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It’s easy to judge which cars are popular or not if you look at the sales data, but when you begin to dig a little deeper, then things begin to become a little more murky. There are multiple factors to take into consideration, such as how many are being produced, if it is being impacted by supply chain shortages and a number of other issues. This seems to be the case for the Toyota Sequoia, which J.D. Power ranks as an extremely popular Toyota SUV. Is this really the case, however?

There’s no doubt consumers like the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander

The Toyota RAV4 and Highlander have been very popular for years now, and their appeal is not waning. In fact, the Toyota Newsroom has released the recent sales data for June 2023, and it reveals that sales are on the rise. The RAV4 sales increased 15.2%, and the Highlander 16.1%. 

In comparison, the Toyota Sequoia’s sales numbers have grown by 8,453.0%. While a quick glance may lead you to believe that more consumers are interested in the Sequoia, let’s take a look at the more detailed numbers.

In June 2023, the RAV4 sold 38,250 vehicles, which is 5,050 units more than in 2022. The Highlander sold 18,542 units, which is an increase of 2,572 models over 2022. The Sequoia sold only 1,625 vehicles, which is far less than either the RAV4 or Highlander. Considering it only sold 19 models in 2022, this is still a huge jump. 

The J.D. Power APEAL Study had some surprising results for Toyota SUVs

In spite of the dire lack of sales, J.D. Power has awarded the Toyota Sequoia with the J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study Award. In fact, it was the top full-size SUV to receive the award, with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe following close behind. No other Toyota SUV won an APEAL Study Award for 2023. Essentially, this means that more owners like the Sequoia better than any other large SUVs. 

So how does J.D. Power get the data for the APEAL Study? It surveys owners who have had their vehicle for at least 90 days and asks them questions such as their sense of comfort when getting into a vehicle and what they think of the infotainment system. Essentially, the study is looking to find out how emotionally attached owners are to their vehicles. For 2023, 84,555 owners responded.

The study isn’t exactly all that comprehensive, as it only ranks vehicles purchased between November 2022 and February 2023. That’s a very short time period. The new car smell hasn’t worn off during this time period, so many owners will still feel an emotional attachment to their vehicle simply because it is new. A more interesting study might be to survey these same customers again in three years’ time to see how they feel now that the newness has worn off. Still, the data gathered was interesting to look at.

What’s great about the 2023 Toyota Sequoia

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has finally been redesigned, and it’s long overdue. It now has a hybrid 3.6-liter V6 powertrain that’s capable of producing 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. The interior is nice and cozy, thanks to plenty of space for both those in the front and anyone in the back.

There are many standard features, such as lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning. You’ll be thankful for the blind spot warning, as there are many blind spots that would be rather frustrating to navigate without it. 

Finally, the tech is abundant. There is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and navigation. Toyota has definitely taken a step in the right direction with the updated changes on the Sequoia, but it’s still not enough to top the RAV4 and Highlander, the other two top Toyota SUVs.


2023 Toyota Sequoia Review: Burly and Fun While Falling Short