Skip to main content

You don’t have to get a minivan – Toyota’s two large SUVs are here to ferry the family with three rows of seats and room for up to eight. But while both are impressive, the Toyota Highlander has a few advantages over the Sequoia to keep in mind.  

Which Toyota SUVs can seat 7 passengers?

A green 2023 Toyota Highlander drives in front a limestone building.
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2023 Highlander and 2023 Sequoia are Toyota SUVs with space for seven or more passengers. They’re the two largest Toyota SUVs, each offering three rows of seats and seating for up to eight passengers with the proper configuration. 

1. Toyota Highlander has dramatically better fuel efficiency 

Regarding efficiency, the Toyota Highlander has a considerable advantage over the Sequoia. 

The Sequoia has some limitations – it’s big, heavy, and not exactly aerodynamic. Even so, it can achieve a respectable 24 mpg highway with help from its turbo-hybrid powertrain. It falls short of the Highlander’s capabilities, however. 

According to Car and Driver, the base Highlander can manage 22 mpg highway and 29 mpg highway. Those numbers get even better with the Highlander Hybrid, which can attain 35 mpg highway.  

2. Toyota Sequoia is much more expensive than Toyota Highlander 

A red Toyota Sequoia tows a ski boat under a blue sky.
2023 Toyota Sequoia | Toyota

The new Toyota Highlander has a significant value advantage over the Sequoia. 

According to Car and Driver, the new Sequoia starts just shy of $60,000 for the base SR5 trim. Moving up through the trim levels rapidly increases the Sequoia’s price tag, with the TRD Pro coming in close to $80,000. 

The Highlander has much more reasonable pricing. Its base trim starts at $37,995, while its top trim starts at $52,410. Plus, Toyota offers quite a few trims to help drivers get just the package they need. 

3. Toyota Highlander has a smoother ride than the Sequoia

The Toyota Highlander’s unibody design helps it ride better than the Sequoia. 

The underpinnings of these two SUVs are pretty different. 

On the one hand, the Sequoia uses a truck-based construction. Its body-on-frame architecture and solid rear axle are just like what you would find underneath the Tundra. Unfortunately, that does mean the Sequoia can have a bouncier, rougher ride. 

The Highlander, on the other hand, uses a car-based construction. Like the Camry, it has a unibody design underneath with a fully independent suspension. It creates a smooth, relaxed ride quality. It’s a significant advantage for the Toyota Highlander over the Sequoia.  

Which is the best 7-seat Toyota SUV?

While the Highlander is the better three-row Toyota for daily driving and efficiency, the Sequoia is a better seven-seater for those who need truck-like capabilities. 

It can be difficult to compare these two models. The Highlander and Sequoia are three-row SUVs, but that’s where most similarities end. 

The Sequoia is certainly the better three-row Toyota for towing, off-roading, and other rugged activities. It shares a platform with the Tundra, after all. That truck DNA helps the Sequoia deliver truly robust performance. 

Meanwhile, the Highlander is more akin to a minivan with SUV proportions. Toyota designed it to accommodate the needs of family life with its flexible interior, easy access, and wealth of interior features. 

At the end of the day, choosing the better of the two depends on the driver. 


The Case for a Toyota Sequoia Over a 2023 Toyota Tundra