2023 Toyota Sequoia Review: Burly and Fun While Falling Short
2023 Toyota Sequoia review
- 2023 Toyota Sequoia $59,865 – $77,565
- Official SUV of Texas
- Pros – Plenty of power on tap, aggressive new style, tons of standard features
- Cons – Massive blind spots, awkward storage solutions, tight third row
- MotorBiscuit score: 8.1 out of 10
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia kicks off the third Sequoia generation with a big boom. It has an attractive new look, a modern interior, a standard turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain, and an independent front suspension.
It’s more expensive than the competition but provides plenty of value with a long list of standard features and power. Plus, it may have a better fuel economy than rivals and a more athletic performance.
But the rear cargo shelf may get in the way, and the second-row seats can’t slide forward or back. The seats don’t create a flat cargo floor, which feels limiting. That said, it has a stout towing capacity and true off-roading chops.
Overall, the new Sequoia has a better chance of tackling rivals like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition than before. But it has a few growing pains that may take getting used to. There’s a lot to process with the first new Sequoia in 14 years.
Which 2023 Toyota Sequoia trim is best?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has five trim levels:
- Toyota Sequoia SR5 – $59,865
- Toyota Sequoia Limited – $66,265
- Toyota Sequoia Platinum – $72,465
- Toyota Sequoia Capstone – $76,865
- Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro – $77,565
You don’t have to pick a premium model to enjoy the luxurious 2023 Sequoia. The SR5 model includes a 36-degree camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights/foglights, a power moonroof, keyless entry, push-button start, wireless Apple CarPlat/Android Auto, and parking sensors.
But moving up to higher trim levels provides heated/ventilated seats, a panoramic sunroof, premium leather upholstery, captain’s chairs, sound-insulated windows, a wireless charging pad, ambient interior lighting, and muscular off-roading upgrades.
The 14.0-inch touchscreen, head-up display, power liftgate, and 120-volt outlets are convenient upgrades but aren’t necessary. Plus, moving up in trim levels doesn’t provide more power. There is only one engine option.
How does the 2023 Sequoia drive?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has a standard hybrid powertrain that pairs a 3.6-liter V6 engine with an electric motor to crank out 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Car and Driver clocked the Sequoia’s 0 to 60 mph acceleration time at roughly 5.6 seconds. It doesn’t hesitate to get off the line with more than enough power to merge into traffic and pass others.
It’s impressively fast for such a large option, with direct steering and responsive handling. It feels smaller than it is. Body lean is well controlled around sharp curves. But the brakes are a little soft, and smaller impacts jostle through the cabin.
The Sequoia has a convenient 20.1 to 22.3-foot turning radius, making it agile and easy to maneuver in tight areas. However, there are plenty of blind spots in the way, so thank goodness the 360-degree camera and parking sensors are standard!
During our week with the 2023 Sequoia, we were off-roading, downtown city driving, navigating curvy mountain climbs, and cruising on the highway. While the 2023 Sequoia gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 24 mph on the highway, we hovered around 17.9 mpg.
Can the 2023 Toyota Sequoia go off-roading?
Yes, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a powerful off-roader, but we had the Platinum trim. We didn’t push it as hard as we would in the TRD Pro. The available 4×4 system is part-time and includes 4×4 low.
The 8.6-inch ground clearance is great, but sometimes the air dam felt like it might be in the way. We also would have appreciated skid plates to boost our confidence. On dirt, sand, and gravel, the Sequoia is pretty bumpy.
The brakes could be a bit stronger, but at least there’s plenty of torque for climbing steep inclines and powering through mud and ruts. The Ford Explorer felt smoother and more in control.
Thanks to the tight turning radius and multiple camera views, the Sequoia is easy to maneuver on narrow trails. You can clearly avoid obstacles.
We would like to see how the TRD Pro performs with its locking differential, front stabilizer bar, 18-inch TRD alloy wheels, front Fox coil over shocks, and rear remote-reservoir shocks. It boosts the ground clearance to 9.1 inches.
How comfortable is the Toyota Sequoia?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is pretty comfortable, with tons of space and amenities for daily drives and longer trips. The front seats are massive and well-padded to support your back and keep you energized. However, the bottom cushions are a bit flat.
You’ll find the same amount of padding in the second row, but headspace is limited for taller passengers. The captain’s chairs lack adjustment controls, so taller adults may hit the back of the front seats with their knees.
Place your shortest friends or children in the third row, where there’s even less space. The third-row seats sit higher than the rest, with limited head and knee room. But they are still supportive enough for trips.
The Sequoia could have a smoother ride quality, especially over gravel and dirt roads. But the cabin is quiet and keeps wind and road noise at bay. The climate control system can be loud at times.
You may notice a deep engine roar upon accelerating that’s attractive. Other times, you may hear a hybrid wheeze.
Does the 2023 Toyota Sequoia have a nice interior?
Yes, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia has a breathtaking interior that’s filled with high-quality materials such as metal accents, soft-touched covered materials, plush upholstery, pops of wood trim, and vibrant ambient lighting.
The two-tone upholstery designs include shades of red, black, grey, and white. The red accent stitching pops on the TRD trim, and the panoramic moonroof allows the entire family to enjoy beautiful views. It has the right amount of tint to block out bright rays without being too dark.
Everything you need is placed easily within reach. However, each row’s lack of adjustment controls can limit space and mobility. Also, the massive side mirrors, tight rear window, wide body, and bulky seats limit visibility.
Accessing the third row is more challenging than it is with rivals. The second-row seats don’t slide forward, so you have to flip them out of the way. The door openings could be wider as well. The optional running boards help with entry.
Does the 2023 Toyota Sequoia have good tech?
The 2023 Sequoia is loaded with advanced and modern tech. An 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard, but you can upgrade to the 14.0-inch unit. Though digital gauge cluster is a bit basic, the head-up display with traffic sign recognition is impressive.
The Sequoia has modern graphics, and the cameras provide an excellent resolution for a sense of your surroundings. The infotainment system works quickly but has a bit of a learning curve. Take a minute to learn about clicking through the menus.
Connecting your phone to wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is easy, but there’s no physical home button to get back to your stats. You press the Toyota app button to see your vehicle settings, off-roading info, tire pressure, etc.
The wireless charging pad is in a secure spot in front of the center console, and the air conditioning has toggles instead of knobs. Some people may prefer more physical controls to the touchscreen system.
Does the 2023 Toyota Sequoia have enough storage?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has an ample amount of storage but falls behind its rivals. You can access up to 22.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third tow, 49.0 cubes with the third row folded down, and up to 86.9 cubes total.
The utility is limited because the third row doesn’t fold entirely flat to create a level cargo floor. You can flip the second-row seats against the back of the front seats. However, the liftover height is a bit high.
The cargo organization shelf can be beneficial for storing your gear, but it might get in the way. The center console is deep and wide, but there are sliding trays and organizers that block your access, and the glove box is tight.
Space in the door and seat pockets are adequate, and there are plenty of cup holders to be found. However, rivals have an extra storage bin above the glove box and other innovative solutions we missed in the Sequoia.
When properly equipped, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia can tow up to 9,520 lbs and can carry a payload of up to 1,730 lbs. It tows more than the Ford Expedition, Chevy Suburban, Tahoe, and GMC Yukon. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are the only offerings in the class that best the Sequoia towing max by a few hundred pounds.
How reliable is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is waiting for an official reliability rating. It’s still brand new and needs to be put through the paces. Some outlets, like Repair Pal, expect the new Sequoia to have an average reliability ranking with a 3.5 out of 5.0 score.
It might not be as reliable as the outgoing generation, but only time will tell. J.D.Power gave the 2022 Sequoia a reliability ranking of 81 out of 100, which is above average. Scores between 81 and 90 are above average, while ratings between 91 and 100 are best.
The 2023 Sequoia is expected to have an annual maintenance cost of $642, which is below the yearly average of $650 for other full-size SUVs.
How safe is the 2023 Toyota Sequoia?
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia hasn’t been officially evaluated by third-party safety organizations. We are waiting on the results from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA).
Standard safety features include:
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane departure warning
- Lane-keeping assist
- Adaptive cruise control
- Blind spot warning
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Automatic high beams
- Road sign recognition
MotorBiscuit provides the 2023 Toyota Sequoia with a score of 8.1 out of 10
The experts at MotorBiscuit have awarded the 2023 Toyota Sequoia with a ranking of 8.1 out of 10. It’s so different from the model that’s been around for 14 years, so there is a lot to take in with the new exterior style and modern interior.
It’s hard not to smile when pressing the accelerator and taking off. The Sequoia is robust and athletic but doesn’t have the smoothest ride quality. The turning radius makes it easier than expected to park and maneuver.
The tech could be more intuitive, but it works. It’s comfortable enough with an attractive interior and convenient layout. However, the interior space is tight, and it’s not as accessible or as easy to load up as rivals.
We can’t wait to see how the Capstone and TRD Pro models compare. Also, we will update our review with reliability and safety ratings as they become available.