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We spent a week with the new Toyota Sequoia to learn everything about it. This refreshed family hauler has some exciting changes that can make your life better or worse, depending on your needs. See what you need to know before getting the 2023 Toyota Sequoia

Five things make the 2023 Toyota Sequoia a double-edged sword 

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia parked in fog
2023 Toyota Sequoia | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia isn’t the classic SUV that you know anymore. It was completely redesigned for 2023 and has the first significant changes since 2008. The updates could be surprising. 

You have a new exterior design, which looks great. Plus, it has a revamped, modernized interior with advanced tech and hybrid power. But it has less cargo and passenger space and reduced practicality despite being able to tow more. 

1. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia cargo space is interesting 

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia cargo organizer with gear
2023 Toyota Sequoia cargo organizer | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia isn’t as versatile as it used to be. For example, the second-row seats don’t slide forward or back. Taller passengers can’t scoot back if they need more leg space. 

Also, the seats flip forward to get out of the way. You pull a lever to flip the seat against the front row, which is slightly more time-consuming than simply being able to slide it forward to access the third row. 

There is a cargo system in the very back, which creates a shelving system. Some people love stacking their groceries, but others feel as if it gets in the way. There are 22.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and up to 86.9 cubes total. 

The outgoing model features 18.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear and up to 120.1 cubes overall. So, that’s a massive reduction in cargo space. Plus, the shelving system makes the liftover height pretty high. 

2. The 2023 Sequoia has more power and is more efficient 

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is equipped with the iForce Max Hybrid powertrain. A 3.4-liter V6 engine is paired with an electric motor and generates 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. It provides an exciting amount of power with the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. 

It has a smooth power delivery from the 10-speed automatic transmission and responsive handling with well-controlled body motions for an engaging ride. 

The 2023 Sequoia gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. We averaged about 17.9 mpg during our week, which included hours on the interstate, back country roads, and some light off-roading. 

The older Sequoia gets an EPA-estimated 13 mpg in the city and up to 17 mpg on the highway, so that’s a significant improvement to consider. 

3. The Sequoia tech is advanced but could be more intuitive 

We’re fans of the new tech in the 2023 Toyota Sequoia, such as the 14-inch infotainment system, new head-up display, wireless phone charging pad, and enhanced digital gauge cluster. But there is a lack of physical controls, and the menus might be confusing at first. 

It took a little longer than expected to connect to Apple CarPlay, and then we had to find the home button for the infotainment system, which looks like a Toyota app. Customizing certain menus isn’t the most straightforward process in the world either. 

Some options might be hard to reach on the other side of the screen for shorter drivers. Plus, the temperature controls have switches instead of dials. 

The most impressive advancements are made to the camera systems and displays. The 360-degree view is crisp and clear. The off-roading trail views clearly present obstacles in your path, and the parking sensors provide confidence in tight areas. 

4. The new Sequoia is full of value 

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia interior with an overhead view
2023 Toyota Sequoia interior | Toyota

The standard 2023 Toyota Sequoia is loaded with tech, comfort, and safety features. It may have a slightly higher starting price than rivals, but it stretched the dollar further. For example, the entry-level Ford Expedition only has seating for five. 

Edmunds noted that with the 2023 Sequoia, you get a power moonroof, heated exterior mirrors, heated seats, a 360-degree camera system, keyless entry with push-button start, roof rails, LED headlights/foglights, automatic headlights, traffic sign recognition, and much more. 

Our mid-tier Platinum trim spices things up with ventilated seats, premium leather upholstery, a power panoramic moonroof, ambient lighting, upgraded LED headlights, 20-inch black alloy wheels, and a 14-speaker JBL audio system. You don’t have to go for the Capstone model for luxury, comfort, and convenience. 

5. The Sequioa’s reliability rating took a tumble 

Due to the changes, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia is expected to have an average reliability rating based on brand history and other models in the lineup. The older generation is known for having an above-average reliability ranking. 

It’s possible that the new Sequoia could be less reliable than the outgoing model, putting its durable reputation at risk. But on a positive note, it has no recalls for 2023. Meanwhile, the 2018 Ford Expedition had six recalls when it started the current generation. 

The double-edged sword here is having to wait for a little more testing. The Sequoia needs to be put through the paces to receive a true reliability score. It could be less reliable or even better than before. 

Stay tuned for our full-length review when we provide the Sequoia with an expert ranking and discuss every single spec.