker while adding on-road oriented 20-inch dubs.

Sitting atop all this is the Capstone, a new top rung that was just introduced on the Tundra. There are chrome accents on the outside to match those 22-inch wheels, semi-aniline leather seats in a unique color pattern, authentic American Walnut trim with an open-pore finish, and other interior jewelry like an illuminated Capstone badge on the dash. Yes, that’s a thing. Across all trims, the interior shares much with the new Tundra – and that’s not a bad thing. Your author has spent time in a pre-production TRD Pro pickup and came away impressed by the form and function of that space. It’ll serve ably in the Sequoia.

This new large-and-in-charge SUV will be assembled at Toyota’s plant in Texas. Barring global supply chain hiccups, look for them to start cropping up on dealer lots this summer.

[Images: Toyota]

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34 Comments on “Toyota Introduces the 2023 Sequoia...”

  • avatar

    Does Toyota actually employ vehicle stylists who have been professionally trained somewhere? Easily the ugliest line-up of cars available from any manufacture (Toyota & Lexus). Every one a weird jumble of angles and bulges topped off with gaping maw grilles.

    • 0 avatar

      I think they hire people from Marvel Comics.

    • 0 avatar

      On the white truck, the ‘tough’ black wheel opening cladding actually ends above the part of the truck where the tires directly throw all the rocks and mud.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. I’ve been wondering this for years. Their cars and trucks from both brands are just awful. Who is designing these things but more importantly who is approving these designs. Vehicle after vehicle with terrible overwrought styling.

    • 0 avatar

      Comparing this to the current clown looking model, I’d call this one brilliant. I’ve never been a toyoder fan boy, actually thought the 5.7 Tundra is the worst pickup on the market. But Toyota has killed it with the new Tundra snd Sequoia.

  • avatar

    Hideous. Top photo of the white one looks like a 4 Runner. “Macho Styling” has jumped the shark.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    IMO, the new Sequoia wears the corporate face better than the Tundra or Tacoma. Maybe it doesn’t scale down well. I also like the Capstone trim better here as well.

    • 0 avatar

      The front end is a little better than the Tundra, as this has a body color strip across the front below the grille, so it doesn’t look like the whole front end is a grille. But still, no real bumper that protrudes at all, so don’t bump into anything – it could get expensive.

  • avatar

    Superlative gaudiness!

    The steering wheel raises the bar of tackiness, though executed to a high level, with the best materials and workmanship.

    Curb weight? EPA estimates?

  • avatar

    This is not too bad, given the current world where no big vehicle will sell unless the message it conveys is “MOVE B!TCH OR I KILL YOU.”

    But the powertrain is a missed opportunity. Instead of a cheapo hybrid system with 1 motor attached to a conventional transmission, which provides only a marginal benefit to fuel economy and drivability, they should have used a three-motor system designed around the same lines as the current RAV4 Prime/Highlander/Sienna system, but with both the engine (probably the NA 3.5 V6) and the motors beefed up. They could easily have gotten the same total horsepower with at least 50% better city mileage and more responsiveness and smoothness.

    • 0 avatar

      “…Chevrolet Silverado1500 Hybrid is the only hybrid in the full-size truck segment. Compared with comparable, non-hybrid models, it delivers 33-percent greater city fuel economy and a 23.5-percent improvement in overall fuel economy, all with the capability customers want in full-size truck – including a 6,100-pound (2,767 kg) trailering capacity.

      Estimated fuel economy for both 2WD and 4WD models is 20 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway….”  GM Media with a larger 300-volt battery and 6.0l V8 circa 2012!

      • 0 avatar

        Usually the GM fanboyism is tiresome, but it’s justified here. That system was really ahead of its time and something roughly like it ought to power every BOF truck with an ICE today.

    • 0 avatar

      If you don’t drive in the city, and if you tow heavy, in a vehicle with the aerodynamics of an outhouse: All you gain from a Prius system, is more weight, clutter and complexity. In the Prius proper, it’s the synergy of the EV part allowing fitting a near-zero torque “Atkinson” engine, which is responsible for the great highway mileage. You can’t do that in a 9000lb-towing-truck, even with an electric motor: The Prius only needs torque for a few seconds to get onto the highway. Tow vehicles need it permanently.

      I don’t believe Toyota expects this one to be driven primarily empty around Manhattan.

      • 0 avatar

        Wait, are you really trying to tell me that electric motors have no torque?

        The system in the RAV4 Prime, Highlander, and Sienna (they differ only in the size and current capacity of the battery) is very different from the Prius system. The electric motors are around three times the size and they do far more of the work. My previous-generation Highlander hybrid is perfectly happy yanking its own 4900 lb, 1000 lb of payload, and 1500 lb of trailer up mountain passes at 80 mph. An upscaled version of the current system with a V6 and 450 hp worth of electric motors would do just fine at any task a Tundra is ever asked to do.

  • avatar

    Joy in the ‘burbs.

  • avatar

    Promising front and rear… Jeep?

  • avatar

    Shockingly enough, it’s not that awful.

  • avatar

    It’s clearly aimed at the Telluride market.

    Toyota realizes it’s more important to target the Kia/Hyundai buyers that the traditional Ford/Chevy buyers.

  • avatar

    I like it.
    Better looking than the pick up.
    Better than Ford Expedition and the hoe.
    Much better than the mess that is Wagoneer. ( blockhouse with weird window cut outs.)
    Yukon may be the best.

  • avatar

    A bigger 4-runner with a more efficient Raptor destroying engine, massive touchscreen and Land Cruiser bonafides….sign me up….

    Gonna be impossible to get one…

    • 0 avatar

      ” Raptor destroying engine”

      Not that people buy either for drag racing but it is extremely unlikely this will be quicker than a Raptor.

  • avatar
    Joseph Kissel

    Looks like a lifted Kia Carnival with square wheel arches, which is to say lots of bluster and minivan vibes in the back …

  • avatar

    I am trying to find the fuel cell chemistry used in this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      To elaborate if I may (“Yes, you may” “Why thank you!”):
      • The current-generation Sequoia dates to 2008MY (that’s a run of 15 model years)
      • Toyota has been spending good money on fuel cells since at least 1992
      • If the third-generation XK80 has a run of 15 model years, that takes us to 2037MY, which is deep into The Future™
      • If fuel cells are the future, no way did Toyota just introduce this vehicle without a provision for fuel cells – right? Anyone? Bueller?

  • avatar

    Love love love that big brute in red! Glad to see some real color besides the white, grey, black schemes that dominate the roads these days.

  • avatar

    The best thing I can say about the styling is don’t hate it, but it’s not what I’d call attractive. Less ugly than a Tundra could be their sales slogan. I think not having the IRS will hurt it’s sales appeal. The solid rear axle comprimised third row comfort and cargo capacity. Despite this the towing maxes out at 9K and that will probably be the RWD model. The Expidition and Suburban family offer better packaging, better looks (IMO), and better towing. Toyota is hanging it’s hat on better off road chops.

    • 0 avatar

      “Toyota is hanging its hat on better off road chops.”

      Right? Which is idiotic for a vehicle the size of the Sequoia, which with or without a solid axle will never be ideally suited for hardcore rock-crawling.

  • avatar

    The styling is pretty good, and the hybrid drivetrain sounds like a winner, but why are we glossing over the move from IRS to solid rear axle? It’s one thing to sacrifice a bit of ride and handling dynamics for a solid axle, but in this case it completely ruins interior space. The third and second row seats just sit on the floor when folded. It’s unacceptable, and quite embarrassing for an automaker with Toyota’s engineering resources.

  • avatar

    The top picture of the white one looks like it is riding around on 4 spare tires and looks terrible. Interesting that Toyota is making a hybrid only powertrain which should easily surpass the disappointing MPG figures of the latest GM rigs which seems to drop every couple of years. Too bad about the styling which is worst in class!

  • avatar

    I’m not a greenie environmentalist, I say drill baby drill, while we transition to a nuclear powered future. I’m also a live and let live guy, drive whatever makes you happy, why should I care? However, I must admit that every time I see one of these gigantic SUVs roll out, be it this over the top garish Toyota, or the relatively sedate Grand Cherokee, I’m thinking — “Huh… McMansions on wheels. We’re still building these?” Such a waste of resources when you think about it… When this thing is in the junkyard 20 years from now, probably 90% of the tech/hardware will never have been used, all that 4 wheel drive engineering/materials/manufacturing gone to waste.

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