Toyota is a versatile automaker that has been producing some of the most reliable vehicles for decades. SUVs like the Highlander and RAV4 offer function, affordability, and economy. But not all Toyota’s SUVs are as popular as the RAV4 or Highlander. Check out this overshadowed Toyota SUV and how it’s holding up at the bottom of the list.
Toyota’s least-popular SUV
Toyota is always at the top of its game, experiencing good sales numbers in the U.S. in almost every segment. However, its recent end-of-year sales report showed people love some Toyotas more than others.
According to Toyota’s sales numbers, nearly 340,000 Camrys were sold in the U.S. in 2019, while more than 150,000 Corollas and nearly 70,000 Priuses sold throughout the entire 2019 year. Never quite matching up to the American truck-making giants, Toyota sold just more than 360,000 Tundras and Tacomas.
But Toyota is following the lead of many other automakers and focusing its lineup on economical and affordable SUVs. American drivers can choose between a variety of Toyota SUVs, though some are clearly more popular than others.
The RAV4 seems to be the most popular, selling more than 256,000 in 2019. The Highlander came in close as second-favorite, selling more than 239,000. But according to GoodCarBadCar, Toyota’s least-popular SUV is easy to decipher: the Toyota Sequoia, which only totaled 10,289 sales for the year. So why is this Toyota SUV getting overshadowed?
How the Sequoia stacks up among the competition
Both the current 2019 and new 2020 Toyota Sequoia receive decent ratings from the experts. Consumer Reports gives both Sequoia model years a decent overall score of 73 and its seal of recommendation.
Both years received a road test score of 60 (out of 100), a good predicted owner satisfaction rating of four (out of five), and a perfect predicted reliability rating of five (out of five). In addition, Consumer Reports ranks the Sequoia as second-best among the seven newest, large SUVs.
According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Toyota Sequoia just doesn’t hold up to other SUVs in the lineup. After its test, Car and Driver claims the Sequoia has the worst in-class interior quality, drives like a truck, and “all the shoehorned technology can’t disguise the old Sequoia’s many shortcomings.” While the third-row is comfortable and it comes with Toyota’s “iron-clad reliability,” “new tech can’t hide old bones.”
Experts at U.S. News rave about the new Sequoia’s powerful engine and extremely-spacious interior, but finds it to have the “worse handling and ride quality than many rivals” and “terrible fuel economy.”
The new Sequoia sits nearly at the bottom of U.S. News’ rankings, with an overall score of 6.8. These experts rank it as number six in large SUVs and 24th in third-row SUVs.
What puts the Sequoia at the end of the line
Other newer, smaller options like the Highlander and Rav4 “enjoy 10 times the sales while offering very similar everything.” These SUVs may be more appealing to buyers because of their lower starting prices and better fuel-economy ratings. The large SUV segment has been slowly dwindling for more automakers than just Toyota, as consumers are moving towards either an economical SUV or full-size truck.
It seems that no matter what technology Toyota adds into the Sequoia, it still remains outdated when compared with its rivals. The Sequoia comes loaded with safety features and space, however, making it a third-row SUV that should be taken into consideration.