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The redesigned 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a brawny full-size SUV. With truck-based construction and strong powertrains, the Sequoia can go almost anywhere. And its interior comes packed with high-tech amenities, making every trip a comfortable ride. The 2023 Sequoia is an ideal sport utility for families that like to travel far and wide. But while it’s a capable design, the Japanese SUV isn’t perfect.

Here’s the biggest hit and the biggest miss for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia.

The 2023 Sequoia’s biggest hit: truck-based construction

Part of the appeal of an SUV is its ability to endure challenging conditions. Where regular sedans come up short, sport utilities thrive, with their 4WD drivetrains, raised suspension, and room to spare. But with SUVs’ growth in popularity, many have a softer edge. Not the 2023 Toyota Sequoia.

Unlike SUVs with car-based unibody platforms, the 2023 Sequoia takes its cues from the Toyota Tundra pickup. With a body-on-frame layout, the Sequoia’s ready for rugged roads and city streets alike, making it a versatile pick for adventurous families.

Under the hood, the 2023 Sequoia comes standard with a Tundra-based powertrain: the iFORCE MAX hybrid system. That blends a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 with an electric motor for 437 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of twist. During testing, Edmunds noted the hybrid setup’s strong acceleration.

Also straight from the Tundra is an available 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system. With wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, drivers can enjoy seamless connectivity and crystal-clear playback.

And with a big-rig front end similar to the Tundra, the Sequoia looks ready for anything. So even drivers with families and obligations can still have fun and drive something that looks cool on the road.

The Toyota Sequoia needs to work on having a PHEV option

Toyota’s an expert at hybrid powertrains. Ever since the Prius debuted, the company’s been pushing the envelope of fuel efficiency and eco-friendly performance. And the RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a perfect example. With 42 miles of electric range, the Prime can go weeks between fill-ups, making short trips cheap and emissions-free.

Unfortunately, the 2023 Sequoia doesn’t offer a PHEV option.

But a PHEV powertrain could work wonders on a full-size SUV. Large vehicles like the Sequoia burn copious amounts of fuel during city driving, and EV-only trips could produce significant savings. And with the instant torque of an electric motor, a PHEV Sequoia could scoot around town with ease.

Not only would that save consumers money, but also reduce carbon emissions. Daily driving typically involves quick rides with idling at stops and bursts of acceleration. For gas-powered vehicles, that means more pollution. But with a PHEV’s ample electric range, there’s only clear air left behind.

The Sequoia SUV is up to any challenge with hardware straight from the Tundra pickup. And even with rugged capability, its interior has a comfortable feel for pleasant trips, big and small. While its iFORCE MAX powertrain is powerful and efficient, a PHEV option would improve it. All-electric driving could drastically reduce consumption and emissions for an eco-friendly sport-utility like nothing else. What a package that would be.


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